How Would You Cross The River?

(Photo by Endlisnis on flickr)

How would you cross the river? Which out of the below 9-styles are you:-

ONEs approach the river from the one and only perfect place to cross.

TWOs start to cross the river, then double back to help others to cross. As they get to do this, they never get to cross themselves.

THREEs wear their best and wait at the edge until they are the center of attention. Then, they do attractive, eye-catching strokes as they cross the river.

FOURs use a variety of fancy styles and even do a water ballet.

FIVEs never get into the river. They hide behind trees and take notes on what everybody does.

SIXes distrust the river currents. They wait for the security of others to take the ferry across the river.

SEVENs splash and dive and generally have a party, and it doesn’t matter if they ever cross the river.

EIGHTs march into the water and swim upstream against the current.

NINEs amble into the water and float downstream with the current.

Enneagram Profiling: How An Understanding Can Help You

Tool For Self Awareness

The Enneagram is an ancient system that describes nine basic types of people. However, it does not merely describe personality profile; it unveils each of your underlying motivation and how you approach life.

enneagram types

Enneagram also helps you to examine the distortions and biases that cloud your mind. It reveals how you respond to stress and pain, through the lines that a type connects to. In short, understanding your profile type and why you act in a certain manner through Enneagram is a form of awakening. Via the lines of the grid, you also find out where your next natural growth areas, called the Direction of Integration, are.

Improve Your Relationships With Others

Understanding Enneagram also allows you to see the core of who others are and to provide you with an avenue of increased understanding, tolerance and validation of other viewpoints. You appreciate the diverse natures of others, helping you to foster and cultivate deeper and more meaningful relationships.

Roadmap For Spiritual Growth

According to Raj Ravindran, my coach from the Enneagram workshop that I attended last Saturday, its use has been around for more than 2,000 years already.

The Enneagram has been used as a framework for meditation and growth. For the Sufis, the mystics of Islam, the Enneagram is known as the “face of God”. In ancient times, Christian healers have identified antidotes to the seven deadly sins in Enneagram types. On the other hand, Buddhist teachers use the Enneagram as a map of attachments, guiding meditators on their path to awakening.

What The Enneagram Means

How the wings and lines configure, and the energy that you are centered in, will account for every aspect of your personality.

1.What Energy Are You Centered In?

2,3 and 4 are centered in heart energy. They are emotional based people
5,6 and 7 are centred in head energy. They are mental based people.
8, 9 and 1 are centered in gut/body energy. They are strong willed people.

2. Wings
Wings are the adjacent numbers to your Enneagram type. If you have a strong wing, the tendencies of that number show up strongly in your personality. For example, if you are a type 4, you can have strong 5- or 6-wing or both.

3. Lines
The other influence or tendencies come in the form of lines. They also correspond to the Direction of Integration and how you tend to respond negatively when under stress. Here is where you learn what your “gaps” or missing traits are, in order to lead a more fulfilled life.

Why I Am Now So Keen On Enneagram

I was not interested in “boxing” people up according to personality types. Hence, I had an initial reluctance to learning about Enneagram. However, I soon saw the potential of applying it for my own personal self-growth, from spending my entire weekend reading about it after the workshop.


I began to appreciate that the process of living is primarily to move in the Direction of Integration and up the 9 levels of Development, under each personality type. The difficulties that we have been facing in our lifetimes are precisely set up so that we can transcend our basic personality type (and our ego) to evolve to a higher state.

Growth, in all aspects and beyond measure, is achieved by moving along the Direction of Integration and up the Levels of Development. To attain the highest (the Level of Liberation) of the 9 Levels of Development, we become our highest essence, our (Higher) self at its best.

“Living in essence becomes a matter of transcending our ego and in so doing, of discovering and developing our truest self. The search for essence or self-transcendence is not an escape from life but the reverse: a commitment on our most profound level of consciousness to participate in our own creation. ”
—- Understanding the Enneagram: The Practical Guide to Personality Types by Don Richard Riso

We cannot live without form. The essence of being human is expressed through our personality. So if we can learn to integrate and live in alignment to our true Self, we would have gained mastery over our ego.

You may ask: so what would the ultimate goal, according to the Enneagram, be? The goal would be to acquire and integrate all the healthy components of each personality type. You become centered in the highest values and the healthiest of all types. You transcend above form, above ego. You evolve into higher states of consciousness. Your purest essence is now reflected through your personality. You radiate love.

Next obvious question: will it bring about enlightenment? I would like to say yes. But in all honesty, maybe; maybe not. One of the limitations of the Enneagram is that the quest itself may not bring about wisdom or perfection. I seriously doubt that achieving enlightenment is about following a system either. Then again, I have to be reiterate here: I am in absolutely no position to advise on how best to attain enlightenment.

