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  1. #1
    Senior Member niki's Avatar
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    Exclamation INFP: how can you start being decisive & not putting-off your life?

    *warning:
    it's going to be a serious sharing from me, which I need a kind advices/opinions from fellow INFPs here*

    so here it goes:

    My dad last night just argued heavily with me, and quite frustrated with how I've become with my life.. of how very dissapointed & crushed he is to see my current state, ie: I still haven't succesfully 'become' or DO anything.

    I will turn 28 this august (and how I hate growing older with passion, how I often wish I could turn back time, go back to my childhood, and this time started doing things more differently into what *I* like, not what others told me!..).
    I'm still 'working' in a family-business now as my day job, and the reason I said 'working',...is because my dad (& everybody else in the family-business, ie: cousin, uncle) already know that I have zero passion/heart in there, and hence, after all these 7 years I'm here (yes,..that long! it's all because of my 'soft' INFP nature, and my indecisiveness, which I'll explain in frustration below), I don't do, or become anything!
    I also seem to dislike any 'corporate' job suggestion that my dad used to offer me.

    meanwhile,..I always, always love music with all my heart, in fact, Music is very inseparable with me, I myself am a musician/songwriter/composer.
    ever since I returned back here to my home-country (ie: Indonesia) 7 yrs ago (in year 2003), I've been forming, and also got involved in few bands , but unfortunately, except the last one, it's all just a combination of lack of seriousness, lack of commitment, experiences & "industry" knowledge (yes...music is, sadly, heavily related with the word 'industry' & 'business' :/ )
    ,basically just "playing around" without what I'm (we're) doing.

    the last one (around two years ago) was a serious one, but unfortunately, we clashed, due to differences in skills (ie: I'm the main songwriter, and also an arranger, and I'm perfectionistic in nature, so often, other members have a 'difficult' time with me) , and also attitude/personality (the vocalist (female) is quite a temperamental & easily-angry person, and there's some "elitism" and "favoritism" in the group, which became unhealthy).

    But long story short, basically now I want to start again, the path of being a true "professional" musician/songwriter/composer.
    but my dad always stressed me to STOP PLAYING AROUND, and get a REAL job.
    and being an 'understanding' eldest son of him,..I can somewhat understand that he actually meant well, ie: he basically want to see me have good (or 'BIG') enough money to be able to finance myself, my living, and later when I have a family, house, car, etc, and also,..as a part of usual Chinese (asian) culture, to be able to support him (& my mom) in their old days.

    .
    I am heavily stressed now,..because of several facts:
    1. My dad is getting older, he's going to turn 60 in few years
    2. his business & financial condition of the family is not going very well in these recent years (compared to those 'happy' past 10, 15 years ago).
    it's very very frustrating to see this, but it's a Reality.
    2. thus, he seems to start putting more responsibilities on me, as his eldest son (which so far has been nothing but big dissapointment to him,..he said that himself...it break my heart so much,..but it's also a fact)

    and,

    3. which is the main topic of this thread:
    being an INFP myself, I've now realized that I've basically spent my 7 years being "too laid-back" about these kind of serious things, even admitedly, I've been 'escaping' too much to run from the pains of Reality, ie: I often hide & sleep in my office/factory, browsing Internet endlessly, watching anime & playing video-games, communicating with online & Youtube friends, etc etc .

    but only last night,..after some serious frustrated anger from him,
    I've started to realize, and got 'hard-slapped' on my face by REALITY,
    ...........that I'm such a 'loser' , I've become or done NOTHING proudful to my dad,..that I am a very spoiled young 'adult' ,
    that's been living life too laid-back (I've started to feel that all my "niceness" & "warmness" that many people seem to acknowledge & appreciate to become an USELESS thing, in this HARD COLD REALISTIC WORLD!).

    sorry,.....I've suddenly vented.

