It is about time for a blog. And a blog about time.
Every Enneagram style becomes more pronounced under stress. One of the more common stressors we face is hurry. Many experiments and our own experience show us how our responses narrow as we grow short of time. In our Enneagram style Three culture, time is money. When we are short of time, we feel poor. Every Enneagram style is an experience of inner poverty. What’s not in your wallet?
A good way to get in touch with your Enneagram patterns is to notice what you feel missing.
The less time we have, the more hurried we are, the poorer we feel and the more we experience our Enneagram style.
Michael Moore’s new film, “Where to invade next” starts with two cultures that are slower and everyone has more time – that is, they have more time off from working. When they have more time off from working, they replace work with leisure, culture, sex, conversation, beauty and relaxation.
While in this country, our politicians routinely describe citizens as “hard-working Americans” when they want our vote.
Time for a change. Time, for a change.
Nines learned early in life that if they didn’t ask for much, they could achieve some peace and people would like them. (I find Nines very likable by me and others).
What Nines need to hear is that if they ask for what they want, people will like them even more because now they know how to please you.
Eights have a preoccupation with power, but their energy is out in the world. It is aggressive and action-oriented. It is a good exercise for Eights to make a list of as many forms of power as they can.
Relationships, the ability to be present, the ability to listen, beauty, sensitivity and the ability to nurture are forms of power that Eights often overlook. When they expand their notion of power, they increase their own forms of power.
Choose. Really choose. Sevens like to keep their options open and when they do, they often dissipate their energies doing a lot of things but not committing fully to a few important things.
Here’s a metaphor that might help: pruning. A gardener removes some growth in order to get exactly what is desired (fruit or more growth or merely control).
Sixes need to learn about the transitory nature of emotions, especially of anxiety. The anxiety and even panic that plague sixes is terrible at the time, but time is the key word. Anxiety is preparation for threat (anticipatory) but is not the threat itself.
Fives need to expand their definition of information. They do a terrific job on computers, chemistry and a variety of technologies. To enrich their lives they can profitably include all their senses: touching, smelling and tasting. They excel at hard data, they enrich their lives with the experiences of soft data – multi sensory and even more subtle experiences like “presence” and “intuition.”
Fours seek authentic individuality. A problem with starting with being an individual is that can lead to seeing yourself separate. Fours need to know they can be different and close, individual and still be an integral part of the group. (Group: family, league, team, club)
Style Threes often put their emotional needs on hold and substitute work as a way to gain emotional satisfaction. So I have a whole book to recommend to style 3. Alfie Kohn has a great book called Punished by Rewards in which he lays out the differences between the external rewards an effort gains and the internal rewards (of a job well done, for example).
The school/corporate reward system in industrial countries is heavily skewed toward external rewards: grades, trophies, money, offices, status etc. These are highly attractive and toxic for style Three.
As a coach, I find that style Two needs to hear that love is usually free. It cannot be earned with gifts or service, regardless of what form those take. To dangerously oversimplify, if someone loves you without gifts or service, those are not necessary. If they don’t love you, gifts and services will be received as a burden to be repaid, regardless of what you say.