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.




Is your Personality based on your Blood Group?

Personality Fans of this Blog will know that I am sceptical about theories of personality. I really don’t believe people either have, or need to have, a fixed personality. Nor do I believe that standard personality tests are that accurate. And even if they are accurate at this moment in time they may not be so next year.

You will also know from me that you are better off losing your Ego and your Personality (if you have one) because they limit your possibilities, intensify your bananas, keep you in your comfort zone, and stifle your Personal Genius.

However a Japanese friend of mind asks whether I have heard of the concept of ketsu-eki-gata, in which temperament is said to be influenced by the individual”s blood group. Since there are only 4 groups:  A, O, B and AB it would seem that there are four basic types – as shown in the table below (click on it to enlarge):


She goes on to say:

If this idea has some truth in it then in we have more evidence that Bodymind – working through the blood-group – has an influence on our preferences, our moods, the way we express emotions, our behaviors, our attitude towards other people, and our career choices.’

It could be that she has a point if we consider that blood group types might influence temperament (emotional make-up) rather than personality. But nobody has yet been able to show whether there is a link, and how it works, although theories like this are at least 2500 years old.

She tells me that in Japan and Korea, blood groups are widely used by dating agencies to match people up, and by employers in order to assess whether applicants are ‘right’ for the job.

Apparently my own blood group – B – has a bad reputation in Korea and Japan as we are widely viewed as mad, bad, and dangerous to know.

A few years ago Dr Peter D’Adamo published a book in which he argued that people could more easily lose weight by following the right diet for their blood type. So Blood Group O should avoid wheat and dairy; Group A should follow a mostly vegetarian diet; Group AB the same as A, but with occasional meat and fish; while Group B should avoid nuts (one of my favorites!) and processed foods like white bread. If this is the case (and this is still a controversial theory) then it suggests that blood groups can influence taste as well as metabolism. So why not temperament?

I ran the description of the ‘B’ personality past my wife and a few friends and they all agree that it is fairly accurate of me. That doesn’t make it true though!

What do you think? Do you – and those close to you – believe that these descriptions fit you?

And – for you readers who know me personally – do you think that Type B is accurate?

I promise to publish all replies – appreciative or sceptical, and flattering or non-flattering!

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.