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“The Enneagram has mostly impacted my life just by helping me be aware that people aren’t so simple, and personalities vary widely. I used to be very close-minded with my view of the world, and I had a very plain “right or wrong” mentality. I generally thought my perspective was either right or wrong, and there wasn’t much room for interpretation. If a person went about any given situation differently than I would, then either they were wrong or I was wrong. I certainly had no problem accepting myself as imperfect, and I actually relished the chance to learn from my mistakes, but ultimately, I just had no concept of how truly different people are.
Only through tools like the enneagram have I realized that people are very complicated, and – to use an old saying where I’m from – there are more than one ways to skin a cat. Essentially, people are different and that is completely okay and acceptable. I am one of many types, and I accept that now. More importantly, I also accept that the people around me come from an array of personality types, and I accept that, too. I’m much happier with this realization, and it continues to improve the quality of my life on a personal level as well as the people I interact with and impact on a daily basis.
I first met Claus Roager Olsen at the International Enneagram Association Conference in Denver this year where I shared my story on how the Enneagram has impacted my life over the past few years. As a former inmate myself, I know what kind of person it takes to make a positive influence on the incarcerated, and I fully believe in Claus. We sat and talked at length about a number of things, and it wasn’t long before I could see how pure his heart and intentions were. As a Type Five, I am not inclined to be the most social person in the room, but I made a friend that night, and I gladly vouch for Claus in any way possible.”
Clay Tumey – Type 5 – Enneagram Prison Project USA