Still, there is no denying that using the Enneagram as a guide can aid in the expansion of the Self. Through the grid, you see that wholeness is found in the most unlikely places. It is about embracing your weaknesses. It is about filling the void inside. It is only when you integrate the hollowness of your Being that you can become One. In short, the Enneagram is a framework to spiritual wholeness and may I conclude, a tool for increasing your divinity.

Life is a process of creative discovery. Expansion never stops in the unfolding of all there is. In your awakening to deeper insights and new dimensions, you experience a shift. You take actions, that reflect your purest and truest essence. Experiencing a shift from personality to essence is nothing but the realization of your Highest Self.


I have chosen not to go into details about what each type of personality means, for I cannot possibly condense everything into an article post. My finding is that the Enneagram is a superior form of personality profiling. It is a dynamic system to assist in self awareness and transformation. I have identified some additional resources that you can turn to:

1. Free Enneagram online test
2. Free ebook download here.
3. Additional reading: Understanding the Enneagram: The Practical Guide to Personality Types by Don Richard Riso
4. Integrate along your Direction of Integration according to your Enneagram type in a classroom setting with a team of hot dudes; James, Raj and Lance. More info can be found on their site here, which is in the midst of a revamp. Do not let that stop you from contacting them at awake[at] with the email title: “Help Me Cross the River in More Ways than One!”

Questions For You

 (Photo by mikebaird on flickr)

How would you cross the river? What type of personality type do you think you are?

Want to know what is my basic type? Well, Raj did an assessment for me while chatting over coffee. (Oh yes, lessons are conducted informally and with lots of jokes in between!) To guess what is mine, look for the clue in this post. No prizes though; it is way too obvious!

Lastly, I’m also intending to conduct a small reader survey. After having read the basic intro above, would you be keen to find out more about how you can integrate Enneagram Personality Profiling for personal growth? If so, please state your interest in the comments below.

Facebook Comments


Suzie - October 2, 2008

I think Im a two

Irene | Light Beckons - October 2, 2008

Can I choose 2 answers, or am I only allowed to choose 1? I’m battling between #1 and #2. Please don’t tell me you’re a #4.

Yes, very keen to find out how this thingie can help make me a better person. 🙂

Irene | Light Beckons - October 2, 2008

Sorry, when I said #1 and #2, I was referring to the methods I’d use to cross the river, not the personality type. I think my personality type is #10 – The Weirdo … LOL!

Evelyn - October 2, 2008

@Suzie, a Type-2 is a very giving person but don’t forget to nurture yourself!

@Irene, you can only choose the style that best resonates you; hence pick only one. According to the Enneagram, each of us have a core style but may take on other “wings” that influence our personality. The way you cross the river best reflects the personality type you are.

I’m just going to let more people come onboard to guess which personality type I am…LOL!!

Kelly@SHE-POWER - October 2, 2008

I would have said I was primarily a 2 and a 7 and when I did the test, sure enough I was right! I have a healthy dose of numbers 3 and 1 though. This is very interesting. I am also not one for tests which box people in, though I am an avid follower of numerology and that’s a system.

And yes, I would be keen to find out more of how you can apply this knowledge for personal growth. More, I want more!

Now I must go to bed. Goodnight.

Kelly 🙂

Evelyn - October 2, 2008

@Kelly, you have to choose one number! Read what I told Irene.

Cath Lawson - October 2, 2008

Hi Evelyn – I was a 3. Mind you – I wasn’t too confident about answering some of the questions, so I don’t know how accurate it was.

Which one were you? I’m struggling to guess but I’m thinking maybe a 2.

Stephen - Balanced Existence - October 2, 2008

Hey Evelyn,

Very cool article. I really enjoyed it! Also I must say I’m decided on 8. After reading more it seemed correct.

A while back I would not have thought of myself as a leader. Probably more likely the Optimist. But I think now it is true. Also The Helper (connected by the line to 8) is the why of my blog which is nice and The Observer (connected by the other line) corresponds very well to where I see my spiritual practice and growth coming from through mindfulness meditation.

Very cool 🙂 - October 2, 2008

Hm, I am a 1, 8 or 9. Difficult… to make a choice I’d say 1. Interresting that this is body energy, I always thought of myself as a very head-dominated person 🙂

Jenny Mannion - October 2, 2008

Hi Evelyn, I’m with Irene — I had a VERY hard time choosing between 1 and 2. I think I resonate more with #2 but want to try and nurture my 1 side if that makes any sense at all! I know I tend to put others WAY ahead of myself and am working at putting myself first so that I can be of even BETTER help to others… I KNOW that this is true — it’s just hard for me to remember to put into practice sometimes with 2 kids. Very cool post and I love the idea of the Enneagram. I’m with Kelly – I want more! 🙂 Love, Jenny

Bonnie Marcus - October 2, 2008

I guess I’m not surprised to find out I’m a number 1.
This was a fun journey. Thanks.


Avani-Mehta - October 2, 2008

Ok … this is confusing. #2 fits perfectly. That’s what I always do.

