I’ve been blogging now for a year. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already. A blog is something I’ve always considered doing and wanted to do but just never did it (did you track with me there lol). I love talking about leadership which was the focus of my website for a long time. But as you can see now, I changed the entire name of my website. Why? Because I’m ready to just blog on life.
Becoming a dad just a couple short months ago has changed my perspective on what really matters. And on what I want to be “known” for. The focus is now on the legacy I want to leave as a man who follows Jesus. Not that it wasn’t before but before I wanted to be known as a leadership guru. That ambition has evolved into just wanting to be known as a good man who loved Jesus by loving others well. And that starts with my family, which has grown as of 2 months ago.
The New Focus
The new focus of this blog will be as simple as that = it’s a blog. It’s a blog/journey of my life as a follower of Jesus, a husband, a daddy, a CrossFitter, and more. While the focus is changing, my heart remains the same. I want to share my story. I want you to laugh. I want you and I to both be encouraged by one another. I want to help families (and dads like myself). I want myself and other dads to be able to function well. I want to simply write my thoughts, reflections, and insights in hopes of encouraging and uplifting someone else. So, that’s where the new focus will be.
The reason I went with The Functional Dad’s Journey is best described using CrossFit. See, CrossFit as a fitness movement is solely focused on functional fitness. Not show muscles but functional ones that can actually DO stuff. That’s why I like it so much. Well, when thinking of a blog direction for this new ambition, CrossFit came to mind. I want that same mentality for this blog = functional fatherhood. Here’s where I’ll write how I’m being functional as a dad. Lessons I’m learning, things I do right, lots I do wrong, and more are all going to be on here.
Being the functional Dad allows for the enjoyment of life and being a husband/father. You’ll see product reviews for the things I’m using to stay functional. Some of you really like when I post WOD’s (workouts of the day) so those will occasionally make an appearance. I’ll mainly blog about my experiences and the lessons I’m learning. Strap it, this will be fun!
One last thing, and I really mean this, THANK YOU for subscribing and following this journey.
This post will be simple and to the point. We talk a lot around here of the Enneagram. Often when someone is introducing you to the Enneagram, they have you take a test or something to discover your type. The next step they take you on is dissecting your type. While it’s important to know and understand your True Self, perhaps a better method is to begin with how your “Type” views the world. All of us view the world through a certain point of view. Each type on the Enneagram falls into one of three of what are known as the “triads.” These are also known as “The Intelligence Centers.” This is where we find our natural discernment. Let’s dive in a little further.
The Whole Self, made up of THREE Centers
Within the teachings of Plato you will discover that he also realized there were THREE distinct “centers” in which human beings view the world and gather discernment. Discernment is: this inner knowledge we all possess of how to react to that which we perceive. It’s the ability to judge what is good, true, and appealing. Our friend, Plato is quoted in his teachings in which he identifies the THREE centers:
“Human behavior flows from three sources: desire (body), emotion (heart), and knowledge (head).”
If you follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, He also recognized THREE ways in which we love God. His teaching is echoed from God’s command to Ancient Israel from Deuteronomy 6:5. Check it out:
“Love the Most High God with all your heart, your soul, and your mind.”
Jesus in Matthew 22:37
There is no doubt we must understand that there are THREE centers that make up the WHOLE SELF. One of the major gifts of the Enneagram is that it will show you which of these THREE Centers you discern the world through. Each of us will gravitate towards one of the THREE Centers which is revealed to us through discovering our “Type” on the Enneagram. It’s an incredible realization that helps us understand so much of life.
Center #1: Instinctive, Gut, Anger
This Center is where our 8’s (Challengers), 9’s (Peacemakers), and 1’s (Perfectionists) reside. These Types experience life through their instincts. They engage the world through activity and attempt to maintain control through what they can “do.” These people are instinctive and more impassioned than those in the other 2 triads. A great word for these types can be intensity. Eights want to dominate, Nines want to negotiate, Ones want to correct. Gut people want to harness energy and enact it through action to build a better world. A pitfall is they can also seem like they are annoyed or angry at everything when they are stressed and not very self-aware.
Center #2: Feelings, Heart, Shame
This Center is where our 2’s (Helpers), 3’s (Performers), and 4’s (Individualists) reside. These types experience life through their Emotional Intelligence, more so than the other 2 triads. They desire connection with others and suffer from comparison of themselves to others. It’s a constant teeter-totter. These people are way more in touch with emotions than most. Twos want to be loved for who they are, Threes want to be admired, Fours want to be set apart and loved as special. These Types become a great source of love for the world and do good things that bring great balance. A pitfall with these Types is they can lose themselves in comparison and thus never feel “good enough.”
Center #3: Thinking, Head, Fear
This Center is where our 5’s (Investigators), 6’s (Loyalists), and 7’s (Enthusiasts) reside. These types experience life through intellect and possess highly developed mental faculties. They can assess and address everything, especially the things in life perceived as a threat. They think if they can master their environment, they can secure their own self-preservation. Fives analyze everything, Sixes constantly plan, and Sevens crave experience. The fear of these Types is mainly their own pain and they will seek to avoid it at all costs. They must work to quiet their inner distress to achieve peace. They provide the world with a great source of wisdom and courage when they master their fears! A pitfall with these Types is they can seem disconnected and unemotional.
