We are all driven by a deep inner restlessness. We may feel this restlessness as a sense that something is missing in us, although it is usually difficult to define exactly what it is. We have all sorts of notions about what we think we need or want—a better relationship, a better job, a better physique, a better car, and on and on. We believe that if we acquire that perfect relationship or job or new “toy,” the restlessness will go away, and we will feel satisfied and complete. But experience teaches us that the new car makes us feel better for only a short time. The new relationship may be wonderful, but it never quite fulfills us in the way we thought it would. So what are we really looking for?
If we reflect for a moment, we may realize that what our hearts yearn for is to know who we are and why we are here. But little in our culture encourages us to look for answers to these important questions. We have been taught that the quality of our life will improve primarily if our external fortunes improve. Sooner or later, however, we realize that external things, while valuable in themselves, cannot address the deep restlessness of our soul.
The Enneagram helps us to better understand ourselves and how we relate to others around us. Most of us originally discover the Enneagram as a typology: it draws meaningful distinctions about the nine different ways that people approach their lives and relationships. More profoundly, the Enneagram is a map of wholeness, a way of recognizing and investigating different dimensions of our inner experience.