About this time of the year for the last three years, I spend a few weeks poking around deep inside me. 2013 was Forging Ronin when I was looking for some coherence and internal structure. Then it broke, and I went in again last year with the ‘simple’ goal of being a good man. This year it is not so much who, more like “why?” I see how I tick, the worst and best sides of me, so how does it fit and for what purpose?
Last two times, I arranged the results of the various assessments like this:
Cone of Motivation + Soul Diamond + Myers/Briggs Personality Test =?
This time, I was thinking about where the Enneagram fits, and realized the whole stack was off. Of the four tools only one has shifted, the Soul Diamond. The base is your personality type, then the thing that drives you, then your enneagram type, and finally the Soul Diamond. It has changed, though I wonder if it corresponds with the enneagram’s Levels of Development. Therefore, I am subtracting it.
At the base level, I am an ISTJ – the tool explains to me how I relate to the world and people. The Myers/Briggs details how you get mental energy (Introvert/Extravert), perceive the world (Intuitive/Sensing), make decisions (Thinking/Feeling), and react to the world (Judging/Perceiving). I am energized by time alone, take in the world through my senses, decide with my head, and like order. What has always driven me is to learn. I have read almost anything that interested me over the desire to do anything else. If I want to do something, I have to read up on it first.
Now we are with the new kid, the Enneagram – it is a more in-depth personality test with ancient roots. After testing three times and doing much research, I found that I fell into the Type 1 with a Nine Wing, which means I am not a pure type. Most are not, in fact. According to the Enneagram Institute, the Type 1 “Reformer” influenced by the Type 9 “Peacemaker” is an “Idealist”. It took some digging to figure out what that meant.
For me, it is having a rational, easy-going personality that is humble and idealistic. Being principled, purposeful, while exhibiting self-control and fighting the urge to be perfectionistic. That would spiral into self-righteousness rather quickly as personal history has proven. The basic fears of the Type(s) are being wrong and/or bad along with loss or separation. This feeds the basic desires of the Type(s) is to be good and right, to have stability. That is the topical look at that, and when I read deeper, I could see questions I had for years about myself during introspection answered.
What does all this mean?
I am not self-made, I picked none of these traits; instead, it’s a design tailor made for a purpose. When you see me, you see an observant, introspective person who spends his solitude in a book. Then what he reads is thought through and applied; sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. While he does not lead a charge, he does like to share what he is doing to be better, at least as an example.
I was born with that nature. While I said I was not self-made, I am self-directed. On a personal level we are behind the wheel. It is about what we do with the design we have, talents, and the education of experience. Knowing this, we have a more honest assessment of what we bring to the table, and how it can be used. I do not have a plan for me, just some ideas that need more fleshing out, but where I am at does not hurt either. Living my faith, and writing about what comes out of that, along with helping whoever crosses my path. Every one of those encounters causes a ripple in someone’s life that effects them and whoever sees them. What waves are you making?