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  1. #1
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    Default Type and self-actualization

    This was brought up in the ESTP thread, but I wanted to post it here for broader discussion.

    It seems that the ESTP, ENTP and ENFP types grow experientially. They push the boundaries and limits of the things that cause them the most pleasure and pain. ESTPs push physical boundaries, ENTPs mental/intellectual and ENFPs emotional. (Not sure about ESFPs as that wasn't part of the discussion)

    For me, I definitely use emotional challenges to grow as a person. I get really bored when I don't feel strong emotions for a while. Even if I go through something outwardly terrible, if it created strange and never-felt-before feelings in me, then it's still worth something. I treasure the memories of those passions probably as much as some other people love to polish their trophies. Physical and intellectual challenges just don't mean as much to me.

    Have other NFs felt the same way? Or is this just an ENFP thing?

    What do you use to self-actualize, to grow as a person?

    If the E--Ps tend to push boundaries experientially to grow, then how do the Js do it? How do introverts do it as opposed to extroverts? How do people with irrational dominant functions do it and how do people with rational dominant functions?

  2. #2
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    Interesting question. I am not 100% sure how I grow the most. I know finding ways to use the knowledge I acquire always seems to push me forward. I also know that I have grown the most from a seriously trying emotional experience I went through. Before that I was seriously E-tarded.

  3. #3
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    In order to have the sense that I'm growing, I need to have a goal to measure my growth against. If I didn't have a goal, it would be impossible for me to say that I'm better off at one point than I was at another, since improvement means you've gotten closer to an ideal. So what I begin with is a sense of the person I wish I were and the kind of life I want to lead. Once I have that, I can take steps in that direction, and the farther I get, the more I've grown.
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    *bump*

    Two interesting responses so far. ENTJ -- using knowledge seems to be important, while for an INFP, I guess a vision of the ideal is the goal line.

    Anyone else want to chime in?

  5. #5
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    The motivating force behind my decisions and actions. Hmmm, tough one to put into words. I think it's actually a combination of the three the OP mentioned: emotional, mental and physical. Everything is connected.

    The emotional desire to achieve something or emotional response to something I've experienced is the most powerful motivation to start the process of growth. I definitely need a specific goal to start with achieving something. A purpose.

    Nunki here has put this quite nicely:

    Quote Originally Posted by Nunki View Post
    So what I begin with is a sense of the person I wish I were and the kind of life I want to lead. Once I have that, I can take steps in that direction, and the farther I get, the more I've grown.
    In order to progress towards something I've set out as a goal, I have to expand my knowledge about how achievable the goal is in reality and what do I have to do to get there. I have to reach a state to actually start growing towards the state I want to achieve, so it is a mental challenge as well. Basing something solely on emotion is not enough. Once the initial thrill and resolve starts to fade, it's pretty hard to keep on going. And pushing myself physically only supports the emotional and mental desire for growth.
    Because once the mind gives up, the body succumbs to it as well and it's also vice versa. The strength of the body supports the balance of the mind.
    However, I always have the feeling that no matter what I do, I still haven't developed or achieved my full potential. And I don't think that I ever will or that anybody will, because there's always some aspect that can be improved even further. There's always room for more growth. You might not even be aware of what you're capable of until you're faced with something that forces you to seek growth.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank View Post
    I know finding ways to use the knowledge I acquire always seems to push me forward.
    I'm the same.
    However, I can also seek knowledge regardless of use.
    It's not a one-way street.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strawberrylover View Post
    What do you use to self-actualize, to grow as a person?

    If the E--Ps tend to push boundaries experientially to grow, then how do the Js do it? How do introverts do it as opposed to extroverts? How do people with irrational dominant functions do it and how do people with rational dominant functions?
    I don't know that pushing for experiences is limited to EP's. I mean, experiences are definitely an external manifestation of yourself, and a more active/interactive type of growth, but that's something introverts definitely do too. I mean, everything can boil down to experience, in a sense....anything outside of yourself and your own mind is experience.

