The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron [Book Summary – Review]

We live in an ERA where self-care and self-reflection are extremely important. But, it can be difficult to identify where to start when beginning on your self-seeking journey. Should you use religion or a therapist, meditation, or literature?

Enneagram – which is a diagram that can assist you to reflect on your personality – is a great place to begin. In these book chapters, you’ll find out about the history of the Enneagram and also learn about the different types of personality symbolized by each of its nine points, as well as how these types interact with each other.

How will that assist you to get more aware of your personal feelings as well as behavior patterns? The answer to that is easy: You can just work on your weaknesses and flaws if you identify them and know the reason why you behave the manner you do. With the aid of the Enneagram, you’ll quickly be reasoning more analytically and making good life decisions due to that.

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Chapter 1 – Dating back to olden times, the Enneagram is a nine-point diagram utilized for self-knowledge.

What do you think of when you hear the term “Enneagram”? If you instantly think about a five-pointed symbol being set ablaze in some Wiccan ceremony, then you’ve made a mistake that is forgivable. That’s the pentagram. On the other hand, the Enneagram has nine points and doesn’t have anything to do with the occult; like the pentagram, but, it does have origins in olden history.

The Enneagram of personality types is an outcome of olden Christian theology. Its exact roots are not known; however, some individuals think that it can be dated back to Evagrius Ponticus, a fourth-century Christian monk and theologian who is as well usually accredited with having formed the idea of the seven deadly sins. However, Christianity isn’t the only religion to feature the Enneagram. Taoism, Judaism as well as Sufism, feature-related nine-pointed diagrams utilized for spiritual assistance.

During the 1970s, these customs of olden wisdom were brought together by the Bolivian philosopher Oscar Ichazo to create the contemporary Enneagram structure. Afterward, it was brought to America by one of Ichazo’s pupils at the Aric school in Chile – an American psychologist known as Claudio Naranjo. In turn, Naranjo taught the Enneagram to his students in California, and of his students was Father Robert Ochs. As a Catholic Jesuit priest and educator, Ochs extended the spiritual teachings of the Enneagram to fellow clergy, other spiritual leaders, as well as his own worshipers.

Therefore, what is the Enneagram, precisely? Its name originates from Greek – ennea signifies “nine” and gram signifies “drawing” or “figure” – and its nine-pointed geometric design is utilized as a help to self-knowledge.

Altogether, there are nine kinds of personality, and each of the Enneagram’s nine points links to one. Every one of these is connected to a number on the diagram, which can inform us more about how we view the world, and how we feel as well as act. Every type of personality is as well connected to other numbers across the diagram, which can assist us to know how we behave in different circumstances, like when under stress.

Lastly, each type of personality has two adjacent numbers referred to as “wing numbers,” both of which may further influence your type.

At this moment, you might be wondering, “OK, but how does this assist me?” Well, the key purpose of the Enneagram is to assist you to reflect on the shortcomings in your nature, in order for you to consciously move toward personal enlightenment. Not just that – you can as well make use of it to understand more about the behavior of family and friends. By sympathizing with their approach to life, you’ll be able to communicate very more effectively.

In the following chapter, we’ll examine the first six personality types.

Chapter 2 – The Enneagram’s first six personality types are classified under the Gut Triad and the Heart Triad.

The nine points of the Enneagram can be categorized into three different groups or triads. These are the Gut, the Heart, and the Head. Let’s first take a closer examination at the Gut.

The popular motivation connecting the personality types in the Gut Triad is anger.

Consider the Eight type which is the Challenger. The Challenger will usually be the first to talk out when she notices something that is wrong. They are natural ringleaders as a result of their direct and forceful nature. Their failure to display vulnerability is their weakness, which restrains them from having really important relationships. Usually, they show anger by seeking out verbal or physical conflict.

Type 9 which is Peacemaker, is the polar opposite. They will avoid conflict by all means Usually able to notice both aspects of an argument, the amiable Peacemaker is a natural mediator. But, because they never want to annoy others, they subdue their own anxieties and annoyances, which leads to their not asking for, and hence not getting, what they require from relationships.

The third type in the Gut Triad is type One, known as the Perfectionist. As the name implies, Perfectionists are moral, self-disciplined, and more interested in detail. Making themselves better and the universe is their main concern. They have a tendency to see all things as either right or wrong, black or white. When others break the rules or leave their duty, Perfectionists get annoyed. This anger is internalized as dislike.

The three types of personality in the Heart Triad are described by their emotions and feelings.

Just consider type Two – the Helper. The Helper is an extremely caring feature. Motivated by the urge to feel needed by other people, they are self-sacrificing. But the weakness is that Helpers have a tendency to allow relationships to define them, and dodge showing their own needs. Likewise, they feel that they are owed something by other people for the care they give. Overall, they tend to every other person’s feelings except their own.

