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  1. #1
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Default NP's - "short projects" more effective?

    There have been several discussions on these forums about how NP's get bored easily with careers and other projects. And the NJ's usually say something like, "Once you find the career you've always wanted, why wouldn't you stick with it?" And we answer with something like, "Once I had it for a few years, I'd be over it." And then they say, "That doesn't make sense." And then we say, "You're stupid." And then they say, "That's why you're poor." And then we say, "That's why nobody likes you." And then they say, "Your mama has herpes." And a big fight ensues.

    But, seriously, unless you are an NP yourself, it's a difficult thing to understand.

    Here's my thought: since we are this way, wouldn't it make sense, logically, for us to break our lives up into small increments. Presumably, most of us already do this - changing careers every couple of years, moving to a new city, taking up different hobbies, even hanging out with a completely different set of friends. I think we do this without really thinking about it. But, what if we strategically made it a point to do this? I'm mainly thinking in terms of business/entrepreneurial projects again, but it could definitely apply to other areas of life as well.

    I heard a quote on the radio the other day where they paraphrased something that Barbra Streisand had said once. Apparently she said something like, "I work so hard because I'm so lazy." They said that her point in saying this was that she busts her tail for a while (making an album, touring, etc.) and then she can take it easy for a while and relax and gather her bearings. A year in the studio, a year touring, and then 6 months off to relax sort of thing. I can relate to this and it made me think about all of this.

    I heard another quote that went something like this: the thing that most commonly kills a great idea....is another great idea.

    But, instead of being frustrated with all of these ideas that come to us and constantly blaming some new idea for the failure of old ideas, why shouldn't we embrace this trait in ourselves and break up our business ventures into smaller chunks? 2-year projects, 5-year projects, and then move on to something new and fresh. Hit and run, so to speak. Sure, the NJ's will give us plenty of reasons why we should stick with something for years and years - and there are good reasons to do this. But, that's for them. We aren't them. We need change, we need things to be fresh.

    I think we get in these ruts where we're so frustrated by all of the ideas we have that we tend to give up and do none of them. I find that when I have 2 or 3 things going at once and I pursue those things for a couple of years, I do well. The 2 or 3 things can give us some variety (and they may be related to each other in some way, but they are also different). Then as our enthusiasm begins to fade, we instinctively know that it's time to begin phasing out. And then we can be excited and passionate again about the new thing we've been drumming up in our minds (without ever reaching that mind-numbing state of boredom that starts to seep in during year 3 or year 6), because as soon as we start to lose passion, we're moving on.

    We can be successful doing this too. Something is lost by not sticking with it for the long run, but something is gained too - passion and enthusiasm. Imagine if you could give yourself and your energy to something for a solid 2 years, knowing that when you got bored, you could sell it or just simply move onto another passion.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    That chalkboard guy Matthew_Z's Avatar
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    You can't list "Jack of Many Trades" as your profession and consider changing activities as learning your trades?

    I look at my situation as "following the flow" rather than "needing something new." I simply do what I need to do until I need to do something else. I don't aggressively seek out long-term plans as much as I let them approach me, then I stick to them as long as necessary.
    If a deaf INFP falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

  3. #3
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew_Z View Post
    You can't list "Jack of Many Trades" as your profession and consider changing activities as learning your trades?

    I look at my situation as "following the flow" rather than "needing something new." I simply do what I need to do until I need to do something else. I don't aggressively seek out long-term plans as much as I let them approach me, then I stick to them as long as necessary.
    That's good. I do that as well. It comes naturally to me. And I think it's good to "let life come to you" in some ways. But, I also get frustrated with myself (as do a couple of ENTP's that I know) because we have these big ideas that we'd like to pursue, but then we get on some other kick or new idea and the old one gets lost in the shuffle. Then 5 years later, you're kicking yourself because the opportunity is gone and you didn't do it when you should have.

    I've also stopped pursuing a business venture because I saw it turning into a 10-year ordeal that I knew I'd get sick and tired of. One of the ENTP's I know has been very successful in a business for over 20 years, but it's sucking the life out of her and she doesn't know what to do next. She has some great ideas, but I think she believes that she needs to do another "20 year project" and that idea scares the daylights out of her. Because of this, she feels "stuck" or "paralyzed". What I'm saying here is that she doesn't need to have that mindset. Just get into whatever she is passionate about without burdening herself with the feeling that "this is what she has to do forever". She doesn't. If you get tired of it, get out.

  4. #4

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    OP:

    Yes.
    Call me Visa, please!
    visakanv.com
    visaisahero.tumblr.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    It's difficult because the world isn't really focused on people who work in short projects. I wish it was easier to completely do something else every couple of years.
    (removed)

  6. #6
    Playnerd Timeless's Avatar
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    I know what you mean...

    But hey, let's start a company!