But .. I know seek for a good place to cross (#1). Hence not sure whether that means #1 is a wing or I need to be more sure.

Evelyn - October 2, 2008

@Cath, it’ll be a good idea to read up some Enneagram books to get a more accurate reading. I spent like more than 3 hours chatting with Raj, getting myself assessed so that I can be be sure.

Huh? Can’t make a guess as to what type I am? The clue is in the post.

@Stephen, oh my…ok…let me check for type 8…you are a natural leader, self confident, assertive and have a rebellious streak! Glad to know that you are integrating according to your growth lines 🙂

@Myrko, the 1s, 8s and 9s are centered in gut alright. You have to ask yourself how do you make a decision: through your mind or gut feel?

@Jenny, you could be a 2 with a strong 1-wing. I’m glad that you know what you should be working on, if you are a type 2.

Oh yes..thanks for the feedback. I’d like to really think that Enneagram can help provide us with an excellent guide to being whole.

Evelyn - October 2, 2008

@Bonnie, glad that you enjoyed the test!

@Avani, it is possible that you are a type-2 with a strong 1-wing, looking at how helpful you are to others as a blogger. To be sure about what type you are, continue to read more about the Enneagram…LOL!!

tony - October 2, 2008


Very accurate, I scored a 9 so the wings also match with my personality and job. Amazing.

See what I get up to at :)it fits

Charlie Gilkey - October 2, 2008

Having actually done this for a flooding river (and nearly drowning when it over-flooded), I know I’d do two and one. Find the best spot, tie an anchor rope to yourself, cross, and tie the anchor rope to a tree on the other side.

That said, my strongest resonance is with helper and leader. That’s strongly influenced by my belief that you can’t lead without helping others.

Natural - October 2, 2008

this was really interesting. i would have to pick

ONEs approach the river from the one and only perfect place to cross.

if i have to cross, i would look for the perfect place..the others don’t suit me.

Evelyn - October 2, 2008

@Tony, thanks for participating! I’m going to check out your site in a minute!

@Charlie, hahaha…you sure know how best to cross a river! Good for you! With being a one and a two, you can only succeed 🙂

Evelyn - October 2, 2008

@Natural, another One? I’m amazed. There seem to be so many Ones on the blogosphere or at least, the friends I’m attracting.

Daniel Richard - October 2, 2008

Haha looks like I’m the only #6 here.

Harmony - October 2, 2008

Thanks for all the information. I went and took the quick test – I was a 2. Probably most bloggers are…they like to network. 🙂
I don’t usually fix on these tools though, as I expect quantum leaps for me and others in their journey, and the guides seem to limit that expectation.

Evelyn - October 2, 2008

@Daniel, it just shows how cautious you are as a person. It’s good that we all have diverse personalities!

@Harmony, good for you to expect quantum leaps! Enneagram is just a guide and it is not the be-all end-all, as I’ve explained. I don’t usually take to profiling, boxing people up or grouping according to categories neither. Somehow, I see the potential of using it as a way to integrating for accelerated growth. However, I’m still trying to validate these, and will post more according to how my experiments and results go.

Yosef Serebryanski - October 2, 2008

You wave a handkerchief and go across. You go to the place where the energy allows you to flow across.

If your focus is the river then you have very little chance of crossing.
If your focus is the other side then you will probably get there.
Waving means removing the blockage and then you can simply go across.
Also before you go you can stand still and ask the river where it wants you to cross and listen to the answer. You will be guided to the simplest and most protected way.

Hunter Nuttall - October 2, 2008

I took the test, and I’m a 5. Nothing else is even close. I looked up the mapping from enneagrams to Myers-Briggs types, and 5 is associated with my type (INTP).

You’re a 4, aren’t you?

Hunter Nuttall - October 2, 2008

Oh, and I forgot to say that yes, I’d like to learn more.

Davina - October 2, 2008

Hi Evelyn. This was fun! I haven’t done the test yet, but from reading your post I believe my basic type is a 1 (centered in gut/body) with 2 and 3 wings (heart energy). As for you, Hmmmm. Your basic type is a 2?

PS I would be interested to learn more about this. I LUV systems… and breaking them 🙂

Vered - MomGrind - October 2, 2008

I’m number one… an achiever.

I wish I could be #7!

Writer Dad - October 2, 2008

I’m nine. Definitely

Dot - October 2, 2008

I’m a 6.

Tom Volkar / Delightful Work - October 2, 2008

Thnaks fort he interesting article and the resources. You did your job. You have me curious enough to take the test.

SpaceAgeSage -- Lori - October 2, 2008

Excellent overview! I have learned so much from authors Riso and Hudson about integrating my inner selves through understanding my Enneagram type — tough stuff to face sometimes, but great for personal growth.


