"We cannot change anything unless we accept it."-Carl Jung
I believe that in order to make positive changes in our lives, we must first accept ourselves for who we are. Once we do that, we're free to pursue happiness for ourselves and share it with others.
The greatest win-win scenario in life is when you realize that doing exactly what you want to do is the best way to get all of your needs met.
It takes a little practice, and a lot of openness, but once you tap into your deepest desires nothing can stop you from having the life you've always wanted!
I've spent my life studying people and trying to understand what makes them happy.
I first encountered personality typing when I was 12 years old, when I was typed in the Myers Briggs by a family friend who was a well known writer and consultant. I became obsessed and started spending all of my spare time digging through websites and forums, trying to master the system. I kept up with that for years - in my mind, it was the key to understanding myself and deepening my connection with others.
Life went on fairly conventionally. I decided that financial success was important to me and, after getting a degree in Economics, I moved to New York City to pursue a career in real estate. I continued on that path for years, not realizing how much of myself I had to repress or ignore to succeed.
In 2012, I discovered the Enneagram, and it began to change everything for me. Until that point I had understood the way I thought, but not the way I felt. I had always thought of emotions as situational - something bad or good happens, you experience the corresponding emotion, then you move on.
But the Enneagram showed me how much more there is to it than that. As I studied the system, I went through the radical process of finding my type and accepting the imperfections that went along with it.
I used my newfound self awareness to shift my career to better suit my Enneagram type, and almost instantly had a great deal more success. At the same time, I started to see vast improvement in my personal life as I learned to openly accept my faults and mistakes, rather than trying to push them down or smooth them over.
My life was so thoroughly improved that I wanted to take it even farther, and a few years later I started this business so I could dedicate myself to helping others make the same life transformation that I did.
My Personaltiy Type
Primary Enneagram Type: 9w8
Instinct Stack: sx/so/sp
Myers Briggs: ENTP
About The Systems I Use
About the Enneagram
The Enneagram is a wonderful personality typing system focused on helping you outgrow your limiting psychological patterns. The system maps out the specific ways we become fixated in certain behavioral patterns based on basic fears and desires. It was developed into a personality typing system by Oscar Ichazo in the 1950’s and later expanded by Claudio Naranjo in the 1970’s, but the roots of the teachings of the Enneagram extend into ancient history, perhaps going back thousands of years.
I consider it an emotionally centered system because each ‘type’ represents a strategy we have adopted to cope with emotional stress. Systems like the Myers Briggs deal primarily with cognitive patterns, but the Enneagram helps us dig past our conscious thoughts so we can understand why we do what we do.
The genius of the system lies in the fact that it doesn’t set each type’s behaviors in stone. Rather, it gives us a map for how to outgrow the negative behaviors we’re stuck in. For each of the 9 types, there are 9 distinct sets of behaviors that can manifest based on level of stress and overall development, a mechanic of the system developed by Don Richard Riso in 1977.
It’s also incredibly useful due to its flexibility. While everyone has a primary type, the system’s wing and tritype frameworks show how we all use multiple emotional defense strategies, not just one. The three instinctual variants that each person has separate from his primary strategies gives even more options. In short, it doesn’t over-simplify our personalities like many other systems do.
As a coach, the Enneagram is the most useful system I've encountered. It helps me understand your motivations so we can work to build a life that supports you, while simultaneously resolving emotional pains from your past. By working with this system, I help my clients understand the core fears and desires behind their feelings. Your feelings are there to guide you to positive actions, and if you understand the root of what you’re feeling you can always find the best path forward no matter what situation you’re in.
How I use the Myers Briggs Type Indicator
The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (or MBTI) is the most widely used personality typing system with around 2 million people taking the test each year. Sometimes popular things are lacking in quality, but in this case the system’s success is well deserved.
The MBTI describes 16 personality types, derived from the eight types originally developed by Carl Jung in 1921. It essentially turns Jung’s types into cognitive functions which everyone uses in a certain order of preference.
While I focus on the Enneagram, I find the MBTI is also quite helpful when working with clients facing certain problems. I consider the MBTI a thinking centered system, rather than an emotionally centered system like the Enneagram. It illustrates to us how we think and work, and helps us focus our time on what we’re good at. It probably won’t help you outgrow limiting personal patterns, but if you’re stressed at work, or you have writers block, or you’re having trouble building your business, the MBTI can offer insights that will help you find the path forward.
As a coach, the MBTI helps me understand how you operate best. Each type is quite different, and knowing what to do and what to leave to others is a key to success and fulfillment both at work and at home. A lot of people find themselves in work or personal situations where they’re expected to spend most of their time on something they hate doing, and using the MBTI I can help you figure out if that’s the case (and how to change the situation if it is).
What are the Michael Teachings?
The Michael Teachings is a little-known, incredibly robust, and somewhat “out there” personality typing system. Like the Enneagram, it has roots in the theories of George Gurdjieff.
I consider the Michael Teachings a spiritually centered system. Every personality trait it explores is viewed through the lens of your life’s karmic purpose. I tend to use it with clients when they're facing the big questions like "who am I" and "why am I here?"
It is by far the most complex and customizable system I’ve encountered. It gauges 11 sets of 7 personality traits. Each trait is independent of the others, allowing for 77 possible combinations. Moreover, each trait is given a “positive” and “negative” pole as a guide for how to use each aspect of yourself to either grow or move backward.
I use the Michael Teachings because it gives my clients a broader perspective on their lives. What is your life goal based on the challenges you’ve had to face so far? How are you working towards that goal? What strategies do you use that help you, and which work against you?
By taking that zoomed out perspective, we discover a lot about what’s important to you rather than just how you interact with the world.