How to be unique

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This is a continuation of my series on becoming the person you were always meant to be. The last article in the series was How to be strange. And the one before that was Why it’s ok to be a bit weird.

A second way to be strange, weird or unique is to be an incontrovertible expert in something. Or in two things. Or in three, four, five things. To become an authority on them in fact.

Now it helps if you choose subjects that a lot of other people are fascinated by. But it isn’t strictly necessary. For example, if you choose to become an expert on Palmistry or reading the Tarot then I can guarantee you a ready audience from personal experience for the simple reason that most people are fascinated by the occult, even when they pooh-pooh it. But if you decide to become, instead, an expert on Egyptian hieroglyphics the fact that you know a lot about something practically nobody knows anything about will give you a certain cachet – which is a source of pride to you, even if you happen never to speak about it. For the simple reason that Knowledge equals Power.

Another, very good, choice is to become an expert in solving problems that everybody struggles with. For example: money management, child care, dealing with difficult people, employment law, maintaining a house, etc. Knowing a lot about those things will usually mean that you end up becoming an advisor of some kind – that, too, is a great way to exploring your personal power.

One word of warning, however. Whatever project you choose, it helps to be guided by your Personal Genius.




Connecting to the genius in you


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.


Personal Genius II

Bowie Recently I have been developing a training which shows people how to recognise, channel and unleash personal genius.

Just to remind you, your personal genius is the inner daimon that drives you on to become the person you were truly meant to be.

It is expressed through the unique mix of gifts, talents, desires, inner compulsions and perceptions which make up the person you are. No one can duplicate it; it is your unique personal ‘brand’. Nor can you control it – rather your genius controls you and you are its servant.

You cannot be a genius, you can only try to express it.

You don’t have to be a creative artist to have genius. Your daimon may prefer to express itself in other ways: sport, caring for others, leadership, science, philosophy, civil rights, religion, communion with Nature, or technological invention – to name just a few modes of expression.

Expressing your personal genius is your personal ‘mission’ in life – the task you were born for. No one can do this but you. And if you fail to do it you will fall into inauthenticity. When your Bodymind (which exists to guide you towards self-fulfilment) notices that you are running away from your mission then it will create emotions like boredom and frustration. And ignoring those may well trigger the state of dis-ease which can damage your health.

Here are some questions that help you identify experiences in which your personal genius is at work:

Your models

Who did you most admire as a child? Who do you most admire now? The people you chose to model are unconsciously displaying the characteristics to which you most aspire. I have written before about this in Your personal myth.

Favourite art

Similarly, the books, paintings, sculptures, music, architecture reflects the moods and taste of your soul.

Your mentors

Who, in your life, has acted as a mentor, drawing out your inner potential. Your daimon is drawn towards like-minded teachers.


What are you drawn towards learning and practicing over and over again? For some people its a particular field of study, for others its an art-form like poetry, dance, literature. But the list is endless, from relationships, being with children, nature (including an attraction to specific localities), animals, the way things work, etc.

Peak experiences

Ecstasy is Bodymind’s way of telling you that you are moving towards self-actualization. The more frequently you enter into states of absorption. ‘flow’ and joy, the more closely connected you are to your genius.


What do you care about the most? Love? Justice? Purity? Personal rights? Freedom? Truth? Individuality? The values you are most passionate about tell us a lot about your personal mission.


Where and when have you most been truly yourself (good or ‘bad’)? This question is concerned with moments when you have taken a risk and spoken up about, or done something, that mattered to you – no matter what others thought.

I will be writing some more about this topic – its going to be a regular feature on this blog from now on so watch out for more.

Image by oddsock

Letting your personal genius loose

AngelIn my last post – Losing your personality – I briefly mentioned that developing your genius can free you from the ego. This item explores what that personal genius is.

This article is a little theoretical but the idea is too important for me to not to try and explain it.

When you understand how personal genius works you will be in a better position to develop it.

