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  1. #1
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Default INTJs - Why are we driven?

    I was, ironically, thinking about making this post during my Machiavelli lecture today, before I even got into the other INTJ thread...but it has motivated me enough to type this out. I have big dreams and aspirations of Epic proportions...as I suspect that many INTJs do...and I am wondering where this comes from? Why do we want power and success and such things? Is it evolutionary, or brought about by past experiences? What makes us drawn to certain paths?

    I am choosing between major paths in my life right now...and I feel inexplicably drawn towards multiple competing lifestyles...but I don't know why. Share your minds.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  2. #2
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    This is hard stuff. It's probably because it's Ni lead, which means it's out of our tangible, explicit understanding. Hopefully writing ideas back and forth with a few of us will help.


    I too have big dreams, also in many areas. And am young enough, have a baseline of talent in enough areas, that they're all reasonably feasible (assuming I work really hard once I commit).

    If I'm incompetent at something I try hard at, I feel so small. When I am really competent, especially where others are not, I feel almost whole. It's purpose-driven, I suppose.

    Maybe it's because Notably Excellent Human Beings are all superbly competent at what they've committed to. (Even human rights things: Ghandi, Mandela, MLK, etc... they all had to be competent enough to succeed, build a following, corral the followers, improve, etc.)

    I think it's legitimately well-intentioned, for the good of all, that I feel the need to be competent. Sure, it manifests itself in selfish ways, often. But I think that's the pale reflection of the true drive.

    But why am I driven so hard? I don't know.


    Maybe it's because I'm female, but I'm also superbly driven to be an excellent wife, mother, and friend when the time calls for it in my life. (Friend, I suppose, being now.) Relationships--I need to be competent there, too. I think that's why I'm so driven to learn MBTI: I want to pwn them. I want to get inside people's heads, I want people to spill their souls to me because they know I'm trustworthy and can hopefully help them reshape their insides more sturdily...

    I am also extremely aware of how little time I have to accomplish all of this. My time is my most hoarded possession. I want to figure stuff out and then go use it in my relationships, in my career where I'll make a serious difference in people's lives...


    I don't know what drives it but I also don't know if I can articulate to any non-INTJ just how strong this drive is.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  3. #3
    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    Because we can afford a chauffeur?

    This dovetails with the answer given to questions asked at MBTICentral on the meaning of life. Mine is simple because it's innate: "To strive, to seek, to find; and not to yield."

  4. #4
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    If I'm incompetent at something I try hard at, I feel so small. When I am really competent, especially where others are not, I feel almost whole. It's purpose-driven, I suppose.
    I know exactly what you mean. Sadly I have very few outlets when it comes to this sort of thing as my strong points don't lie in school or my current job.

    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername
    Maybe it's because Notably Excellent Human Beings are all superbly competent at what they've committed to. (Even human rights things: Ghandi, Mandela, MLK, etc... they all had to be competent enough to succeed, build a following, corral the followers, improve, etc.)
    Very true...but what makes us want to be Notably Excellent Human Beings (more so than other types). What makes us want to be more than a (wo)man? I want to be a powerhouse...more like a force of nature...in whatever I do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername
    I think it's legitimately well-intentioned, for the good of all, that I feel the need to be competent. Sure, it manifests itself in selfish ways, often. But I think that's the pale reflection of the true drive.
    Yes, I find that most of my considered paths are justifiable in helping others...but it's almost always in the darker side of life doing the dirty work that keeps other people's life happy. Strangely this is more comforting to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername
    Maybe it's because I'm female, but I'm also superbly driven to be an excellent wife, mother, and friend when the time calls for it in my life. (Friend, I suppose, being now.) Relationships--I need to be competent there, too. I think that's why I'm so driven to learn MBTI: I want to pwn them. I want to get inside people's heads, I want people to spill their souls to me because they know I'm trustworthy and can hopefully help them reshape their insides more sturdily...
    Yes, I can identify with this...but being male it is slightly different. My personal purpose plays a larger role and I see myself more as a physical protector than a caretaker.

    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername
    I am also extremely aware of how little time I have to accomplish all of this. My time is my most hoarded possession. I want to figure stuff out and then go use it in my relationships, in my career where I'll make a serious difference in people's lives...
    You hit the nail on the head with this. This is partially what has been frustrating me recently. I am soooo tired of waiting. I hate the idea of wasting a fifth of my life just preparing to do what I actually want to do.


    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername
    I don't know what drives it but I also don't know if I can articulate to any non-INTJ just how strong this drive is.
    I know...I have tried a lot and I think I have rubbed off on some of my friends. Every once in awhile I'll get a call where someone is really identifying with this part of me and says something like, "Ohhh. Now I know how you always feel." but really....I doubt they can.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  5. #5
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post



    Very true...but what makes us want to be Notably Excellent Human Beings (more so than other types). What makes us want to be more than a (wo)man? I want to be a powerhouse...more like a force of nature...in whatever I do.
    I don't know that it's that we want to be more than other types, I think it's more that we would be far more crushed if we didn't somewhat achieve our goal. Not that we have more to gain, that we have more to lose than other types.

