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  1. #1
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Default two + x approaches to life .. which you choose and why?

    1) first do something in your life .. like in the age of 16-25.. only then find out who you are (perhaps much later)
    2) first find out who you are.. like in the age of 16-25.. only then do something for real (perhaps much later)

    combination? in what order? why?

  2. #2
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Do both at the same time. If you have to pick one, go with your duties. Reasoning: Life is complex. You often have to learn to do multiple things at once while maintaining balance. Your college years are very important and have repercussions throughout your life. Loss in this area is recoverable, however the process is arduous and tedious.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  3. #3
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    I am not solving this puzzle, but I'm throwing one bit at it. I envied the people who knew what they wanted at that age, and laughed at them the same time. Now I see there's nothing to be envied and nothing to be laughed at; just life.

    In general, I think the formula 2 doesn't work, especially when prolonged (say, to age of 35).

    I think there's a spectrum of failings in not doing something at the right moment and not knowing yourself at the right moment. I'd just love to give a complete instruction set - or a tutorial - to find out which is which.

    p.s. I've been a "doing" man the last 3 or what years.

  4. #4
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    I've envied people of the first type since they seemed to be actually doing something significant with their lives. But what good is it if you're not happy doing it and it doesn't suit you? Therefore I choose the second option.
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  5. #5
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    I always say if you arent sure....wing it!

    Just.....wing it! You cant go far wrong.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post
    1) first do something in your life .. like in the age of 16-25.. only then find out who you are (perhaps much later)
    2) first find out who you are.. like in the age of 16-25.. only then do something for real (perhaps much later)

    combination? in what order? why?
    Approach 1:

    At age 17, my home life wasn’t great. I was close enough to majority age to be impatient about it, so I quit high school and left home. I bummed around and took odd jobs for six months, got bored, and joined the Marines.

    I didn't have any real desire to be in the military; it was just kind of a last resort. There was a bad recession happening, there weren't any jobs available, and I didn't want to return home. Joining the military was the path of least resistance.

    Result: The Marines wasn’t a great fit for an INFP, but I rolled with it. I had some fun experiences and learned a lot about myself--who I am, where my strengths and weaknesses lie, etc. (This was way before I knew about MBTI.)

    Approach 2:

    At age 22 I got out of the Marines and went to college on the GI Bill. But that meant defining myself and choosing a major, and my Ne resisted that kind of judgement and closure. Even when I found a field that was a good match for my temperament, I kept questioning whether I would like it for a lifetime or whether it would be a good money earner. I was so uncommitted that I dropped out of college or took time off three times; it took me 10 years to get through a 4-year undergrad degree. When I did finally finish the degree, it was only by dint of deciding that I was tired of spinning my wheels and getting nowhere; right up to graduation there remained no commitment to the field or my decision.

    Result: My big problem here was Ne: I just couldn’t get closure on a big life decision. But I suppose it points out the downside of approach two: If you wait to find out who you are, you may never know the answer.

    Anyway, from those two early experiences, I pretty much learned that I needed to just jump into things. If I waited to determine first whether something was definitely a good fit, I tended to end up missing opportunities. By comparison, jumping in sometimes meant taking some lumps or getting sidetracked for a while; but even the bad adventures were interesting in their own way, and then with increasing experience of life it became easier to determine if something was definitely going to be a bad fit.

    Of course, this is all coming from an INFP. Our Ne can be a real bitch for INFPs. It gives us a tendency to favor Approach 2, and that can turn into a time-wasting trap if indulged to excess. So I think it’s good for INFPs to err on the other side a bit.

    **************

    [Edit:] Just to provide an opposing viewpoint, as long as I'm here: My ESFJ brother was a "doer" in the sense that he followed a pre-programmed track his entire life. College, fraternity, straight to marriage and work and kids... Looking back at his life, he has said that he wished his life was more like mine, i.e., drifting a bit, taking some chances, and having some adventures. So too much adherence to Approach #1 can potentially leave a person unbalanced or unfulfilled as well.

  7. #7
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    Jung praise Ne as the ultimate excuse, i regret having gone through the second option, because in that figuring myself out time i could have studied and changed my mind about two-three professions, and i doubt my self understanding would have being any less deep for having experienced doing so. i don't think what i study now is any more real then what i would have probably studied then, and i doubt its my finale profession, unless i'd be run over by a car while having it.

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