In my last article I wrote about Enneagram weaknesses: how we develop a false personality by getting fixated on the way we appear to other people.
Today I want to write about Enneagram strengths. Specifically, how each of the Nine types, when the person is at a highly developed stage and is free of the ego, can be an expression of your Personal Genius.
In previous articles on Personal Genius I have described how your Genius is an expression of the divine in you. Your Genius drives you on to become the best you can be and fulfil your personal mission. It cares nothing for the approval of others; it is only concerned with making the world a better place.
My experience is that most of us are naturally drawn towards becoming one of the NIne types. Some of us make the mistake of getting hung up on approval from others, so we end up with weaknesses rather than strengths. Some of us mistakenly identify with a lower type (usually out of cowardice) and lose our divine mission altogether. But some of us go for one of the types, in a healthy way, because that type resonates most with our personal mission, how we see our selves impacting on the world.
Here is how each of the Enneagram types, in their original, untainted, glory seeks to express Personal Genius:
The One is a Reformer. Wants to help people become better, purer and more honest. Ones are often Teachers, Writers, Preachers. Many great religious leaders are Ones. Example: Leo Tolstoy.
The Two is a Nurturer. Wants to help people be more loving and forgiving. The developed Two tries to set an example through self-sacrificing compassion for others. Example: Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
The Three is a Manager. Seeks to make things more efficient for the common good. At their best they make great managers, leaders and (respected) politicians. Example: Barack Obama.
The Four is an Artist. They can be artists with words, images, fabrics, sounds – or even artists of life. They want to bring out the playful, creative, and original in people. They may be designers, writers and artists; or they may come across as intensely fascinating and original people in their own right. Example: Van Gogh.
The Five is concerned with Knowledge. They are clear-thinking, objective, often brilliant – experts in at least one field. They make great teachers, scientists and philosophers. On a smaller scale they make good advisors: consultants, therapists and coaches. Example: Albert Einstein.
The Six is a Helper. They want to make the world a friendlier place. They sacrifice themselves for the good of the community. They prefer to work behind the scenes, keeping the family together, building up the team at work, or helping in community schemes and organisations. Example: Princess Diana.
The Seven wants to help people become more intensely alive. They are extroverts who are fun to be with, and who bring out the best in people. They like to entertain and make great comedians, musicians and stage performers. Or they may just be the life and soul of the party. Example: Mick Jagger.
The Eight wants to protect others. This drives them on to be leaders in some way. They may fight for the rights of an oppressed minority, or they may want to rescue people who are in trouble. They are natural fighters who will champion any cause they have taken to heart. Example: Martin Luther King.
The Nine is a Harmonizer. They try to see the world through other peoples eyes and understand how each person sees things differently. Then they seek to bring people together and promote mutual understanding and forgiveness.
Many Enneagram teachers (including me) believe that becoming a developed Nine who is able to become any of the other 8 types, in an impersonal way, is our ultimate goal. Unlike all the other types, the Nine is not drawn to any particular vocation. Example: William Shakespeare.