Posted by: Don Linnen | 31 October 2018

Something New?

Over a month ago I admitted I didn’t know everything.

Pause. Friends and family are now rereading the first sentence and considering the possibility that my site has been hacked by Russian trolls.

In Arrogance of the Old, I briefly wrote of my surprise at learning something new. It occurred on a retreat to Lake Kiowa with a small group of good friends and respected coworkers. On one day in August I was exposed to various personality types of the Enneagram.

The Enneagram identifies nine ways we can see and experience the world. A search on the web for “Enneagram” reveals 5.62 million results. Maybe I’m the last to find out about it. But few of my old friends have heard of it.

It’s a “curious theory of unknown origin” according to Cron and Stabile, coauthors of the book and podcast, The Road Back to You. There’s no scientific evidence that the Enneagram is a reliable personality typing system. Yet my brief exposure to it revealed valid insights into what makes me tick. Some things I liked (confirmation bias?); some, I didn’t. For me, the uncomfortable but accurate latter insights added to its credibility.

“Know thyself” is a maxim – and literally a search – that began with the Greeks long, long before the internet. Today there are nearly 14M hits on a search for “know thyself.”

As you begin to understand yourself, you begin to understand others. It seems that many on our small planet – certainly in our nation – aren’t even trying to understand each other. Can we change that trend one person at a time? Will the Enneagram help?

There’s a lot to explore in the Enneagram. There’s a lot to explore in each of us. I hope you’ll consider some self exploration.

If you choose to use the Enneagram, please resist the urge to take a quick online test to determine your personality type. Spend some time learning about it. Especially resist the urge to tell someone else what type you think they are. Learn about yourself first.

Know yourself. A Clint Eastwood line or a quote from Augustine of Hippo may remind you of that importance.

“You’re a good man lieutenant. A good man always knows his limitations.”  – Harry Callahan, 1973 AD

“Grant Lord, that I may know myself that I may know Thee.”   – Augustine, ~425 AD

Choose one or both, but choose to know yourself.

I look forward to your “aha” smile of understanding when learn my Enneagram type.

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