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Enneagram Theory: Fixations (Habits of Mind) – Planning

This 8th blog in the series Enneagram the Fixations (Habits of Mind) focuses on Planning, the fixation normally associated with Enneagram style Seven.

In Sevens, Planning refers to the mental process by which the mind goes into “hyper-gear,“ moving in rapid succession from one thing to another. All of us, not just Sevens, engage in Planning. Although Sevens do it more often and more quickly, we just display Planning about different things and in different ways!

Enneagram Ones
Here is the way in which Ones engage in thinking that can be understood as their version of Planning:
Planning about how to structure tasks | thinking (almost immediately) about how to structure and organize a task under normal circumstances and almost as if their existence depends on it when they are stressed

Enneagram Twos
Here is the way in which Twos engage in thinking that can be understood as their version of Planning:
Planning about how other people should engage and behave | thinking about what others should do that is in that person’s best interests, how others should ideally behave in relation to themselves, others and projects, and about how they [the Two] can be useful and valued added to others

Enneagram Threes
Here is the way in which Threes engage in thinking that can be understood as their version of Planning:
Planning about how to achieve results | thinking about how to get from point A to point B as efficiently and effectively as possible in terms of a specific goal they have set for themselves

Enneagram Fours
Here is the way in which Fours engage in thinking that can be understood as their version of Planning:
Planning about how to avoid feeling deficient | thinking about how to not engage in situations that are likely to trigger their sense of not being good enough or the opposite; thinking about how to directly combat situations that might cause them feel deficient in some way

Enneagram Fives
Here is the way in which Fives engage in thinking that can be understood as their version of Planning:
Planning about preventing draining situations | thinking about ways to limit intrusions, demands on their time and energy, and emotionally charged interactions, as well as strategizing how to overcome potentially dangerous situations

Enneagram Sixes
Here is the way in which Sixes engage in thinking that can be understood as their version of Planning:
Planning about how to anticipate problems before they occur  | thinking – often instantaneously – about what could become obstacles to achieving what they think is both possible and desirable or is plausible and dangerous

Enneagram Sevens
Here is the way in which Sevens engage in thinking that can be understood as their version of Planning:
Planning about positive possibilities | thinking quickly based on immediate stimuli (positive or negative) so that the mind goes into a “hyper-gear” of associational planning, where one idea instantly moves to another in rapid succession

Enneagram Eights
Here is the way in which Eights engage in thinking that can be understood as their version of Planning:
Planning about how to take charge | thinking about how to not be taken advantage of, how to get things under control, and how to spread their territory

Enneagram Nines
Here is the way in which Nines engage in thinking that can be understood as their version of Planning:
Planning about how not to plan| thinking about how to not allow others to make demands or put pressure on them due to that person’s plan :)

It is helpful to remember that all of engage in Planning, just in our own way and not as fast or as frequently as Sevens.

1 comments
Massimo D'Aversa
Massimo D'Aversa

In my direct experience, this is the typical attitude and compulsion towards planning. I have seen all 9 strategies in action. Thanks!