    My INFP friend talks about his Messianic Complex he struggles with, and that Bono talks about. He told me in a gchat "it tends to dismiss the day to day stuff of life for grandiose struggle... you don't think you've done much at all, because to really make a difference you need to act on a totally different scale"
    I think he is far more driven in a different way to be a great person. I don't know how to explain it. It is different.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  6. #6
    Senior Member Rohsiph's Avatar
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    A major draw towards trying to uncode MBTI was to get a sense of why/how other people seemed to have weaker drives/wills than what I'm usually capable of. It's an issue that has nagged, usually subconsciously, throughout my life whenever considering my state vs. that of my peers.

    I see myself as outwardly self-assured, largely competent, frugal, & creative in significantly different ways than most; yet also paralyzed when confronting the corporate/service worlds, terrified of failing my own expectations, and (until recently) intolerant of almost all small-talk.

    My current aspirations center on achieving some sort of solid footing beyond my current setting as an artist. I don't know how I'm going to get there, or even if I can get there, but I just can't see myself ever reconciling if I get swept into a common career path.

    I don't know . . . I keep on struggling with depression, yet continue to keep it from anyone who would direct me to any kind of clinical help, believing that it would be a failure of my personal integrity if I conceded to therapy or prescriptions. It's an overwhelming will to keep moving forward, however slowly at times, figuring that anything more than a small failure will mean death--and is therefore not an option.

    It's building everything up inside subconsciously as I go through the motions, knowing that everything will come out to help me succeed when I need it. It's inexplicable . . . perhaps even transcendental.

    Perhaps a part of it lies in always second-guessing every example of what I do in public, including this post--wondering if any of it is helpful, hoping that it is, hurrying on to the next task just in case it didn't work right . . .

  7. #7
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    I think we just have an innate sense to be the best. I've always felt this way. I want to be the most competent, most athletic, most knowledgeable etc. I basically want to be the best at every aspect of life that I consider important. I also too have huge dreams and ambitions, that I think about everyday and work hard everyday for them. But I just think the simple answer, is that it is in our nature to be like this. I think we can't help it and we were born this way. I remember even as an infant I walked at 9 months because I kept working at it until I got it (so I've been told). I just think we can't help it and we should just consider ourselves blessed for having such a powerful drive and will.

  8. #8
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    I imagine that the INTJ in his most primitive stage is not driven, rather he plans too much at the expense of follow-through.

  9. #9
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    I was, ironically, thinking about making this post during my Machiavelli lecture today, before I even got into the other INTJ thread...but it has motivated me enough to type this out. I have big dreams and aspirations of Epic proportions...as I suspect that many INTJs do...and I am wondering where this comes from? Why do we want power and success and such things? Is it evolutionary, or brought about by past experiences? What makes us drawn to certain paths?

    I am choosing between major paths in my life right now...and I feel inexplicably drawn towards multiple competing lifestyles...but I don't know why. Share your minds.
    Many years ago, I was told that I suffered from "Grandiose Thinking" which apparently is not good.

    When I was four years old, I experienced applause for the first time. I had sung a couple of Nursery songs in front of a classroom full of 9 year olds. It was the most incredibly awesome experience of my entire life! I used to dream about it for years afterwards! From that time on, all I dreamed of doing with my life was singing and performing in front of audiences - the bigger the better. And when I say ALL I wanted - well, you know how INTJs can be one-track-minded. Everyone who met me in the first 38 years of my life knew I was a singer and that I dreamed of becoming a recording artist.

    The last 10 years have been a rude awakening. My "unrealistic expectations" never came to fruition, and all I had left was a bagful of self-loathing and self-hatred because I was unable to make my dream come true. The dream that was going to make a mark on the world for the better, the dream that was going to prove that I AM somebody, and that I deserve love and respect.

    Oh well. That's my story. Great dreams are a two-edged sword. We'll never accomplish anything great without a great dream, but on the other hand, our dreams have to have their foundation in reality.

    The reason I didn't get a great career going is because I'm not a "great" singer. I can't "holler" like Celine Dion. I'm not a great entertainer; I'm not that comfortable in my own skin. I do have a nice voice, and I always get very nice compliments when I sing, and suggestions that I should make records, but...

    Even when I'm cleaning my house, I want to make a difference. I want to be able to see I have made a significant change from the way it was, to the way it is now. I think it's the way we're wired for the most part.

    (I am also partially INFJ, and I don't know if that plays a part.)

    I wish you good success!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Veneti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    I was, ironically, thinking about making this post during my Machiavelli lecture today, before I even got into the other INTJ thread...but it has motivated me enough to type this out. I have big dreams and aspirations of Epic proportions...as I suspect that many INTJs do...and I am wondering where this comes from? Why do we want power and success and such things? Is it evolutionary, or brought about by past experiences? What makes us drawn to certain paths?

    I am choosing between major paths in my life right now...and I feel inexplicably drawn towards multiple competing lifestyles...but I don't know why. Share your minds.
    The true types are part of an evolutionary makeup and type as INTJs.

    Being "Driven" is complementary to the traits of "Strategy" (Offensive) and "Contingency" (Defensive).

    ... and then step back thousands of years.

    As I've always said = INTJ = Advancer/Survivalist.

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