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  1. #1
    Member Bamboozle's Avatar
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    Default xNFPs, goals and focus

    From reading around, a lot of you seem to have trouble staying focused. But I got interested in xNFPs because some of them seemed really driven in a very specific way. So, for those of you who are focused…how do you do it? What's the thinking behind it? How do you approach it? How do you keep at something even if the bit you're up to might be a bit boring :P?

    I get the sense that it's something to do with Fi —*Fi keeping an eye on the bigger picture of fulfillment and satisfaction. Am I right?

    Anecdotes are more than welcome, by the way. It all feeds my Ti-Ne.

  2. #2
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    It comes down to

    - How much I actually care about something. This is sort of self-explanatory....

    - How "official" my commitment is & if there are expectations riding on me....the promises I break the most are the ones I make only to myself, because I'm not good at holding myself accountable unless it's a moral issue (in which case, I have oodles of self-control). For this reason, external expectations from others & deadlines keep me motivated. I need REAL consequences, but ones which still allow flexibility (see below). But seriously....DEADLINES!!!!

    - A moral issue I am not willing to compromise on. Wanting to do the right thing keeps me motivated.

    - How close I am to finishing it. I'm actually less likely to abandon something if I feel just on the verge of completion because then I realize I can actually do it; it's not just an "idea" anymore. I'm more likely to abandon it in the early stages if it's not moving along fast enough; I suppose I move onto other ideas. This means I reach goals best when I start them in a burst of energy and can accomplish enough in that time to keep me motivated to finish once some of the interest/energy wanes.

    - Variety & flexibility. If working towards a goal becomes too repetitive, tedious & mundane, then I'm more likely to quit. I can't do the same thing in the same way every time. I need to feel I am constantly exploring uncharted territory in some way, even if it's in the small nuances. This is because I am motivated by being able to be creative, so once I've maxed out different ways to do something, then I lose steam. I don't like to feel like a machine churning stuff out. If I feel confined then I tend to bail also. I need to feel free to meet the goal in my way, and so too much structure will de-motivate me.

    - Making it fun, or less boring at least. When it comes down to some nitty gritty details I don't care for, then that may be time to blast the music, pull out some snacks, roll my sleeves up metaphorically & just get it over with as painlessly as possible.

    - Play! I take a break, goof off, clear my head, and come back rejuvenated with fresh ideas. I'm very much a play-before-work type, but my play time is a huge source of inspiration for me.

    I also might add I don't have problem focusing as far as attention span goes. I have a great attention span. I read ridiculously long novels, watch mind-numbingly boring (well, to others) documentaries, easily pay attention through long lectures, etc. "Motivation" is probably a better word.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  3. #3
    Member Bamboozle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    - Play! I take a break, goof off, clear my head, and come back rejuvenated with fresh ideas. I'm very much a play-before-work type, but my play time is a huge source of inspiration for me.
    This bit seems particularly interesting. How is play a source of inspiration? How does it rejuvenate you? It…makes you happy? (Haha, look at me exercising my rudimentary understanding of Fi.) It's just that, in contrast, I never actually feel like I can clear my head as such.

  4. #4
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bamboozle View Post
    This bit seems particularly interesting. How is play a source of inspiration? How does it rejuvenate you? It…makes you happy? (Haha, look at me exercising my rudimentary understanding of Fi.) It's just that, in contrast, I never actually feel like I can clear my head as such.
    I thought it was more of a Ne thing. Fi for me is my usual introspective state, which can make me hyper-idealistic to the point of head-banging perfectionist frustration, and then sometimes giving up. "Play" allows me to take a break from that heaviness & interact with my environment a bit. I get outside of my head & get some perspective.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  5. #5
    Uniqueorn William K's Avatar
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    I think OA has pretty much covered all the bases

    If you're familiar with the four quadrant of prioritization (I think it's from Covey's 7 Habits), the top right quadrant is for stuff that is both important and urgent. The key is what is important or not to me. If there is something I feel passionately about, I will work to complete it regardless of how 'useless' or 'wasteful' it may seem to others.

    The main problem I have is that while I'm great at setting high-level goals, I'm usually not as great (gross understatement) at the nitty-gritty details. Keeping myself continually motivated to reach the goal is a constant challenge. One solution is of course to set short goals that can be achieved while I'm still in my gung-ho mood. Taking a break in-between also helps as I tend to ruminate and overthink stuff a lot. Remember that being self-aware means seeing both the good and the bad, and optimism can quickly switch to pessimism if some minor stuff doesn't go according to plan. And yes, I also get bored quickly if things become routine and repititive.
    4w5, Fi>Ne>Ti>Si>Ni>Fe>Te>Se, sp > so > sx

    appreciates being appreciated, conflicted over conflicts, afraid of being afraid, bad at being bad, predictably unpredictable, consistently inconsistent, remarkably unremarkable...