Type Three is the Performer. This type creates big goals and acquires great fulfillment from accomplishing them. The more efficient, productive, and successful they get, the bigger their sense of self-worth. The negative aspect for Performers is self-delusion, and incompetence to admit to their own flaws. Performers find it challenging to recognize feelings in themselves as well as others and are extremely conscious of their image.

Concluding the Heart Triad is type Four – the Romantic. Romantics are naturally really in tune with every of the beauty and disaster in the universe and can appreciate the entire spectrum of the human experience. Their flaw is that they tend to isolate themselves from other people, which can cause melancholy, unpredictability, and self-absorption.

Chapter 3 – The last three Enneagram numbers are classified under the Head Triad.

Have you discovered a type of personality that you relate to yet? If not, you’ll most likely see yourself in the Head Triad.

The three features symbolized by the Head Triad are all motivated by fear.

The first one of these is type Five – the Investigator. Investigators get extreme pleasure from discussing their wealth of understanding with everybody they come across. They’re extremely independent and they have the ability to give reasonable, objective opinions. Their weakness is their fear of needing to depend on other people. This manifests in their personality as defensiveness and cynicism, and an inclination to judge other people.

Type Six is a dependable and open Loyalist. These types are devoted to serving other people in their society and family. Loyalists feel comfortable with rules and instruction, finding security and stability. What makes them feel concerned is the fear of not having this security. They consider the worst that may occur, at times changing little anxieties into severe paranoia. Instead of displaying fear in reaction to real crises, type 6 personalities make an issue out of all nagging fear.

Finishing the Head Triad and the Enneagram is type Seven – the Enthusiast. The Enthusiast is the life and soul of the party with a glass-half-full viewpoint on life. Their high-spirited nature makes type Seven individuals really famous with their peers; however, there are disadvantages. Enthusiasts find it hard to devote to anything. They run after pleasure to flee from any negative feelings and are the type most vulnerable to addiction. Driven by a fear of negative feelings, they fill their plans with social events, pack their homes with material goods, and keep making goals to make themselves preoccupied.

Now you’re conversant with the whole triads and each personality type in them. If you still don’t think that you belong to one type, don’t bother. The Enneagram lets you use a more nuanced method. In order to do that, we have to turn to the wing numbers.

Chapter 4 – Every number on the Enneagram has a powerful connection with two wing numbers.

Assuming you feel like a Romantic by nature; however, you don’t view yourself as eccentric enough. The secret to the ideal fit may be in your wing numbers.

Similar to how a wingman stays behind you, giving you moral support, the wing numbers stay on either side of your number, boosting your personality type with some of their own features.

In order to know your wing numbers, check the right and left of your own Enneagram number. By knowing the entire three of these types, you can tweak how you describe your personality.

Let’s reflect back to the illustration from the start of this chapter and examine type Four – the Romantic – in more detail. Romantics have a tendency to be creative souls, like actors, writers, artists, and filmmakers –individuals who flourish in storytelling and melodrama. As kids, they usually feel misjudged; however, they learn to maximize their differences to stand out. Sadly, they know that this doesn’t bring about the thing they actually make attempt for: the sense that they belong.

Either aspect of type Four is types Three and Five – the Performer and the Investigator.

A type Four with a Three wing is known as a “4w3.” As you’ll recall, Performers are competitive and they are motivated by goals. Romantics who use these features will think that, in addition to being different and special, they have to as well be the best. Being image-conscious, 4w3 types act in a manner that’s more socially acceptable than the eccentricity of an absolute Romantic, whereas their concentration on goals enables them more likely to make ideas become a realization.

Now, consider a “4w5” – a Four with a Five wing. These types are very more introverted and calm. They accept the more eccentric aspect of their personality and they are proud of their exceptionality; however, they don’t have the exact desire for credit as the 4w3. Under the influence of the Investigator’s personality, a 4w5 considers a lot of socializing tiring and wants time alone. A different dissimilarity is that they decide to handle feelings by themselves instead of sharing or acting on them.

Are you prepared to go even deeper? Good. Since your type may be influenced by yet more numbers. In the following chapter, you’ll discover how a stressful circumstance can change a Perfectionist into a Romantic.

Chapter 5 – Also, every number on the Enneagram takes on the features of their security or stress number.

At this point, you most likely have a decent understanding of what your key personality type is, and the wing number that best fits with it. That’s a good thing because it’s now time to examine your security and stress numbers.

When you’re feeling secure and safe, your security number gives its positive features to your own personality number.