    I don't know what else to say..
    worse, I even don't know what is the RIGHT thing to do, to please & make my dad (parents) happy, and I even don't know - being a "weird" INFP who seem to have a world-apart differences in terms of perspective, hope, and ambitions with my dad - if I'll ever make him happy/proud of my 'uniqueness' !
    I feel worthless, an indecisive nobody at this point!


    my point is:
    all these "I am indecisive by nature because I'm an INFP" only might seems 'cute' when we're still like in our early teens, up 'till 23, 24 yrs old.
    but once you're turning 25, or hell, about to turn 30 in few years (like me),
    all those 'rosy, colorful' world that I've always seen, felt, & also shared,
    ALL seems to start crumbling down, in the hard face of Reality, that it's all about Money & being smart at it! ...such a 'cold' world, I've felt.. but it's a reality.
    "don't be damn naive like a little kid", my dad often told me that,...and I guess he's right.


    Main question:
    Fellow INFPs, reading my story above, and also according to your OWN experiences now, have you succesfully dealt with your indecisiveness, "putting-off life" nature of yours?
    (because we all know, that EVERY kind of job needs a true, SOLID consistent efforts, instead of sporadic huge interests only in the beginning!)

    how did/have you handled that?

    and how to stop "putting off lives",
    and to start getting serious in Life,
    especially,..if it's going to be following your passion, which probably "out of mainstream", and don't pay much money (to make a living, and to eat??)

    how did you handled all of this,
    and how can you become something proudful to your parents??....

    or,.....is it actually quite a near-impossible thing to achieve,
    as an INFPs ?
    will it always forever be our 'fate/destiny'
    to run 'scattered', and forever wondering in our life, about the "unfairness" of Life, and on "what should I be doing in this 'Realistic' world??", and "what I'm going to do is going to be a very few, or less travelled path?"


    Please help..
    'cuz this indecisiveness and 'escaping reality' nature has started to crush me real bad,..and I need to 'wake up' and DO something really really quick! (since I'm going to be 28,...no more "playing around",..as much as I want it).

    I want to stop putting-off my life,
    and hopefully, choosing the rightest path,
    ...and 'become' somebody...

    thank you.
    would love to hear your opinions/advices!

  2. #2
    Senior Member niki's Avatar
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    oh, a bit more background:
    I graduated in 2002 with Bachelor Degree in Business Finance & Management, which -I hate to say this- seems to be one of the biggest mistake in my life too, ie: back then, being a naive understanding-very-little 17-yr-old kid, I listened to what my dad & uncle wanted,..instead of myself.
    now, the Degree is somewhat becoming 'obsolete', because I don't do anything with it, since even though I graduated with quite high GPA, yet I have ZERO passion/interest in it (ie: in finance, stock, all 'corporate & business' things).

    ever since I graduated in 2002, I basically just came back straight-away to my home-country, and 'followed' my dad, and straight-away entered the family-business.

    I hate myself,
    because even though I've soon knew that I disliked, even hated working there,
    yet, being indecisive and lack serious follow-through,
    I just let time pass by, without doing any FIRM, SOLID things to 'break-away' from it!
    and as a result, here I am, 7 yrs later, still 'stuck' in the family-business, although now I've only become worse, only browsed Internet endlessly, and got sucked/addicted with it,...'cuz I've always been 'escaping' , never dare to face the hard, 'cold' Reality!
    meanwhile, my main Passion/interest, which is in Music (& actually, to travel, live simple life while perhaps teaching, & meet new people & new culture! basically, complete FREEDOM, and no B.S like "strings attached", or "tied to an X company for my lifetime"),
    unfortunately, still haven't take-off yet,...and maybe that's why my dad kept telling me to "stop PLAYING around, and start get some REAL job with some serious big $$$$$$".