    I would think anything outside of the EP's preferred mode of living would be more liable to cause self-growth, as it would push them beyond what's most naturally comfortable for them. But that's one form of 'growth'. On the other hand there's growth when it comes to accentuating your strengths, which would result in playing into what you most prefer, and leaning most heavily on that, which as you say for EP's would involve pushing the boundaries of experience.

    For me, personally, to feel I am growing as a person? It usually involves ignoring my fears and placing myself out of my comfort zone - purposefully. Exploring ways/thoughts outside my preferences. That could be in a social context, on the job, or in other ways. So for me that often equates to experiences -- traveling out of the country by myself more than once, staying at a homestay in Cusco for 3 weeks, not speaking the language, simply to add to my experiences because I knew it was out of my comfort zone, quitting my job and moving to a different state because I sensed it was necessary for my own growth, and doing it despite the fears of everything that might not fall into place or pan out....grasping the unknown can be challenging for me, so sometimes I do that on purpose, to push myself.

    When it comes to more emotional/psychological things, it can take the form of digging deeply into my motivations, and trying to analyze why I think/act the way I do, and if it displeases me, uncover the why's as to why it displeases me, whatever. All of that self-analysis can be a tough journey too..and the internal stuff is often much harder and much more painful than the external stuff. It's definitely a different road...to face and question your way of being. And then when I do unravel a particular issue, I may decide I need to do something about it, and that might involve approaching the world or people in a way I hadn't done before, which is uncomfortable at first. Can take a lot of time to re-wire your brain circuitry.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sky is BLUE! View Post
    The emotional desire to achieve something or emotional response to something I've experienced is the most powerful motivation to start the process of growth. I definitely need a specific goal to start with achieving something. A purpose.
    Do you have a clear and detailed image of the person you want to be? How do you arrive at this ideal? Do you use morals, logic, or something else?

    For me, I have a vague idea of the person I want to be and it's just a feeling of adventure and being all around FABULOUS. haha! I don't have conscious ideas of how to get to that place, but I can intuit when I've taken a wrong step. Do you also feel your way through or do you have a carefully scheduled plan via your J to implement your self-growth?

    However, I always have the feeling that no matter what I do, I still haven't developed or achieved my full potential. And I don't think that I ever will or that anybody will, because there's always some aspect that can be improved even further. There's always room for more growth.
    Interesting. Kind of like the idea of the convergent series in math. Infinity within a known quantity.

    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    When it comes to more emotional/psychological things, it can take the form of digging deeply into my motivations, and trying to analyze why I think/act the way I do, and if it displeases me, uncover the why's as to why it displeases me, whatever. All of that self-analysis can be a tough journey too... and the internal stuff is often much harder and much more painful than the external stuff. It's definitely a different road...to face and question your way of being. And then when I do unravel a particular issue, I may decide I need to do something about it, and that might involve approaching the world or people in a way I hadn't done before, which is uncomfortable at first. Can take a lot of time to re-wire your brain circuitry.
    That's very interesting.

    Is this something you do on a regular basis or is it more like experience experience experience --> reflect reflect reflect? How do you know which areas of your psyche to target?

    I'm getting some introvert envy from this thread. It sounds like you Ni folks seem to know yourself so much better.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    I'm the same.
    However, I can also seek knowledge regardless of use.It's not a one-way street.
    I am able to do this too but only to a point. If I don't see any use whatsoever in the knowledge than I intenionally limit my time in those areas. This was an ongoing debate I had with an NTP I know. He had amassed a vast amount of knowledge in an area with absolutely no use. I though he was crazy for spending so much time on something that he could never use, he thought I was dense or shallow for not seeing acquiring the knowledge as a worthwhile end result. Objectively I know that no preferred way is better. I just could never "waste" that much time. Different strokes and all.

  10. #10
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    I create a sensible intellectual framework of what an optimized "me" would look like, using my experiential knowledge, my intuition, my introspective abilities, and my rational sensibilities... and then I work towards achieving that goal and modifying my behavior accordingly.

    There are things I wish I could be, but in my rationalized framework, I see them as unrealistic, so they are not included in my vision of the "ideal" me.

    It's very much like doing a system design, where the system is being optimized to work at full capacity within the environment as it is understood to be.
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