I have no problem waking up in the morning, regardless of the chaos of the evening before. 8 hours of sleep. 4 hours of sleep. It matters not. I’m up by 6AM or 7AM ready to roll. Cup of coffee, journal, and a book. A routine I like to keep everyday of the week ( I do work a 9–5). I could drink till 4AM, hit the hay, be up at 7AM and feel like I slept 8 hours. A cold shower may be required to get the blood flow going and give me that jolt I need, but for the most part I’m wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to meet the day. For the longest time I didn’t know why. Friends and family had their opinions.
“You’re just a morning person…and an evening person.”
“You’ve always had a lot of energy.”
“You’re a psychopath.”
None of these reasons were very convincing to me, so I started diving in on my own, assessing my personality type and if that had anything to do with it. Asking the right questions was key —
What was I looking forward to during the day? Was it fear driven? Was it biological?
Questions piled up, but with no fulfilling answer. Then I found the Enneagram. Yes, I was also hesitant to fall into the hype. This thousand year old system for identifying personality types was ruined to me by the absolute hoopla it had been receiving. I tend to recoil from whatever it is people treat it like gods gift to man-kind. I did this with Beyonce’s music for a while, and we all know that’s a huge mistake to make.
Instead I dove in. Taking test, after test to see where I fell on the scale. Survey says:
Here’s a brief synopsis of what being a 9 entails —
“Nines are accepting, trusting, and stable. They are usually creative, optimistic, and supportive, but can also be too willing to go along with others to keep the peace. They want everything to go smoothly and be without conflict, but they can also tend to be complacent, simplifying problems and minimizing anything upsetting. They typically have problems with inertia and stubbornness. At their Best: indomitable and all-embracing, they are able to bring people together and heal conflicts….Basic Fear: Of loss and separation. Basic Desire: To have inner stability “peace of mind".- The Enneagram Institute
Notable Enneagrams are Abraham Lincoln, Carl Jung, Audrey Hepburn, Jeff Bridges, Fred Rogers, and Walt Disney.
There was no surprise here. I AM an enneagram 9 and reading through what that encompassed was like putting a mirror up to my soul. My next step was to examine some of the other notable 9’s. To Google I went -
“What time did Abraham Lincoln wake up?” 7AM.
“What time did Fred Rogers wake up? 5AM.
“What time did Walt Disney wake up?” 530AM.
I had found my people. (I especially resonated with Walt Disney, whom I discovered carried around snacks in his pocket.) I was in safe company.
Why was this significant? I started to think on the lives each of these people lived, and I realized each one of them wanted to get the most out of everyday. That basic fear of Loss of Separation is not just related to people, its related to almost anything. We would call it FOMO these days. A Fear of Missing Out. That, combined with a Desire to have Inner Peace showed me exactly where my energy came from.
I don’t want to miss out. I don’t want to waste time. Sleeping-in to me is like throwing life away (this is where it gets interesting to have discussions with other Enneagram numbers). Reading books and journaling in the morning is vital for me to establish that Inner Peace. To ensure I am ready to meet the day with a good footing.
No sleep x fear + desire = Taylor’s up at 6AM.
The mystery had been solved. Now I’m really leaning into it.
I’ve set my rhythms around this understanding. No, its not healthy to stay up till 4AM having a grand-ole time, even if I can get up three hours later. That’s not sustainable and it will kill you eventually. But understanding the why behind my patterns, tied with my personality-type has been so vital to my personal growth.
The Allegory of the Cave continues to be relevant through every stage of life. We often move out of one cave, into another as we grow and experience life. It’s so important to keep looking for the light shining through the next door we need to walk through.
If you are curious about the why behind your patterns, the good and the bad, I would encourage you to take some time to dive into the Enneagram. Take the test here. Take it a few times. See if the results change. Discover who is in that grouping with you.
My last take away from this discovery is this: We are all different and that is such an important thing to our humanity. There are 9 numbers for a reason, and the ways that we grow and develop through one another’s different patterns and processes is vital to growth.
If you love to wake up early, find out why. If you love to sleep in, find out why.
If you carry snacks in your pocket, you may just build an empire.
Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Have fun out there.