The word Genius is a translation of the Greek Daimon. In Homer a daimon is either a god or a spirit. Later on, the ‘daimon’ came to mean a person’s guiding spirit, or guardian angel. Some people found this idea a little disturbing and, for them, daimons became ‘demons’ -something to be repressed and avoided.

The Romans understood daimons as Genii, from which we get both the words ‘genie’ and ‘genius’. A Genie is your personal guide, whom you can contact through prayer, trance-states, visions, and dreams although most of us experience it as an inner voice, intuition or compulsion.

A Genius is the unique spirit which lives in every living thing. So the Romans worshiped the genius of the river, the genius of the tree, the genius of the family, the genius of the Emperor, and so on. Sacrificing to a genius was a way of harnessing its power.

For the Romans, each and every god had her own, unique, genius and that was how they could tell them apart. Jupiter’s daimon was majestic, Apollo’s was frightening, Venus’s was sexy, and so on. The picture in this blog shows the Genius of Water – hence the outflowing arms.

Now, each of us human beings have our own, unique, genius – a kind of driving force which must fulfil its own destiny – forcing you you to become that which you are really meant to be. Ignoring your genius means not only denying the power within you but denying the core essence of who you really are. And, if you do that for too long you will eventually become ill.

Here are some common expressions of Genius:


  • Teaching
  • Making things work (e.g. engineering, mechanics, craftsmanship)
  • Nurturing people
  • Connecting to animals (pets, wildlife, endangered species, etc)
  • Art
  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Caring for children
  • Spirituality
  • Leadership
  • Fighting injustice, discrimination, exploitation
  • Cultivating nature
  • Building
  • Discovering new ‘truths’
  • Healing others

Your daimon, or your genius, is also expressed through your genetic code (unique to you unless you have an identical twin), your emotions, your intuitions and your passions. If you regularly practice attunement to Bodymind then you will become more expert at eliciting all of these.




Some questions that can guide you

If you want find out more about your genius then here are some questions that can also help. I will supply my personal answers to the questions to help you see what I am getting at.

1. What teachers and mentors were you drawn to when you were young? These will tell you a lot about what you are here to learn.

My answer: My first mentor (age 12) was my Uncle. He gave me a thirst for education and awoke in me a desire to serve others. He also challenged me to think for myself.

2. What are you most love doing or what are you most fascinated by? What are the most interesting activities you have ever done? This will give you a clue about your (divine) passion.

My answer: Working with and exploring the hidden depth in people. Finding out how human beings work in terms of their biology, culture, emotions, society, personal history and desires.

3. What do you most detest in life? This shows you what you are here to fight and what you need to overcome in yourself.

My answer: Lies, lack of integrity, smugness and complacency.

4. What are your most rewarding moments in life? This will tell you something about your personal mission.

My answer: The birth of my children, becoming a therapist, writing (some of) my books, moments of deep connection with other human beings, discovering Reverse Therapy, and two mystical experiences in which I glimpsed an egoless state of being.

5. What drains your energy? This shows you what your daimon most needs you to avoid.

My answer: Routine, small talk, academics, television, newspapers, humorlessness, stale ideas.

6. How, and in what way, are you most creative? This, along with question 7, could be the most important questions here. Answering them truthfully reveals a lot about your personal genius.

My answer: Writing, bringing together new ideas, using my intuition to work out what is really going on with my clients, educating people, and inspiring large audiences. Blog writing.

7. What characteristics are either unique to you or which you rarely see in others? This tells you a lot about the ‘character’ of your daimon.

My answer: My sense of mischief, the clarity of my thoughts, my constant need to pull things down and start again.

8. What do you find it hardest to do? Answering this shows what you have to practice doing, in order to free up your genius.

My answer: Forgiving people who have hurt me. Taking time off to play, dream, and have fun.

I would be fascinated to discover what my readers have got from this blog, or what they have already discovered about their personal genius. Please do email me or leave a comment about that.


Happiness means the full expression of your daimon. Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence“.