    We'll have all certified ENTP's and INTP's with big individual offices; divided by their speciality; sciences, art, economics etc. When a company, individual, artist etc. needs an idea or a good start-up/short-term project we all go there as a team and offer input from every known angle in the world; what we do best.

    Once, we give them a good boost in right direction, and when we get bored, we'll leave the rest for the SJ's.

    Let's call it: FTW & Associates.


  7. #7
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    ah cmooon...dont let your preference for short projects take you away from big and rewarding projects.

    now that you are aware of your abilities, work with them to achieve that mountain moving INTJ brand of work. manipulate yourself to get shit done.

    things that work:
    -understand that the project is frikkin huge, but divy it up into smaller parts...treat it one thing at a time. pretty soon you'll realize that you are spending waay too much on one part so that you dont get the project finished. then you need to start prioritizing projects.
    -learn as much about the project as you can. we NTPs are worse than fucking hyenas when it comes to learning stuff. dont make the project your main objective. make learning/something that interests you about the project your main objective...let the the project be a side effect of the result of your objective.
    -once you have enough momentum towards the project, proactively work towards finishing it.


    at my current job, im usually juggling about 5-6 separate projects at any given time. though my role is mainly that of a designer and developer, i also have to co-ordinate a lot of activities among people...i love this job.

    my last job, the boss dude handed me one project for the entire frikkin term. i got through it by picking a project that i didnt even know where to start, so i had to take in a truck load of info before i could even get started. i started experimenting with different technical ways of achieving my goals. whenever i got bored with the project, i used to have other sub-projects to turn to (for example: documentation of the software)....yes, i know some tasks are dull, boring, and redundant...but i frikkin live to make these as interesting as possible. when i was documenting software, i made myself think from the user's perspective. i was writing from a designer's perspective, but the user probably wont understand anything. so i had take off my designer glasses and don the user glasses. that added a challenge that i actually enjoyed solving.


    the only thing stopping you is yourself, do you really wanna be your own worse enemy

  8. #8
    Ruler of the Stars Asterion's Avatar
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    +1 to thisguy.

    OP- You're saying that you need to swap to something new. Is it a want, or a need?
    Last edited by Asterion; 02-22-2010 at 09:11 AM. Reason: not enough sleep :P
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by King-Of-Despair View Post
    +1 to thisguy.

    OP- You're saying that you need to swap to something new. Is it a want, or a need?
    i can see why you would think that...but to us NTPs it almost borderlines as a need, depending on our mood. if we dont follow the impulse that makes us onyl follow short term projects, we get mentally fatigued; we become physically and mentally lethargic....and for us, that is the road to self-destruction.

  10. #10
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by King-Of-Despair View Post
    OP- You're saying that you need to swap to something new. Is it a want, or a need?
    The answer is basically what thisguy wrote (quoted below). Surely, as an ENTP yourself, you at least understand the dilemma.

    Quote Originally Posted by thisGuy View Post
    i can see why you would think that...but to us NTPs it almost borderlines as a need, depending on our mood. if we dont follow the impulse that makes us onyl follow short term projects, we get mentally fatigued; we become physically and mentally lethargic....and for us, that is the road to self-destruction.
    I can plug through the physical and mental lethargy of things just like everyone else, if I have to - I've done it before and I can do it again. So, technically, it is not a need. It is a preference. And it has a lot to do with the difference between being happy and motivated with my work versus being - well, physically and mentally lethargic. ENTP's have to relate to this dilemma in some way, don't they (whether they job hop or not, the desire to do something new surely pops up from time to time)? If not, perhaps the ENTP is an ENTJ.

    I'm definitely not saying that no INTP or ENTP should ever engage in a long-term project ever again because MBTI says so. I'm not getting too caught up in the archetype thing and letting it define who I am. I'm simply putting out an idea that because of this preference we have for things to be new and fresh, we should do things in a way that plays into that strength - or avoids our weaknesses - same thing.

    I've been fortunate to come into a situation where I am in a 1-year project with an organization. After that year, the project is literally over. Then, I am
    doing an entrepreneurial project that involves approximately one year "in the field" and then several more months piecing that information/experience together. So, in a 3-year span, I'll be doing 3 totally different things, all of which help set up "future goals". It's not just hopping around for the sake of hopping around. The point is, that it feels less burdensome in the sense that jobs I've had in the past I've gotten into them and a few months later I'm usually thinking, "I have to do this for 5, 10, 20 more years?" I have job hopped in my past for the sake of getting out of that physical and mental lethargy mode, but I've never had an actual plan or strategy (at the beginning) to do this - or even a situation that allowed for it.

    Another way of saying all of this would be: society doesn't like "hopping". And we NTP's usually like to hop, relative to others in society. So, why not put ourselves in situations where hopping is OK. There are situations out there that allow for it, most of them would be entrepreneurial, but there are others too.

    Again, I'm not saying that "sticking with a job" for the long-term is a bad thing. It's an enviable trait and an enviable thing. It's a good thing to do. There are other ways to do this though.

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