Want to Have Fewer Morbid Thoughts?

Gregory Bratman and colleagues found volunteers were happier after walking briefly through a lush portion of their campus than volunteers who strolled an equal amount of time near heavy traffic.

Nine Kinds of Responsibility

We don’t all express our ability to be responsible in the same way.

Happiness and Your Enneagram Type

Jan Conlon, a One, says happiness to her means "seeing the perfection in absolutely everything. Finding the humor and gifts of growth in mistakes.”

Do You Ever Pretend You’re Somebody Else?

I decided I couldn’t live in a world without Robby. The only thing to do was to take his place. I’d have to become Robby. No, not “become Robby.” I’d be Robby.

Dealing With Trauma

Controlling what we remember could lead to programming trauma victims to eliminate painful memories and strengthening the ability to retain certain types of information.

The Enneagram: Teens Speak for Themselves, Part 2

Nine-Peace Seeker (avoiding conflict): “I looked different on the outside from how I felt inside. I felt different from what was around me. There didn’t seem to be a place for me in my family so I numbed myself—"

The Enneagram: Teens Speak for Themselves I

A taste of interviews of teens and former teens, types 1-4. See types 5-9 in my next blog June 16.

“American Psycho” and the Dark Side of 3’s

"The film reflects our own narcissism, and the shallow American culture it was spawned from, with piercing effectiveness.”

Does Having Empty Time Tend to Increase Your Creativity?

“You have to sit around so much doing nothing,” Gertrude Stein wrote on developing creative genius. F. Scott Fitzgerald thought boredom was necessary for writing: “You’ve got to go by or past or through boredom, as through a filter, before the clear product emerges.”

Do You Tend to Dread Loss or Anticipate Gain?

Losing money and getting bad grades are more painful to most people than winning money and getting good grades are pleasurable. Some have figured out that they’ll be more likely to succeed (at losing weight, for example) if they commit to sending money to a charity they hate if they fail to meet their goal.

What’s Hiding Under Pollyanna’s Smile?

Some Enneagram types value appearing positive more than others do. Many of us 5-Observers challenge the prevailing opinion or look at the negative side while searching for more information. Many introverts and some 5s, 4-Romantics, 8-Asserters and counter-phobic 6-Questioners dislike overly-optimistic language as it seems automatic and insincere.

What Would You Never Dream of Doing?

Ones (Perfectionists) Would Never Dream of: • being half an hour late to work • not making reservations for every night of their vacation • leaving their clothes in a heap and their dishes unwashed all week • using their sleeve for a napkin • taking a relaxing bath just before guests come

When Boys Feel Like Girls and Girls Feel Like Boys

“I told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong. If you are reading this, parents, please don’t tell this to your kids.”

For Type 5, 6, & 7 Teens: How to Be a Leader III

Use the typical strengths of your Enneagram type in your role as leader.

For Type 2, 3, & 4 Teens: How to Be a Leader II

Learn about all 9 Enneagram personality types because you have all 9 within you. One of them is your main type.

For Type 8, 9, & 1 Teens: How to Be a Leader

Leadership means forming a team to get something accomplished. The Enneagram teaches you to perceive your strengths, to use them with confidence, and to identify skills you could improve.

Don’t Spank Me!

“A study in 20 American cities, published in the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2013, found that young children in homes with little or no spanking showed swifter cognitive development than their peers. Other studies find that children in physically punitive schools perform worse.”

A Successful Opera Career In Spite of Her Voice

Magda’s fans bootlegged her recordings for decades and adored her with such passion, police had to stop them from dashing onto the stage. Opera lovers are usually very discriminating about vocal quality, but not Magda’s fans. So what kept them enthralled—her enthusiasm? Her sparkle?

When the Enneagram Saved a Life

Ben was tired of feeling like two people—the one he kept inside and the inauthentic one he showed to others. He was so miserable he had even come close to suicide. The Enneagram helped him to feel he belonged.

What Can We Learn from Delusions?

"The Golds point out Internet-enabled cameras and cell phones, not to mention National Security Agency snooping, have turned the entire world into a single, if virtual, city and ‘a bizarre delusion about being watched into a sober worry.'"

Why Does Music We Heard As Teens Stick?

Stern says we grow more attached to the music we hear in our adolescent period than at any other time in our life because of our neurons. Our prefrontal cortex retains the personal memory music evokes. When we love hearing a song, our brains’ pleasure circuits get activated…

What Makes Great Musicians—Hours of Practice or Talent?

When Malcolm Gladwell wrote that anyone can become a musician if they practice enough, I was skeptical based on my experience as a pianist and piano teacher. My most successful students seemed to feel the music almost before they learned the notes.

Gay Teens Often Behave Dangerously When Rejected by Family

In conducting fieldwork among homeless gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender teenagers in the Bay Area as a faculty member of San Francisco State University, Dr. Ryan documented a strong correlation between rejection by families and such dangerous youthful behavior as drug abuse, unprotected sex and suicide attempts.

McConaughey and Harrelson in “True Detective”, Part 2

Rust is a 5-Observer in the Enneagram. He’s not diplomatic; he’s compelled to keep telling Marty his nihilistic views of life even though Marty can’t stand it. Rust is good at figuring things out, for example that the green house in a photo is the same color as the ears of the monster children have described. Rust tries to venture into society at times.

McConaughey’s and Harrelson’s Roles in "True Detective"

Marty and Rust work hard and bravely to catch murderers and predators. Both detectives are lonely, not good at relationships, and struggle with different kinds of inner demons... Rust is a philosophical loner with an active mind who propounds the meaningless of life.

The Autism Spectrum and Dr. Wing

“‘Between the two poles was a large population of people struggling with undiagnosed forms of the disorder at the core of autism." Dr. Wing describes that disorder as "a lack of ability to understand and use the rules governing social behavior."

Restorative Justice or Punitive Justice?

“Speaking in a loud, firm voice, she looked out at her audience and told the prisoners that calling them monsters was a disservice to everyone: ‘Holding you in your humanity—it’s how we hold each other accountable.’”

President Obama, Enneagram Type 9, Part 2

When writing about inner city education, Obama unknowingly stood up for the inclusive principles of the Enneagram: “Just think about what a real education for these children would involve. It would start by giving a child an understanding of himself, his world, his culture, his community.”

President Obama: Enneagram Type 9, Part 1

If there’s one thing that is consistent with Obama throughout his life, it’s his desire to see all sides of issues. This and his desire to be fair, especially, indicate that he is primarily a 9-Peace Seeker.

The Need to Be Alone

“It’s in solitude that much of the sharpest thinking is done and many of the best ideas are hatched. We know this intuitively and from experience, yet solitude is often cast as an archaic luxury and indulgent oddity, inferior to a spirited discussion and certainly to a leadership conference.”