This is how they’re connected:

Perfectionists lend the security features of the Enthusiast; the Helper receives from the Romantic; the Performer takes from the Loyalist; the Romantic takes from the Perfectionist; the Investigator takes from the Challenger; the Loyalist receives from the Peacemaker; the Enthusiast takes from the Investigator; the Challenger takes from the Helper; and the Peacemaker from the Performer.

In order to notice how these functions, consider the self-disciplined type One Perfectionist with the internal critic. Perfectionists’ security number is seven – the Enthusiast. Perfectionists get comfortable when they don’t have any responsibility, like when they’re on holiday or chilling with friends, and this is the moment they pick some of the features of the Enthusiast. When they feel secure, Perfectionists get sociable, adventurous, and self-confident.

However, similar to how your number can lend positives in the good periods, it can as well pick negatives when things aren’t good. These negative features come from your stress number, as follows:

During stressful situations, the Perfectionist takes the features of the Romantic; the Helper takes from the Challenger; the Performer takes from the Peacemaker; the Romantic takes from the Helper; the Investigator takes from the Enthusiast; the Loyalist takes from the Performer; the Enthusiast takes from the Perfectionist; the Challenger takes from the Investigator; then the Peacemaker takes from Loyalist.

Now let’s examine how these functions. Assuming a Perfectionist needs to remain late at the office or is having relationship issues. Under the influence of lent features from the Romantic personality type, their self-esteem may be ruined, and they can get depressed and become sensitive to criticism. The small voice in their head will say to them that they’re not as good as others.

That may sound depressing; however, understanding and knowing how your stress number influences your deed is a beneficial manner to assess which things you consider overwhelming. Think of the reason why you’re feeling the manner you’re feeling and prevent yourself from slipping into bad habits. The more self-aware you get, the simpler it would be for you to make good choices.

To summarize it well, your security number is the manner you behave on payday. Your stress number is how you behave when you view your account and see that everything is gone on the rent.

Chapter 6 – Every number on the Enneagram has a matching deadly sin.

The features of your stress number as well as your deadly sin may be related; however, they appear in really different manners. Although your stress number is a negative response, your deadly sin is a negative motivation.

You can’t run from it. All personality types have a deadly sin – a shadowy side that has to be tempered.

Perfectionist’s sin is anger. The principles to which they hold themselves as well as others are extremely high that failure to measure up is unavoidable. When a thing doesn’t reach their expectations, Perfectionists’ anger shows as a slow-burning hatred that they hold onto.

Pride is the downfall for the Helper, as they believe they understand what’s best for every other person.

Performers are in jeopardy of losing their sense of self, as they get really accustomed to projecting a picture they want other people to see.  Deceit is their deadly sin is deceit – both of themselves and of other people.

Envy is the deadly sin of Romantic. As they’re really eccentric and melancholic, they find it challenging to fit in with other people. They can’t help but feel jealous of people who discover their own happiness and place in society with comfort.

As you know, Investigator types are extremely self-sufficient. This routine needs a lot of energy as well as resources. By sustaining this energy for their own usage, they perpetrate the sin of avarice.

Whereas, Loyalists, who yearn for safety and security, are directed by the sin of fear.

The sin of gluttony is given to the Enthusiast, as this type will gorge on pleasure to divert themselves from any negative emotions. They usually go really overboard that they form destructive addictions.

The Challenger personality – aggressive and confrontational – is guilty of the sin of lust in their yearning to gain power as well as control over other people. They do this so as to distract themselves from their own shortcomings.

Lastly, the sin of sloth symbolizes the Peacemakers. By involving themselves only with the issues of other people, they get slothful in handling their own difficulties.

If you’re frightened by having to deal with the most negative side of your personality, just bear in mind–all type has its own shadowy part. Half the struggle is knowing your shadowy deeds. The other half is ensuring that you have them in control in order for you to be your best self. By knowing the different aspects of each personality characteristic, you’ll be able to give the gift of compassion – the basis of any close relationship – on the people that surround you.

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron, Suzanne Stabile Book Review

The Enneagram is an olden diagram with origins in Christianity. It can be utilized to acquire more self-knowledge, and also to know the behavior of the people that surrounds us. By pinpointing your own personality type in the Enneagram, and knowing how your type reacts to specific circumstances, you’ll be on the path to making better, more informed choices in life.

Assist your colleagues to find happiness in their work with the aid of the Enneagram.

The Enneagram has been utilized to assist workers to get career fulfillment in a variety of workplaces, as well as Motorola, the Oakland A’s baseball team, the Vatican clergy, and the CIA. Therefore, why don’t you help your coworkers to find their type? This will deepen their knowledge of their personal work routines, and assist them to figure out the tasks they’ll naturally do better at. For example, if a person is a type Five Investigator, she’ll naturally do better at analytical tasks, while a person that is type One Perfectionist will do better when concentrating on one project.

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