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Rumi series | enneagram threes

Rumi is a 13th century Persian poet who has captivated the minds and touched the hearts of the modern day Enneagram community, among others. In this 4th blog of the series, the focus is on Enneagram type Three, using the Rumi poem above. As for all of the Rumi poems in this series, the message, hopefully, speaks to all of us, no matter what our enneatype.

As one of the most action-oriented enneatypes, Threes define who they are by what they do. What they do may be what they’ve accomplished, the activities that occupy their time, the roles that they function within – the boss, the partner, the child, the athlete, the parent, and so forth. But who they are beneath what they do is more of an enigma to them. Ask anyone “Who Are You,” and there will be a pause followed by a brief state of confusion before the answer appears. However, for Threes, the answer will typically come in the form of what they’ve achieved and the roles they play.

So what is it that Threes truly want? Most often, Threes may have an answer to the question of what they think they want, but not so much to what they truly want. Threes most often want what they think they should want or they might want. Where do they get these should wants and might wants? Threes get them from what they observe in the environment that looks like something competent and successful people want. They get them from their parents, teachers, and other figures they respect and whose approval is desired. Threes often think this: What do important people say or imply I should want? What do other respected people I see actually do; might I want that! In other words, Threes are used to finding what they want from the outside in rather than inside out. As a result, Threes have little experience asking or need to ask the deeper question: What do I truly want? So where do Threes find the answer to this important question, one that is so fundamental to the Three’s psychological and spiritual development?

The answer lies in this Rumi poem: Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. First, Threes have to be willing to go into their deepest heart and touch the place that knows what they themselves truly want and desire. Then, they have to respect this experience, finding the pure beauty of what they most love. Finally, Threes need to then follow their heart’s desire, no matter where or how it takes them. No goals, no plans, just the pure outflowing from the heart that leads them in its intended direction.

Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, the author of five best-selling Enneagram-business books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach. She provides certification programs for professionals around the world who want to bring the Enneagram into organizations with high-impact business applications, and is past-president of the International Enneagram Association. Visit her website: TheEnneagramInBusiness.com. ginger@theenneagraminbusiness.com

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