Meet Jim Borden, the Enthusiast (Seriously?)

It’s been a while since I’ve taken an online personality test, but when I read Carlayn’s outstanding post about her experience with the Enneagram test, I thought I would take it.

Here is some background information about the test, from its web site:

The Enneagram is a personality system that aims to reveal how emotions drive our lives and how we engage with others in an effort to get what we want. It is derived from metaphysical concepts and has a strong spiritual element, with each of the nine types prone to its own set of spiritual “sins” or weaknesses of character.

Enneagram types are difficult to assess in a typical personality test because they often describe processes that we are not fully conscious of. In fact, our Enneatype may drive our behavior so deeply that we assume that the way we do and feel things is simply how everyone operates, when in fact it is characteristic of our type. For this reason, you will get more accurate results on an Enneagram test if you have done some self-reflection already.

Here are the nine personality types:

Type 1: The Reformer
Type 2: The Helper
Type 3: The Achiever
Type 4: The Individualist
Type 5: The Investigator
Type 6: The Loyalist
Type 7: The Enthusiast
Type 8: The Challenger
Type 9: The Peacemaker

And here were my results:

In this graph, the area of each section indicates your score, with larger sections being a better match for your personality. In my case, the biggest wedge was Type 7: the Enthusiast.

Here is a description of The Enthusiast:

Defining Characteristics of the Enneagram Type 7

  • Always on the go
  • Wide range of interests
  • Childlike enthusiasm and energy
  • Curious, sparkling eyes
  • Many ongoing professional and creative projects
  • Upbeat and optimistic; glass-half-full outlook
  • Well-liked and popular among peers

What are Enthusiasts like?

Wide-eyed and filled to the brim with endless energy, Enthusiasts are the playful and busy optimists of the world. Their relentless curiosity for new information and experiences play into their (often impressive) stories and gift for gab. At the end of a workday, their minds are often still buzzing with new ideas to explore. They’re charming storytellers with a passion for many different hobbies, and see the glass as half full. Bright and expressive, Enthusiasts see the world as their playground and can be considered the ‘eternal children’ of the Enneagram.

What are the Enthusiast’s core values?

Flexibility, happiness and novelty. Variety is the Enthusiast’s bread (not spice!) of life. Enthusiasts seek out eye-opening experiences and sensations—to take in and see the value and meaning in everything. Open-mindedness paired with a non-judgemental attitude is what makes the Enthusiast tick. They believe each person should be given the chance to explore all they possibly can; each moment has its beauty, as long as you look carefully enough.

How can I recognize a Type 7?

Whimsical and free-spirited, Enthusiasts experience life with bright eyes and an open mind. With an impressively wide and far-reaching collection of talents and interests, they have active imaginations that soar and shine when gifted with new and exciting opportunities. At work, they are highly productive and get along well with others. They tend to climb the corporate ladder fairly easily and become a favorite in the lunchroom. With an infinite number of topics to talk about, their natural charisma draws in even the shyest of individuals. When faced with change, they strut forward with pride and boldly traverse through the unknown.

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As I read through this, I did not feel that this described me too well. I have bolded some of the terms in particular that I would consider almost the opposite of me: always on the go, popular among peers, gift for gab, charming storyteller, a favorite in the lunchroom, and natural charisma.

Those terms seem to be describing an extrovert who loves to tell stories and be surrounded by others.

That’s not me. I’m happiest just staying at home and reading a book. And I never go to the lunchroom.

There are some traits that do seem to match who I am – I consider myself open to any new experience, and having a curious mind that always wants to learn about things. But I prefer to go about such things quietly, not strutting forward with pride and boldly traversing through the unknown.

Now my score on The Enthusiast was a 66%; the person who alerted me to this personality test had a couple of her scores in the mid 80% range. My lowest score was 48% for a Type 4: The Individualist. I am not sure if the fact that my scores are relatively all bunched closely together indicates that I don’t have any dominant personality type, and thus I am a mix of many types, or if it means I don’t know what I want to be or who I am.