Marelisa - October 2, 2008

I took the test and I’m an 8, which is what I thought before I took the test 🙂 It’s funny how you can relate personality types to how you would cross a river.

Kelly@SHE-POWER - October 2, 2008

Well the test said I was 7, but only just. The number 2 was close behind, as was number 1. I think I am probably a 7 at heart, but my early life experiences required me to be a 3 and a 1, so I have spent many years focusing on others and achievements and not enough time being the optimistic adventurer I really am!

I’m thinking you’re a 2 maybe. Not sure.

Kelly 🙂

PeaceLoveJoyBliss - October 2, 2008

Hi Evelyn, wonderful post!

As an Observer (confirmed by the test), I would stand by the river and assess for safety and for the easiest way to cross – for my sake, yours, for everyone involved.

I think your introduction would draw me in to learning more about the enneagram. I found it interesting that you’d paint the Observer in a less than ideal light.

Given the complexity of our personalities, I don’t think it’s obvious which type a person best embodies without the requisite knowledge of and experience with types.

I love how you connect the enneagram to its implications for growth, fulfillment, and enlightement. Well done!


Evelyn - October 2, 2008

@Hunter, you’re an observer? Interesting! Didn’t think that your being a 5 is all that clear to me.

Thanks for your feedback. I have not studied M-B; so I am no position to compare. But my NLP coaches are totally into Enneagram and using it extensively in their healing and empowering work for clients now.

I’m very tempted to tell the answer as to what type I am; but then, that would take away the challenge to the rest of the bloggers who have yet to see the post. For now, I’m going to just stay quiet. Stay tuned…LOL!

@Davina, another 1 with an influence of 2 or 3!?! It’s incredulous! I don’t normally enjoy systems all that much…hint hint to my profile type…but Enneagram is proving to be so fascinating!

@Vered, hmmm…you’re a one!?! Ok..ok…I shouldn’t be surprised anymore if any more bloggers say that they are a one. A number 7 is the Direction of Integration for you, if you are a one. This means that you grow best by developing healthy traits of the 7.

Evelyn - October 2, 2008

@WriterDad, go with the flow and with little resistance. Hmmm….you may be right…judging by the easy way in which you write.

@Dot, sixes are the cautious ones. We need more people like you to stop the rest of us from endangering our lives without calculating the risks.

@Tom, and what type are you? You didn’t say!!

Evelyn - October 2, 2008

@Lori, it’s great that you are already using Enneagram as a guide for growth for you. It has been around for 2,000 years but I’ve only heard about it a few months ago.

@Marelisa, oh no…I didn’t relate it to river crossing styles myself. My coach, James, was the one who used the analogy to teach us how to determine ours. However, it immediately struck me that it would be fun to know which types my blogger friends are! It’s better to have a quiz than bore readers with too much description right upfront.

@Kelly, it’s nice to know that you are a 7. Whatever number you may think you have been in your younger days, at least you are now ready to embrace the inner core of you. Go out and have a splash and a BIG PARTY! Don’t forget to invite me along!!

Me a 2? Hehehe….

@Christopher, oh yes…we need your help to look out for the rest of us naughty ones eg. like Kelly who’d rather have a party!!

It is not my intention to paint any type in a less than ideal light. Read what I told Marelisa.

It is true that going by the complexities of a person’s personalities, it will not be easy for everyone to tell our basic core nature. For some, we know ourselves well enough to tell immediately. For others, like myself, we need some assistance to know for sure.

I had to spend 3 hours with Raj on Saturday. I also spent another hour on the line with him yesterday just before publishing this post. I just had to know “who I am” at the very essence.

The implications of the Enneagram to spiritual growth is a well known thing apparently. It is just that we have not heard about it. It’s time to explore more into this modality. I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed my post!

Love, light and truth,

Rita - October 2, 2008

I didn’t even read most of the choices – I decided how, and looked for my corresponding number: 9. Given that I spent 25 years trying to put my broken family back together, there I was! After failing miserably at THAT, I decided that you MUST be missing a number – rather than ever again playing peacekeeper in a war, if I ever had to cross that river again, I’d wait for EVERYBODY ELSE to cross and then stay on the OTHER side of the river in blissful solitude! 🙂
You, however, I know only through your comments and a few posts. I would have to say that your words come across as a #6. Yep, a 6.


Rita - October 2, 2008

I went through the “clues” again, and surprisingly, to me, the “clues” say that you are a number 4, NOT a number 6! I must change my answer, based on clues ONLY, and put you at a number 4.


Peter - October 2, 2008

Very interesting article Evelyn. I think “9” best fits me.

PeaceLoveJoyBliss - October 2, 2008

Hi Evelyn, now that I have some more time, I’ll take a stab at guessing your type.

I intuit that your energy is centred in your body, in your capacity to do, in your strong inclination to take action, which means your type would either be an 8, 9, or 1. Given the intensity of your drive, however, I’d narrow this down to an 8 (Leader) or a 1 (Achiever).

