I’ve recently participated in two online classes to learn more about the Enneagram, a personality assessment tool. I am certified in other instruments so I’ve been hesitant to invest time in something that is complex enough to require multiple classes to understand it but have enjoyed gaining a new level of understanding about my strengths and what I tend to run away from.

I think the Enneagram is like so many other things where the complexity provides its power even though it creates an initial barrier to access it. Einstein is said to have dismissed high-level mathematics as too abstract until he later realized he needed to know it to prove theories that he could not physically demonstrate.

In a similar vein, Excel works well for common purposes, but SPSS or more robust software is required to handle advanced calculations. Simple hammers work for DIY projects but not professional construction, and home kitchen implements are adequate for families but not for banquet preparation.

And so it goes. Don’t be scared off by tools that are complex and non-intuitive. Taking the time to harness that deeper understanding can unleash a new layer of power to you.

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