When I read through the descriptions of the various Types, I thought I was more of a mix between Type 1, Type 2, and Type 5. Interestingly enough, these three types were all tied for my second-highest score, at 60%. Here are the defining traits of each of these three types; I’ve bolded some of the traits that I believe define me (or at least in terms of Type 2, I would hope define me):

Defining Characteristics of the Enneagram Type 1

  • Serious and straightforward during conversation
  • Attuned to practicality and frugality
  • Hardworking and diligent as employees
  • High internal standards
  • Rigidity in plans and decisions
  • Intense ability to concentrate
  • Natural talent for teaching and instructing

Defining Characteristics of the Enneagram Type 2

  • Warm smile and eyes
  • Approachable, radiates kindness
  • Vocal volunteer or activist
  • Excellent team player
  • Caring and gentle
  • Nurturing and patient
  • Smooth, flowing movements

Defining Characteristics of the Enneagram Type 5

  • Appears lost in thought or absentminded
  • Extremely difficult-to-crack inner world
  • In-depth knowledge on specific subjects of interest
  • Gives insightful, well-thought-out responses
  • Thinks extensively before speaking
  • Has clear boundaries between family, friends, and work
  • Withdrawn and extremely independent

I can’t imagine anyone is still reading this post at this point; who really cares about what someone else’s defining characteristics are?

If you are, I’m guessing that you are a fan of these sort of tests; if so if you would like to take the test, here is the link. It only takes about 10 minutes. I’d be curious if you think the results are an accurate portrayal of who you think you are.

By the way, here are some examples of a Type 7:

The 14th Dalai Lama, Galileo Galilei, W.A. Mozart, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Amelia Earhart, Richard Feynman, Wassily Kandinsky, Ram Dass, Timothy Leary, Noel Coward, John F. Kennedy, Joe Biden, Sarah Palin, Silvio Berlusconi, Malcolm Forbes, Richard Branson, Ted Turner, Suze Orman, Leonard Bernstein, Chuck Berry, Elton John, Mick Jagger, Fergie, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Russell Brand, Sacha Baron Cohen, Federico Fellini, Steven Spielberg, Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, John Belushi, Joan Rivers, Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Mike Meyers, Bruce Willis, Robert Downey, Jr., James Franco, Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlie Sheen, Cameron Diaz, Paris Hilton, David Duchovny, Larry King, Howard Stern, Simon Cowell, “Auntie Mame”.

Some other notable types: Bruce Springsteen is a Type 6; Barack Obama is a Type 9.

19 thoughts on “Meet Jim Borden, the Enthusiast (Seriously?)

  1. To answer your question on why would I read this (that 🙂) far: a colleague once gave me his DiSC profile report-out. It turned out that he’s been putting up with behavior that his profile said was not to his liking. We made a conscious change, and he was happier. Likely wouldn’t have come up otherwise. If nothing else, these are great conversation starters!

  2. It is interesting to me how any detailed representation of personality always seems to have those traits or characteristics that are not necessarily a true reflection of how the person sees themselves. Fun read!

  3. The Enthusiast, that’s good. I’m afraid I’ll fall into the cracks and be mislabeled. Wouldn’t be the first time. DiSC messed up my results. Could also be my Denial kicking in. Nice post.

    1. thanks, Michael. I remember taking DISC several years ago, and it seemed fairly close to describing me. And I’m just as guilty; if one of these tests list a trait I disagree with, I’ll deny it – the test must be flawed 🙂

  4. You seem well rounded Jim! When we attach labels we immediately attach limitations along with judgements. Personality tests are helpful in bringing about awareness of ourselves and others.

    1. thanks, Val. thanks for the insight regarding the problem with labels. If nothing else, the tests are fun to take and could be a conversation starter and make us think about the kind of person we want to be.

  5. I remember that when I took the enneagram test years ago I was a Type 3. I retook the test today, and saw my type to be an equal Enthusiast and Achiever, closely followed by the Type 6. (68%,68%, 67% match respectively)

    We are a mix of personalities, and while it may be hard to peg us into a specific trait, it is interesting to see what group we belong to. Hello, fellow Enthusiast. 🙂

    Have a nice day.

      1. Yes, the results seem to describe some of my traits accurately. I have always been a concrete-sequential person (so I take pride in doing tasks well), and my previous life as a teacher for 40 years energized my enthusiasm (of course, sometimes this was challenging).

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