Most of us go through life on autopilot doing some of the same things over and over that hurt us and others. It’s confusing, and yet, we tend to simply accept it.

The Enneagram is an ancient personality typing system. Discovering our number on the Enneagram is not really the point. The point is to use the Enneagram to understand ourselves and why we see and relate to the world the way we do.

If you know your Enneagram type, take time to find in the paragraphs below two challenging gratitude exercises to practice for the rest of this year. Engaging in these practices will bring life-changing benefits. Try it and see!


as our chief improvement officers, you are often focused on what is wrong.

  • Practice gratitude when things are not completely stellar by focusing equally on what is wonderful and what needs to be improved.
  • Tell three different people whom you care about what they really mean to you.


as our thoughtful caregivers, you are ever focused on others and impacted by other’s response to you.

  • Think of a recent time someone didn’t respond to you in an affirmative way and you didn’t get deflated, allow yourself to feel gratitude for your own growth.
  • Write down three things about yourself for which you are deeply grateful. Read them out loud every day for a month.


as our overachievers, you are passionately focused on the next goal.

  • Think about what you actually have, not what you think you need to gain. Experience gratitude for what you actually have.
  • Experience your deepest gratitude for allowing yourself to do something you really wanted to do, not for the sake of success or respect, but because you simply enjoy the process of doing it.


as our deep feelers and artistic communicators, you tend to focus on what is missing.

  • Spend just as much time thinking about what is present as what is missing. Enjoy feeling appreciative for what is right in front of you.
  • Make a list of three things you have to offer. Draw a picture, create a song, write a poem or take a photograph that symbolized each of these things. Look at them every day to remind you of what is present.


as our investigators, you tend to see the world through a scarcity lens.

  • Think of three objects, people, ideas, events for which you feel extremely grateful, add to this list every day for a full week.
  • Make a list of everything in the world you like very much which replenishes itself automatically. In other words, it never becomes depleted. Ponder this list for at least three days.


as our worst-case-scenario planners, you are often chided for being too cautious.

  • Express gratitude for the role caution and concern play in your life.
  • Think of all the times you have shown moral courage and be grateful for your integrity.


as our playful party-seekers, you have a tendency to avoid pain or discomfort.

  • Be grateful for all the times you have felt uncomfortable and stayed with the experience rather than avoided it.
  • Think of one thing in your life that you care so deeply for your interest in it is self-sustaining. Focus on this as an object of your gratitude.


as our advocates and protectors, you are fiercely independent.

  • Think of thee things someone else made happen — you had no role in it. Sit with these in your mind, heart, and body for half an hour. Be grateful.
  • Feel your vulnerability and experience gratitude for your openness, flexibility, and gentleness in allowing yourself to feel vulnerable. Do this daily for 30 days.


as our natural mediators, you seldom assert what you want in life.

  • Express yourself honestly to three different people. Feel gratitude for your courage and directness.
  • Write an advertisement for yourself, promoting all you are, your accomplishments, and capabilities. If you are artistic, make it a visual advertisement and post it on your bathroom mirror.

Practicing gratitude brings life-changing benefits like adapting our perspective, adjusting our attitude, refreshing our soul, connecting us deeply, creating new energy, tapping into healing, fostering resilience, and the list goes on. Adopting gratitude practices informed by our Enneagram type is the icing on the cake — it helps us relax our grip on our own distortions and receive something more. Arianna Huffington said it best, “Living in a state of gratitude is the gateway to grace.”

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