Now this is tricky, because you could either be an 8 with a strong 7-wing (Optimist) or a 1 with a strong 2-wing (Helper). I’ve seen evidence of both in you, but after a cursory reading of the free e-book, I’m led to believe that you’re an Achiever with a strong Helper wing, because I see that, with your restless energy, you’re more inclined to help than to make peace.

Here’s an example. In your post you write, “Growth, in all aspects and beyond measure, is achieved by moving along the Direction of Integration and up the Levels of Development. To attain the highest (the Level of Liberation) of the 9 Levels of Development, we become our highest essence, our (Higher) self at its best.”

Is achieved by … To attain the … our highest essence … our (Higher) self. The language you use is saturated with achievement, with a strong need to achieve the best, the highest, the most. Being an Observer with a strong Romantic wing, I find that the Romantic in me connects rather well with both your Achiever and Helper inclinations.

This is fascinating stuff. In a future post, I’d love to see how you see yourself in terms of your highest, best, most fulfilling path to growth; I would also love for you to share with your readers an illustration of your ideal Direction of Integration. Even as an Observer, I can still very much appreciate your drive and energy to achieve and assist others to achieve.

Keep up the great work, Evelyn. You’re awesome.


Stacey / CreateaBalance - October 2, 2008

My training has taught me to be a #1 (I used to lead white water adventure canoeing trips). My free spirit, that I know is inside of me, looks forward to her next #7 adventure.

Andrea Hess|Empowered Soul - October 2, 2008

Very interesting, Evelyn. I took the online test and turned out to be an eight. It fits, although that’s not what I would have immediately come up with. Great post.


Caroline - October 3, 2008

This is so interesting! I have not heard of this before…but it makes a lot of sense. Thanks for stopping by today! I can’t wait to read more of your posts!

Caroline - October 3, 2008

Oh yeah…I think I am a 9…it’s all about going with the flow 🙂

Evelyn - October 3, 2008

@Rita, was 9 really a true reflection of your underlying motivation and how you make your decisions? There is really no such thing as a good or a bad type. There are strengths and weaknesses in each type.

Even your new suggestion sounds like a very-9 thing to say. But then of course, I may be wrong. I hardly know you.

What is more important is to be extremely self-aware of our basic core nature and to work towards overcoming our weaknesses.

I’m inclined to keep the suspense going for a while longer. I’d probably reveal it soon…stay tuned…LOL!!

@Stacey, are you really #1 or was it your training made you think you are #1? According to the Enneagram, we are kind of born with our innate traits. Then again, I am no expert…so don’t quote me! Yes..if you are a 1, then integrating to a 7 is the next most logical growth step for you!

@Christopher, oh…I have to burst out laughing!!! You probably have a lot of 6 in you. You are analyzing way too much. But good job with the guessing!

You know…I’m pretty surprised. At the time of writing this article, I was very sure that that the clue would be easy to deduce!!

@Andrea, I’m surprised. You sound more like you would flow with the current. Then again, there could be a hint of rebelliousness in you that I may not know about. An eight is someone who is rather decisive and self confident. Excellent traits to have! Interesting!

Dhanachandra - October 3, 2008

Evelyn, would you please provide me your mail id because I have some query & need some help from you

Evelyn - October 3, 2008

@Dhanachandra, please check your email in a minute. I’d be writing to you.

Mags | Woo-Woo Wisdom - October 3, 2008

Ooh, I’m late to the party!

I used to work for a consulting company that did Enneagram workshops in the corporate environment (for management development and teambuilding), so I got really familiar with the Enneagram over that time. As you said, the power of the Enneagram comes from integrating and transcending the types, and I certainly saw many people find value in the system for understanding themselves and others. However, at the end of the day, most people got stuck in the ‘boxes’ of their types, and some even used their types to excuse their behaviour without looking for ways to grow further. It was frustrating…

That said, I’m technically a 4 with a very (VERY!) strong 5 wing 😉

Robin - October 3, 2008

Hi there Evelyn – what a great article!

I hope I would use method one to cross the river – I’m fairly cautious but I do things, so I may well do so.

PeaceLoveJoyBliss - October 3, 2008

Hi Evelyn, I understand myself well enough to know that I have little of the 6 in me, and I don’t think I’m analyzing too much. In fact, I strongly believe I’m spot on with naming your type and wing-type.

It’s apparent you’re trying to pass yourself off as the Optimist (I mean, look at that picture at the end of your post! *wink*), but I think this is a mistake. Your coach, in realizing how serious you are as a 1, might be trying to get you to be less serious, perhaps even going so far as to suggest that you’re an Optimist to balance out your strong Achiever orientation, but I don’t think this is the right way to go to encourage your growth.