    I hate myself too,
    because those things that I always said that I'm 'very passionate', or even 'my blood',
    now I'm starting to doubt ALL of 'em, ie: whether it's "realistic" enough in this REAL realistic world, and whether it would give me a GOOD living, or....I'll be dead wrong, and hence, REGRETTING my choices??
    and as a result, I even procrastinated a hell lot in my passion,
    and started losing a LOT of 'opportunities' ...
    I started to 'escape' even more by frantically browsing, and asking for answers, or consolements from Internet/Youtube etc, etc
    while the REALITY IS STILL THERE : I become a nobody, I don't do anything in my family-business, while my Music career is still stuck, no matter how 'good' is my plans!

    it's all going down...
    and I *know* that I should quickly "wake-up", and DO something about this, 'cuz it's not "cute" anymore saying "ohh hi I am an INFP, and my nature is that I Never Finish Projects..." or something like that!

    problem is: I'm damn scared,
    that I just don't know what to do with my Life,
    or if EVERYTHING's perhaps already too LATE,
    and I better "change my mindset" (as my dad strongly advised me last night) ,
    and start viewing MONEY as very important, and even MOST important in Life,
    and start getting serious finding & working in REAL job!

    has anyone here (especially NFPs) ever experienced similar dilemma / life-career problem like me?
    please do share.. I'm in desperate need of opinions, advices, sharings, anything!

    thanks.

  3. #3
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    I'm a year behind you and have had a "real job" for the last 3 years. It's not what it's chalked up to be and if it were not for my technical abilities I wouldn't have been there long. I work to support the life I want, not live to support the work which is a concept of life balance (or attempted) instead of a life of extremes. That said, I'm working now to kill off my debt and go back to school for something I want more. It will be trouble as time goes on, but if I don't do it soon I'll never get around to it and end up more frustrated than I am now.

    You want to talk about being the eldest? I'm currently helping my two brothers out hoping to get them both on their feet rather than dependant on family that will be dying soon or friends who are never there for them. And yet, as much of a space cadet as I am, I've already had some family thanking me for it.

    I say if you father sees himself as Mr. Responsible he should damn well have something saved up to live on rather than dropping himself on your shoulders as soon as you make over 40k (which I haven't crossed into yet). I say you've been wasting your time working for the family company and need to get out to get yourself straight. Do something somewhere where he can't yell at you that makes you money and helps you get on YOUR feet, not someone else's.

    Your response will be that I don't understand. No, not the details, but I have a half asian father to whom nothing was good enough until I surpassed him by going to college and graduating from it. These days I shame him with resources he doesn't have access to.
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

    INFP, 6w7, IEI

    I accept no responsibility, what so ever, for the fact that I exist; I do, however, accept full responsibility for what I do while I exist.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rebe's Avatar
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    1. Your helplessness is not connected to your type. There is no such thing as fate/destiny. INFPs are not destined to be failures, although they are equipped with certain traits that drifts from the mainstream reality, procrastination, dreaminess, creative impulses. These are the traits that you need to learn how to control when they are in the way. There is no going back and starting over again, so focus on the present and the future.

    2. I am 21 so I am not as far along as you. My parents are Asian and they completely disagree with my future plans, wants me to stay by them, and me to have a safe, office job. But that'd be the death of me, so I have been refusing. Forget about your father putting guilt and pressure on you, focus on yourself and realistic options. This is what I'd say to myself in the future if I am in the same situation, or even to myself now. My mind is always focused on the future, on my career, however idealistic.

    3. Unfortunately, it is not a good idea to rely financial means on creative passion. Not that you should give up on music, never give up on music, but you do need a back-up since you are not in your early twenties and the realistic fact is that your father needs you. Do you have any other passions?

    meanwhile,..I always, always love music with all my heart, in fact, Music is very inseparable with me, I myself am a musician/songwriter/composer.
    ever since I returned back here to my home-country (ie: Indonesia) 7 yrs ago (in year 2003), I've been forming, and also got involved in few bands , but unfortunately, except the last one, it's all just a combination of lack of seriousness, lack of commitment, experiences & "industry" knowledge (yes...music is, sadly, heavily related with the word 'industry' & 'business' :/ )
    ,basically just "playing around" without what I'm (we're) doing.

