Gayle Hardie, a Senior Member of the Enneagram in Business Network from Australia, has written a piece to inspire, an insight that is almost more poetry than prose:How willing are we?
How many of us do, give, accept or undertake something voluntarily or ungrudgingly?
Who of us….
Picks up a piece of paper in the street that we didn’t drop?
Steps in, steps up or steps back when our natural tendency is to do the opposite?
Accepts a compliment or feedback from another with a simple nod, rather than deny, justify, blame or defend it?
“Gives something a go” just to see what might happen, instead of rationalizing it away with lack of knowledge, little skill, discomfort or fear of failure; oh, how many excuses we can find!
Sits in discomfort rather than finds the easy way out?
Willingness is contagious and creates opportunities. When we are willing to share our feelings, our “crazy” ideas, our passions, our commitments and “the little things” that make us smile, notice how many people around us begin to respond in the same way.
When we are willing to pick something up (not just garbage) simply because it is there and it will make life easier for others; then we are leading by example and others will follow.
How does willingness appear in your life?
Based on Gayle’s insight above, I’ve added this blog to help people of each Enneagram style become more willing.
Enneagram Ones: Are you willing to relinquish control, experiment with trying new things that you may not do perfectly; suspend your judgments and opinions; and lead by example without thinking what a good person you are, in fact so good that others should follow you?
Enneagram Twos: Are you willing to try many opposites of your normal behavior (even something selfish); do something for others or the environment without any (even subtle) self-inflation; and let yourself be really free, even for a few moments?
Enneagram Threes: Are you willing to try something new that you may not be good at; can you do something for others or the environment without anyone else knowing or seeing (or even do it anonymously without even the slightest feeling of being so good because you didn’t need any recognition); and are you able to notice the little things you can do that bring satisfaction simply in the process of doing them, not the result they will have?
Enneagram Fours: Can you take in and absorb compliments from others, rather than discarding them as if they hadn’t been said; can you notice the smallest things that are so commonplace where you can make a difference without dismissing them as having too little meaning; and can you allow spontaneous acts of small kindnesses, rather than expecting everything you do to be deep and purposeful?
Enneagram Fives: Can you allow yourself to give without concern that more will be expected or too much will be extracted from you; will you let yourself engage from the heart and the body as well as the mind so you pay more attention to all that is around you; and are you willing to offer small remarks of gratitude to those who bring joy into the world?
Enneagram Sixes: Can you let yourself relax enough to simply do spontaneous acts of contribution; can you let go of your fears and uncertainty enough to take small and large steps, even without knowing what might happen as a result; and can you take action on behalf of others and the environment without doing so because you are supporting “underdogs,” challenging authority or authoring structures; or proving your loyalty and goodness?
Enneagram Sevens: Can you focus yourself enough so your spontaneous acts come straight from your heart: are willing to be free enough to do the little things that may not stimulate you to any extent, but are just as important to do; and are you willing to do the opposite of your impulses – for example, to forgo your desires, not just delay them – for the sake of offering to others or the environment?
Enneagram Eights: Can you give up being in control of the situation so you can perceive all that is there and available in others and the environment and yourself; are you willing to do very, very small things rather than only things that have a large impact; and can you let yourself stay with feelings of anxiety, sadness, or vulnerability so you can experience the total human condition, just like everyone else?
Enneagram Nines: Are you willing to forgo your routines and rituals in order to become more spontaneous; will you allow yourself to stay still and engage in stressful situations that may or may not have a positive outcome; and can you speak up at any point, any time and any place?