As you know, the point of the Enneagram is to wake us up to our full potential, to help us identify our true essence and then find our paths of least resistance to go beyond it to be all that we can be. I know how much of an Achiever you are, and I know how much you enjoy being a Helper. Yes, you can certainly be an optimist, but I wouldn’t believe for a moment that The Optimist is your true essence.

The harsh critic within (being the Achiever that you are) is going to rise up against me here, but please understand that I say all of this with the best of intentions, with kindness in my heart.

Best wishes,

Laurie | Express Yourself to Success - October 3, 2008

I’d have to say I’m a 1, but would amble like a 9 and wish I could join the 7s.

Thanks for the links in the Resource section. As I was finishing the post I was thinking “now how can I get more information on this?” Then voila – there’s a list with an ebook (which I’ve already downloaded) and a book recommendation (which I’ve already put on my list when I’m out shopping). I guess you can tell that I would be keen to learn more. Thanks!

Lance - October 3, 2008

You make this difficult, only getting to choose one Evelyn! I’m struggling between three of them. But…I’ll pick one (so I don’t get in trouble!). I’m going with 2. Which are you? I’m thinking a two also…

And, yes I’m interested in more information on this whole Enneagram Personality Profiling.

I find it interesting that I struggled to choose one answer – I wonder if that’s common…

Sony Handycam - October 3, 2008

None of the above. I would ask for help from some friends and together we would build a bridge. That way no one has to get wet and the bridge is available for others who want to cross later. 🙂

Dot - October 3, 2008

Although my choice was 6, the online test shows me exactly tied between 1 and 4.

Tycoon Dreamer | Tycoon Dreams - October 3, 2008

Wow! Great article. I’ve never heard of the Enneagram before but I think I’ve seen the diagram somewhere. I am a 5,6,7. I like to think about things before I go do it. Yup, I’m analysis-paralysis man. But lately, I’ve been working towards just getting things done and not worrying about over-analyzing things.

Evelyn - October 3, 2008

@Mags, it would have been nice to have your inputs, with your experience in Enneagram. My coaches are trying to help their clients with moving out of the “boxes”. They realize that not many people know how to integrate for growth.

It’s nice to get to know you better 🙂

@Robin, you’re another One? You’re in good company around the blogosphere. So many Ones for friends!

Evelyn - October 3, 2008

Hello Christopher, hmmm…it’s interesting that you see me as an Achiever or a Type One as well. Indeed, I do see certain traits in me that can point to a One.

Believe me…I’m not trying to pass off as anything. I don’t feel the need to. It is not in the interest of my coaches to suggest anything either. If I recall my few conversations with Raj, his style was a mere invitation for me to analyze for myself what my type was. He refused to provide me an answer but gave me enough questions to ponder over.

I am definitely aware of your kind intentions. Let me thank you for taking the time to analyze what my profile type is. Your analysis is detailed and has sent me into deeper thoughts.

Love, light and truth,

Evelyn - October 3, 2008

@Laurie, you know…each type has its strengths and weaknesses 🙂

I just checked with my coach. The book he likes best is Head versus Heart and Our Gut Reactions: The 21st Century Enneagram by Michael Hampson.

@Lance, oh…it’s not me who say that you have to choose one type. Blame it on the Enneagram!! According to the Enneagram, each of us has a basic type. It is the wings that give us our shades of character.

It’s not uncommon not to know. Not knowing simply means that it is time to get to know yourself best…LOL!! If you are to ask me, I think you’re a 2! But don’t take my word for it. I am not an expert in this field!

@Sony, how ingenious!! And because you can dream up another possibility and this points to creativity, I’d say that you are a type 4.

@Dot, don’t rely on the online test. A complete profiling requires you to answer a lot more questions and to go through an interview. Alternatively, you can borrow a book on Enneagram to help identify which type you really are.

@Tycoon Dreamer, it’s good that you have identified where your potential “stuck” points are and doing something about it. Well done 🙂

Betsy - October 3, 2008

Hi Evelyn,
Not surprisingly, I am a 9. But 1, 2, and 3 were within several percentage points. Maybe I’m more aware of the toll being a 9 takes on the self? Very interesting test! Thanks!

PeaceLoveJoyBliss - October 3, 2008

Hi Evelyn, I appreciate your feedback on my comment.

I’m glad to hear you’re not trying to pass yourself off as something you’re not, for this would be a violation of your true essence. Judging from the tone of your feedback to others in this thread, I was genuinely concerned that this was what you were doing.

I’m also glad to hear that your coach, Raj, explored your type in the style of an invitation. For this is exactly what is required to come to an understanding about something as complex as your core essence.

In our exchange of ideas and viewpoints, I’ve come to realize more fully that no one can presume to know (or question) your true essence. They might have strong opinions or objections about it, but ultimately, with enough knowledge and experience, only you can know.

Love, light, and truth,

Rita - October 3, 2008


I read and re-read your response to me. I believe that were we to do this “in the blind” – not knowing what each number meant afterwards, I would consistently come up with the equivalent of 9 every time. None of the others work for me. Were 9 not there, I would have gone with 2 – but after carefully considering drowning as an alterntative.