    But long story short, basically now I want to start again, the path of being a true "professional" musician/songwriter/composer. but my dad always stressed me to STOP PLAYING AROUND, and get a REAL job.
    4. Leave the family business and choose a job/career sector, something that you won't hate, but don't expect it to be something that you absolutely love. It seems you will have to start at the bottom of some job and work your way up. Make a list of options and go through them. I don't see any option for you but getting a job outside of the struggling family business, it doesn't have to be a corporate job, right? Could be something more laid-back. Perhaps save money until you can go back to school and get another degree? And then, get a more fulfilling job? Yes, infps have a hard time sticking with something before it pays off in some form. But, I don't see any other options for you. I hope older infps have some more advice, but this is how I see it.

    You have passion for music and you will always have it, but money is a different thing and since things are the way they are, you have to get a job to sustain you and you can play music during your free time.

    Don't let your father's words and guilt overwhelm you. Think thoroughly about what you could do, what you are willing to do until music becomes a paying job for you.


  5. #5
    is an ambi-turner BRMC117's Avatar
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    I am 22 years old, and I had something like that. I was going to school for forensic toxicology, and I hated it. but I stuck with it. but while I was doing that I was and still do firefighting, and LOVE IT! I noticed that while I was at school I hated life but when I was at the station I loved it...I am now a full time firefighter, and going back to school to be a park ranger. and I am so happy. You have to find what you love and run with it. Find a job that you love and you will never work a day in your life
    "I put the fires out."
    "you made them worse."
    "worse...or better?"

  6. #6

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    I'm 40. I'm currently working as a computer programmer which I'll be doing for another few years while I gain skill and experience to transition to my next career.

    I've always gone from interest to interest in my personal life. I knew it wasn't going to be any different with my professional life. At 19, I started doing customers service, but I was learning office skills. Then with the office skills, I became an admin assistant. While I was working as an admin assistant, I started learning web design. It took four years, but I built a portfolio and got a job as a web designer when I was 29. As soon as a I got a job as web designer, I started learning programming. That took 4 years and as soon as I got a job programming, I started learning skills for my next profession. This is how I am. I've accepted that I will eventually lose interest in whatever I'm doing and will need to move on. What I've done found a way to work with that part of my personality.

    My recommendation for you is to start with the basics. Figure out your values and then go on from there. If you don't know where to start, I'd recommend any of the motivational tapes by Brian Tracy. You can re-invent the wheel or you can do what someone else has done and get the results that they've gotten.

    You're not going to fix all your problems in a day or even a year. The best you can do is start with the basics of improving you (mitigating your avoidance behavior, working on your self-confidence). Career can wait even if you're dad can't.
    Dare to be what you are and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not. - Henri Frederic Amiel

    www.infpblog.com - Blogging my thoughts on what it means to be an INFP

  7. #7
    Senor Membrane
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    Sounds like a very difficult situation... I'm 28 too, and had a similar confrontation with my dad a year ago. I felt like everything I've done was "wrong" from his perspective. First I was shocked, then I thought about it for a day and just couldn't agree with anything about it (though, I did understand it as I know where he is coming from), I called back and told that I have no interest seeing him again if everything I do/am will be criticized. That did the trick. I haven't heard much criticism after that. On the other hand I guess I have succeeded in some things after that so that he might think that my way can actually work too...

    But, my situation is very different from yours. I wouldn't exactly tell you that this is what you should do. Here it isn't customary to financially take care of your parents and he doesn't need to support me either anymore, so it was only about my father wanting to be proud about me.

    I do have the same problem you have. I am unwilling to sell my time for people if they don't provide a good work atmosphere and a job that I want to do. I see this is unrealistic, and I know I should start doing something for my future, but it seems like it is too big a sacrifice to "start working and stop living".