3 Centers make up ONE beautiful picture
You know what I love about the Enneagram? It shows how we all need one another. All of us working together makes up the THREE Centers of the Whole Self! Unity can paint a beautiful picture of this thing called life. Wherever you reside on the Enneagram, know that you are absolutely essential to making a difference in this world.
Another gift of the Enneagram triads is that you gain a much better understanding of how you view the world. Your motives for why you do what you do become clearer and you can gain a great emotional awareness (an essential of raising your Emotional Intelligence) of yourself and can move through life with much more clarity.
Once you discover your “Type” on the Enneagram, your first step should be to understand the triad you are a part of. Is your main point of view of the world accessed from the Head, Heart, or Gut? This is an important and enlightening step you must take in your Ennea-Journey!
I remember the evening I first heard the word “Enneagram” very vividly. My wife and I met with a couple in the same field as us at the time (youth ministry). Sitting in their living room after our couples’ date night, he pulled out a yellow book titled “The Road Back to You” by Ian Cron. He then went on to describe how he thought I was a “7” on what was called the Enneagram… I said, “The EnneaWHAT?” This started a 2 hour exhilarating and lively discussion on this little symbol that would change my life.
My friend originally thought I was a “7” and so did I until he read the “8.” We were both wrong! Turns out I was actually an “8” with a strong “7” wing. As my friend went on to read through how an “8” (known as the Challenger) views life, struggles, and also experiences life change it intrigued me to purchase the book and begin my own study. I’m glad I did!
Ever since that evening I have been on a journey studying and growing in the desire to help others experience the peace and freedom from knowing how they are wired and how to grow in life. I currently serve at a church in the Indianapolis area with a main role in leadership development. Helping people experience hope and overcome obstacles as they strive towards their big ambitions sets my heart on fire. My hope is that you will be encouraged by the content you find here.
So, the Enneagram?
So what’s the Enneagram you ask? The short answer = a life changing realization… The Enneagram is a journey you take to self discovery. It will uncover everything from your personality, to temperament, to how you engage with stress, to how you can grow to accomplish your big ambitions. It’s a symbol that contains all the different personalities and temperaments. The reason it’s a journey towards self discovery is that it not only tells you your strengths but it highlights (sometimes painfully so) your areas you need to grow in to truly experience your best life. That’s what sets the Enneagram journey apart from other personality and temperament systems.
Every person falls on one of the “types” on the Enneagram (see above graphic for names for each type). There are 9 different types. They are all unique, gifted, and all connected to each other. Every person has their “type”, which is located within one of the “triads.” They also have a “wing” and a type they go towards in “stress” and another they go towards in “growth.” We will cover all of these in this brief intro to the Enneagram.
There’s 3 triads everyone lands in. There’s the “gut/anger” triad, the “heart/feeling” triad, and the “head/fear” triad. Each personality is ultimately driven by a driving emotion: anger, fear, or feelings. Your triad helps you understand how you take in, process, and respond to what happens in life.
I mentioned earlier that there are “wings.” These are the numbers on either side of your number. I’m an 8, so my potential wings are 7 and 9. You may lean towards one of these numbers, which would be your “wing.” I lean towards the 7 because I’ve picked up some of a 7’s characteristics and energy. How do I know? Well I have a natural drive to lead and take charge, I fear being controlled, I love adventure and am so enthusiastic that it’s often hard (dare I say impossible) to slow down. As you grow in your Enneagram journey you will become more self-aware and not fear your shortcomings. Just one of the many reasons I love this journey.
When you are under stress, annoyed, or around a person you would call a “sandpaper person” you move towards the number that points away from your number. In the graphic above, you move towards the red arrow coming from your number. As an 8, when I am under stress, I move towards inheriting the negative traits of a 5. I become very “business only.” I will neglect empathy and will view tasks a more important than people. I become very “hands off.” I have a tendency, as an 8, to want submission from everyone I’m in conflict with rather than resolution. Ouch; still hurts to admit that!
Some call this your security or health number. When you are feeling secure, open to growth, and positive you will move towards the number that is pointing towards your number. In the graphic above, you move towards the black arrow coming from your number. As a strong 8, I will move towards the healthy traits of a 2. I want to help people out of a genuine love and care for them. I will put my own needs aside and focus on others. I want to help more than dominate.
Um, that’s great but I still have questions…
That’s a quick rundown but I’m sure you still have questions! That’s great, you should. It shows you’re hungry to learn and grow. Lucky for you there are TONS or great resources out there to help you identify your Enneagram type/number and start your path to growth. This blog is one of them so stay tuned and subscribe to keep learning and growing. There’s lots more coming your way right here! You could also pick up Ian Cron’s book and get to reading (it’s really good).
The truth is, only you can truly determine your Enneagram number. If you’re willing to do the hard work and address your “stuff” you will surely discover your truest self and can begin your path to life change. I’m still on this journey and love being able to be with you on yours. See you next time!