Brandi Magill - October 3, 2008

I am definitely a #2…sometimes I get in too deep as I forget to take care of myself. Beautifully written post might I add!

Evelyn - October 3, 2008

@Betsy, basic fears of the nine are loss and separation. Your Direction of Integration, or where your growth path is most natural to be, is three. As you move up to and if you are already in the Healthy Levels of Development, you are fulfilled, intensely alive and fully connected to self and others.

@Rita, you’ve got a good point there. Don’t attach yourself to the “labels”. Just look at the numbers and do not exercise any judgement.

What is important is to separate the behavior from your underlying motivation (which makes up the core and essence). Your behavior may mislead you into believing that you are another type; but in actual fact, your actions are being driven by something else (which is your true Type).

@Brandi, thanks for participating! What’s cool about the twos are that they’re compassionate, generous, funny and very kind.

Friar - October 4, 2008

What about another category? :

People who use available resources on the shore-line, to make the crossing easier for everyone else.

(i.e. logs, ropes tied to trees).

You could label those the “Bridge Builders”.

I think they’d be much smarter then the dumb eights, who just waste all that energy and plow against the current.

(Sorry, I think eights are just STUPID!)

Even going diagonally, with the current, is so much better. 😉

J.D. Meier - October 4, 2008

Great post Evelyn.

The Achiever sounds like a perfectionist. Seems like to be an achiever in today’s world you need to be flexible and a bridge builder.

The law of attraction in action? (or at least R.A.S) I happened to be researching personality types and lenses for human behavior. I just got done reviewing the 16 types in Myers-Brigg and now I see your write up on the 9 basic types.

I like the fact you showed the dimensions of the Enneagram (mind, body, heart). Briggs uses inward/outward energy, processing information, decision making, and how you organize your life.

Rita - October 4, 2008

When will you be revealing your mumber?

Al at 7P - October 4, 2008

Hi Evelyn – I never knew about enneagrams until this post. I’m a big fan of personality types, but not to box other people, rather to better understand myself. This was a great exercise!

Jean Browman--Cheerful Monk - October 4, 2008

I’m a Six, which is why I have a blog about Transforming Stress Into Personal Power.

I love the Enneagram for the insights it gives. I’m a Tom Condon fan myself and have several of his tape series and have attended one of his workshops. I also like the book The Enneagram Made Easy.

Lisa - October 4, 2008

I’m a six and studying the Enneagram has made a tremendous difference in my relationships. Sixes tend to be critical of others. I’ve learned to be more compassionate and not make snap judgments of others. I’ve learned to stop looking outside myself for the answers and to trust my intuition more, and trusting myself has led to trusting others more. One of my favorite books is The Enneagram in Love & Work by Helen Palmer.

Ariel - We Are All One - October 5, 2008

The enneagram! I’m so glad you brought this up, Evelyn. I’m a five with a six wing.

It’s amazing how eye-opening the enneagram can be. It really gives you some deep insights into your personality, enlightens you to the realization that other people see the world in a totally different way than you, helps you better relate to other people in a way that is most effective for them, and so on. It’s an extremely valuable tool.

Evelyn - October 5, 2008

@Friar, you sound like Sony (read above). Ingenuity or new ways of looking at things are traits of the creative person. I’d say you are a type 4 too! Just a guess & having some fun here…LOL!!

@J.D. Meier, rightly put. The Achiever is the perfectionist with an inclination to the heart energy, as compared to the Peacemakers. They make very good leaders.

I really need to go over my notes on the Myers-Briggs test once again. I did it some years back. However, I did not take to it then. I could have some resistance to personality profiling previously.

Funnily, I am now taking to the Enneagram. I can’t quite put my finger to it.

@Rita, pretty soon 🙂 I was so busy during the entire weekend, with new learning! I am in the midst of a draft, which I will be publishing some hours from now.

@Al, have you worked out your Profile Type yet? You did not say.

@Jean, thanks for sharing about your site and recommending a new name to learn Enneagram from. I’d be interested to check these out!

@Lisa, I’m looking for a book on Enneagram for relationships. You must have heard my prayers 🙂

@Ariel, ahhh…you’re a big fan too!?! Wonderful! I’d like to learn more from others on how Enneagram has helped them improve their lives. I’d like to read more real life examples!

Pink Ink - October 6, 2008

Evelyn, I know this was a “serious” post, but I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the descriptions! Hate to admit it, but I’d probably be 6! 🙂

MizFit - October 6, 2008

a 2.

didnt think Id get across but I sure love helping others and seeing THEIR JOY at reaching the other bank.

Katie West/Life Renovations - October 6, 2008

Hmm…this was a fun post with great comments….even kept me awake when I was determined to get to bed!