  8. #8
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    I've been rolling around a few thoughts in my head about this. It's not INFP thang, but it does take some of us longer to get our act together.
    I'm 32, and currently going through bankruptcy for attempting to create the dream bussiness. Do I regret? Hell, no. For six months, I was free. Would I do it again? Probably not, and I'd plan better next time. I'm a little deflated at losing everything, I built up, but you know what I gave it a shot. How many other people can say that? In the process, I did a whole heap of soul searching, faced fears, my whole world has been rearranged, including one lost relationship. Are my family proud? Hell No. I'm an embarrassment, because I'm not married, I don't have kids, I don't own a house, and I have no excuse.
    I look at my life though, and think at least I haven't been living it for some one else. I've done a few things, explored countries, have a few wicked stories to tell over drinkies, and I'm not a boring person, plus I had time to put a few things in perspective.
    I'm gonna stay put for a bit, and build my self back up financially....maybe finally study some thing I want to do, rather than was expected to do.
    However, There is a point to this ramble. I don't come from an Asian background, but there were certain expectations placed on me too, being the oldest, and the only daughter. I have greatly disappointed, especially in regards to the production of grand children, but you really can't live your life to other peoples expectations. Technically, I have a good career, but I hate it (not this job, I like the people). Mother's choice. Not mine. Some people are late bloomers seriously. I battle daily with having to reach certain rites of passage by a certain age, but that path is just not for some people. Once you find some thing you love, you'll pull a rabbit out of your hat, but maybe you have to leave the family business, to do it.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
    Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by infpBlog View Post
    I'm 40. I'm currently working as a computer programmer which I'll be doing for another few years while I gain skill and experience to transition to my next career.

    I've always gone from interest to interest in my personal life. I knew it wasn't going to be any different with my professional life. At 19, I started doing customers service, but I was learning office skills. Then with the office skills, I became an admin assistant. While I was working as an admin assistant, I started learning web design. It took four years, but I built a portfolio and got a job as a web designer when I was 29. As soon as a I got a job as web designer, I started learning programming. That took 4 years and as soon as I got a job programming, I started learning skills for my next profession. This is how I am. I've accepted that I will eventually lose interest in whatever I'm doing and will need to move on. What I've done found a way to work with that part of my personality.

    My recommendation for you is to start with the basics. Figure out your values and then go on from there. If you don't know where to start, I'd recommend any of the motivational tapes by Brian Tracy. You can re-invent the wheel or you can do what someone else has done and get the results that they've gotten.

    You're not going to fix all your problems in a day or even a year. The best you can do is start with the basics of improving you (mitigating your avoidance behavior, working on your self-confidence). Career can wait even if you're dad can't.

    damn, this is totally me! i finally found an INFP who posted something I can relate to. I've been a web developer the past 5 years and am now working my way out of it.. I'm actually only getting more ambitious in the little things I want to do rather then less. knowing that I don't know what I want to do and that I can choose to do the things that I'm vaguely interested in is...well, great.

    niki.. man, every time I read your posts I feel your family is a giant thumb and they're pushing down on you like you're a little bug. you are not a little bug. it seems like you'd be happier if you distanced yourself from your family and did things in the real world. the internet is addictive.. shutting off your computer and the internet is hard but to break free is your choice. there is no right path for you to find but it seems like you are clearly struggling where you are which means that you need to step out of it...get away. find new people.. a new job.. you will need to fight for your own existence and do what you want to do since no one else will do it for you. you are capable of being challenged and overcoming those challenges. sometimes those things that you want to do are those things that you need to do.

  10. #10
    I drink your milkshake. Thessaly's Avatar
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    Just learn how to motivate yourself. Buy some self help books and find people who will push you/mentor you. Create some momentum. Get inspired. You're never a failure if you try. Never.
    With dreamers, pure and simple, the imagination remains a vaguely sketched inner affair. It is not embodied in any aesthetic or practical invention. Reverie is the equivalent of weak desires. Dreamers are the aboulics of the creative imagination.

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