Thursday, April 25, 2013

V is for Variety (is the Spice of Life)

You will have learned from my T post, dealing with my Enneagram personality type, that I am a No.5 - I observe and I think. I drink in information and I analyse.

I typified this in my student days. I wanted to know the deep minutiae of my subject matter. I would research the latest and greatest books on my chosen topic and in many cases actually acquire them. If you read my ‘T’ post, then this may come as no surprise to you. I remember wanting to go to the deepest level of understanding how computers worked. Outside of my studies, I developed a great interest in classical music. I subscribed to the best music review periodicals and took up singing in my local Choral Society to turn some of the theory into practice.

When I started work, I firmly believe my personality type held me back, or at least got me off to a slow start. I was afraid, yes, afraid to offer opinions or to challenge the views of others lest I was found deficient in the knowledge and understanding. Pretty pathetic, when I reflect on it now.

But experience has changed me. I'm still basically a No.5 - in fact, they say in the Enneagram that you never change your basic personality type - once a 5, always a 5. But your personality develops and can go along both healthy and unhealthy lines. My healthy development path is towards a No.8 - which is self-confident, decisive, willful, and confrontational in nature.

For me, the key to this has been variety. These days, it is more important to me to have a wider range of interests rather than to be deeply knowledgeable in just one or two areas. For me, this is what adds colour and interest to life. I no longer crave the isolation or reclusiveness that can come with being an unredeemed No.5. This is not an overnight conversation - it has taken years to realise, for me, the real meaning of 'variety being the spice of life'. That realisation has opened more doors, more friendships and more possibilities than I could ever have dreamed possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment