Sometimes my life feels like it’s divided into various halves. There’s life before my father died, and life after my father died. Another perspective is my life before I became a dad myself, and my life ever since. And yet another angle is life before I dove deeply into the Enneagram, and life ever since.
“The Enneagram Is not a tool for self-absorption, but instead is a map for self-liberation,” Christopher Heuertz writes in his book, The Sacred Enneagram. “The sacred map isn’t fatalistic, it’s not deterministic, it’s not a horoscope or predetermined course that doesn’t allow for a personalized twist. It’s a compassionate sketch of possibilities and opportunities.”
Take your own journey along this sacred map, and you’ll discover, as I have, the additional clarity it provides on why you think, say, and act in certain situations; and those abounding possibilities referenced by Heuertz in the quote above.
For example, as an Enneagram Type 4 with a 3 “wing,” I have a tendency to both believe that I’m somehow unique or special and that something is missing, that something is inherently wrong with me. It’s not a fun paradox for daily living!
I didn’t have as much perspective on this ingrained behavior until I began studying the Enneagram, which also reinforced my abilities to be creative, disciplined, emotionally balanced, and self-renewing. The sacred map illuminates the worst and the best of me, coupled with fresh insights about what habits to cultivate and which ones to starve in order to live most of my remaining years bringing out the best.
Check out the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI v2.5) if you’ve never taken an Enneagram assessment. It’s a great starting point. And remember that no personality “test” can ever fully describe you, but the Enneagram will give you more than enough insight and prodding to help you continue to grow in self-awareness and joy.

Growing Your Strengths

I’m a Nashville-based writer, talent strategist, and certified executive coach. On this website, I primarily write stories featuring a diverse group of professionals whose tips on applying mindfulness, learning agility, and storytelling will help you love your career and enhance your quality of life.

These characters face familiar pain points: nonstop change, accelerating technological disruption, and the collective “noise” that grows louder each day. The impact, for these professionals and for many of us, has been confusion, distraction, and stress.

Until, however, each of these individuals chooses to do something new: practicing mindfulness, learning agility, and storytelling habits, and growing them into strengths…strengths that respond to change rather than just react.

Strengths that you can develop as well.

Don’t settle for the confusion, distraction, and stress. You’re stronger than that, and capable of much more.

Choose to do something new. Today. Start with this post, check out my books, and join our learning community to receive exclusive cont


John M. DeMarco is a writer, strategist, and executive coach based in Nashville, Tennessee.