I think it is funny that someone was so against an 8 type because (sorry to be literal but I used to lead wilderness trips) when crossing a river, you are to face upstream the same way like when you are ferrying a canoe across a river. You aren’t actually working against the river but using its force to guide you along with your own efforts. It is actually a more empowered approach that passively floating like 9.

Anyway, just a thought as I was having fun with it. What about the “maven” that is a nickname my friend’s have for me. The person that people know has done research and turn to as a resource and at the same time is not afraid to set their own course.

Okay, maybe I will go take the test now and find out what “type” I am…thanks Evelyn. I love this kind of stuff and challenging it too (gosh, what does that say?!)

Good job getting so many folks invested!

Evelyn - October 7, 2008

@Pink Ink, I’m glad that you are having fun! You used the words “hate to admit it” in your feedback. In my opinion, there is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s just the way you are; being more careful and all. We need diversity, otherwise we’d all end up the same!

@Mizfit, that’s nice! You are the nurturing type that friends and family like to turn to!

@Katie, I hope this post did not rob you of too much sleep…LOL!! Yes…there is no wrong or bad Type, really. Eights may be more empowered but they are not as “giving” as compared to the Nines. What’s important is to embrace healthy traits, be aware of how you react to stress and also grow in the path of least resistance.

Hmmm…I guess that to be a maven does not take away operating out from home base first. You then develop the healthiest traits that naturally aligns to your core Type, for more empowered living.

Oh do go ahead and take the test. Don’t forget to post your results in this post or the next on which Type you are! It’s a great way for other bloggers to know you better too!

Katie West/Life Renovations - October 7, 2008

Funny. Funny. Same thing happens when I take the Myers Briggs. I was almost exactly even in several different categories. 1, 2, 9, 7, 6, 3 were all within a couple points of each other.
But ultimately, I guess I would say I am a 1 with a strong 2 wing.

So much fun. As usual, you have great energizing posts!

Evelyn - October 7, 2008

Hi Katie, don’t rely on the online test totally. When I took the test, I ended up with a different Type. In my opinion, if you have been working on yourself and are very involved in your self growth, you would have gathered a ton of healthy traits across all Types. It’s easy to be off the mark.

Also, if you have in your life experience encountered many different situations, you would have employed different life strategies. I shared more of these in my new post.

It’s good to reflect and determine what your underlying motivations are. Honestly, I won’t be surprised if you are a One with a strong 2-wing!

Thanks for participating in the fun! I have to confess that I enjoy provoking my readers into more thought and challenging them on the creative front!

Love, light and truth,

Chad @ Sentient Money - October 8, 2008

Interesting, but I’m not sure how useful it is, as my type would change by the situation. I tested out as a type 5, but I can guarantee I would be a type 1 or 8 in the river crossing scenario. The good thing about these tests is that they make us think, but I don’t know how much we can take away from they type we test out as.

Enjoyed the article, so I will be back.

Grace - October 10, 2008

Hi Evelyn,
I’m definitely an 8. What nice wings, though. A very nice introduction to Enneagram work!
My favorite creek has recently taken to replacing the stepping stones with LOGS to traverse across. Not half as much fun!

Very nice post. G.

CK Reyes - October 11, 2008

I’ve taken a class on the enneagram and my number came up as 70% when I took this free test. Have you read, “The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram?” I love it. How do you imagine one would look for their purpose in life according to each number? I’d be very interested to have your opinion on this…

Evelyn - October 12, 2008

@Chad, I operate out of other Types as the situation calls for as well. I’m pretty sure that most of the bloggers would report the same.

But according to the Enneagram, we have a home base, a core. It is the core that drives most if not all of our actions. If we can know what exact Type we are, we also have a clearer idea of our gifts, temptations, stress points, etc.

The Enneagram is different from other personality tests. It is a dynamic system. It is a way to show you out of the “box” that you are in. One of the pitfalls of other personality profiling tests is that you are put into a box (a defined set of attributes) but then, you are not shown the way out. Enneagram helps you with this.

Oh yes…do come back to my site. I’d be exploring more stuff about the Enneagram. I’ve been trying to make space for learning from my coach. His experience and knowledge is helpful in understanding Enneagram’s practical applications rather than reading from a book.

Thanks for enjoying my post!

Evelyn - October 12, 2008

@Grace, definitely a clever idea to build logs across the river! If you have one, I’m sure that I’d hop on and dance across too!! Thanks for liking this post!

@CK Reyes, no…I have not read the book yet. I’d be keen to read it, if it is any good. I’d be posting more articles on Enneagram. Do keep a lookout for them!

Liara Covert - October 17, 2008

This is a fascinating post. Its interesting to note that some people do not fit comfortably or easily into one particular category. I am familiar with mixed personality types that would feel they fall under more than one number described by this spiritual roadmap. To me, each experience is a new opportunity to learn more about yourself. Raising self-awareness is meaningful.

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