    I may not agree with what you are feeling, but I will defend to death your right to have a good cry over it

    The whole problem with the world is that fools & fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. ~ Bertrand Russell

  6. #6
    Member Bamboozle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William K
    Taking a break in-between also helps as I tend to ruminate and overthink stuff a lot. Remember that being self-aware means seeing both the good and the bad, and optimism can quickly switch to pessimism if some minor stuff doesn't go according to plan.
    I think this is what I'm interested in! This might seem kind of silly but what do you mean by self-aware? You probably don't mean that you only work on things when you want to…but does it?

    There's this guy I've seen. I think he's an INFP. He's the happiest person I've seen —*but in a very specific way. It's baffling and bemusing to me, mainly because he's so…very casually motivated? He wants to write something? Write a few songs? He'll jot a few things down that he wants to do in the next few months and then he…just does it. It's not even with the intensity and self-discipline that STJs or even NTJs do it; he just wants to do things. I don't even know if he has a problem with procrastination as such because…he just wants to do these things. Does that make any sense to you from an INFP perspective?

    I'm just confused because…I'm quite used to the idea of having to plough through things whether you like it or not. But I thought maybe the INFPs would have a better handle on things because of that self-awareness that…as my understanding goes, is part of what Fi is about. Not sure.

  7. #7
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    it's because he's writing songs..that's play...fun..it likely relaxes and fulfills him...there's nothing in there to dread...nothing to procrastinate about or put off. it is what he wants to do.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  8. #8
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bamboozle View Post
    I think this is what I'm interested in! This might seem kind of silly but what do you mean by self-aware? You probably don't mean that you only work on things when you want to…but does it?
    Honestly, yes, it does mean that for me. I don't do anything until I want to do it.
    However, here is the qualifier: Some values trump others. If a desire to achieve X trumps a desire to not do Y, and Y is required to achieve X, then I will want to do Y by extension.

    Example: I hate washing dishes. Never at any moment do I ever want to wash a dish. If I could go the rest of my life & never wash another dish I'd be thrilled. I will sometimes put off doing the dishes until they become petri dishes growing strange plant life in my sink. However, I will at some point decide I do want a clean kitchen, and by extension, that means I do want to wash my dishes. It is an ideal of mine to live in a relatively clean/neat space (for various reasons). So that will trump the fact that I do not want to wash dishes, and so I will wash them & ultimately accomplish something I do want, which is a clean kitchen. This value to have a clean space becomes stronger if I know people are coming over....again, I have that deadline, other people are involved, etc. Now I have the motivation to do something I don't like to do; I now WANT to do it because it's necessary to achieve a larger goal.

    There's this guy I've seen. I think he's an INFP. He's the happiest person I've seen —*but in a very specific way. It's baffling and bemusing to me, mainly because he's so…very casually motivated? He wants to write something? Write a few songs? He'll jot a few things down that he wants to do in the next few months and then he…just does it. It's not even with the intensity and self-discipline that STJs or even NTJs do it; he just wants to do things. I don't even know if he has a problem with procrastination as such because…he just wants to do these things. Does that make any sense to you from an INFP perspective?
    Yes, because when we really want to do something, then it is not work.
    However, I notice ISFPs are a lot more prolific, being more action-oriented. I feel like I mull things over a lot more which sometimes leads to abandoning it before I begin. It's the curse of being future-oriented to get less done right now because you're so busy envisioning the future.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  9. #9
    Member Bamboozle's Avatar
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    @Lady X: Haha, I know what you mean, I suppose. But he makes a living off doing these random things — so there actually is pressure but either he doesn't feel it or he's fine with it.

    I suppose what I'm trying to get at is…for example, I'm doing a PhD at the moment. And that's fine. I love it. I'm a Ti-Ne and I get to use those functions in a fulfilling way. Except that I hate my thesis, too. I can hardly bring myself to do it a lot of the time. And yet, in comparison, this INFP doesn't seem to have that conflict. It seems so clear in his mind what he wants and likes to do and that's it. Is that an Fi-self-awareness thing or…?

    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled
    Honestly, yes, it does mean that for me. I don't do anything until I want to do it.
    However, here is the qualifier: Some values trump others. If a desire to achieve X trumps a desire to not do Y, and Y is required to achieve X, then I will want to do Y by extension.
    This and the example was very useful. Thanks!

    Logically, it makes sense. It sounds like a matter of re-framing what you don't feel like doing into something that you do…and possibly using self-awareness to steer that re-framing? I don't know if that makes sense.

  10. #10
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    ^ Yes, yes, you've got it
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

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