• You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community, you will have access to additional post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), view blogs, respond to polls, upload content, and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free, so please join our community today! Just click here to register. You should turn your Ad Blocker off for this site or certain features may not work properly. If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us by clicking here.

The wrong life

Coriolis

Odd man out
Staff member
Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Messages
27,007
MBTI Type
INTJ
Enneagram
5w6
Instinctual Variant
sp/sx
Have you ever felt as though you were living the wrong life?

I have a good life by most measures. I have made significant progress toward professional and personal goals, have everything I need and much of what I want, and have few regrets. For years now, however, there has been this undercurrent of feeling that I am living the wrong life, almost like those sci/fi stories in which someone lands in a parallel universe where their life turned out quite differently. I look back and wonder, at what point did I make the "wrong" turn away from that parallel existence? Which is the life I was "meant" to lead? My real life is the better life, so why do I feel so strongly called by the alternative, as if I am missing something more important than all I actually have? Has anyone else experienced something like this?
 

Amargith

Hotel California
Joined
Nov 5, 2008
Messages
14,717
MBTI Type
ENFP
Enneagram
4dw
Instinctual Variant
sx/so
Sounds like you had your head rule your heart..not uncommon for an INTJ, but sometimes it means that you take a turn and ignore things that your heart truly could've enjoyed, something that would've given you a purpose, fulfilment and even happiness. However..it could also be that..well, since you're INTJ, you like to fix things. With things going smoothly in every area, you've achieved what you've set out: to conquer a life for yourself, on every area. But INTJs relish in fixing things...to then hand over and have someone else maintain them, so they can fix and conquer the next challenge :smile:

It would appear you need a new challenge in your life, that it has become too efficient and smooth to be anywhere near what you need. Ironically, you've just achieved everything you've ever set out to do, you should be feeling pretty good about yourself..but that doesn't take away that nagging need to *fix* things, especially when there is still so much to fix and conquer in this world..and several others ;)

So perhaps, you could combine that need with the search for something that fills your heart with joy :)
 

Litvyak

No Cigar
Joined
Oct 5, 2008
Messages
1,822
Instinctual Variant
sx/sp
Yes, and that is the point when I've changed mine. Let me say in advance, I'll be strongly biased since the topic still resonates within me.
We can't solve your issues, you have to invest serious effort in discovering what went wrong, and aspire to change it instead of simply thinking about how it could be better. Points you might want to consider though:

- Is "progress toward professional goals" the same as "progress toward personal goals"? Are these two different? Did you achieve success in both, or maybe only in the former? Are your personal goals dictated by yourself, or external factors?

- It seems to me that, after stating your question, you almost immediately started to explain how you have a "good life", as if you wanted to convince somebody (yourself?) on the fact that "it's not that bad" to lessen the need for change (post-rationalizing).

- Do you already know the answer to your question? Is the systematic approach always the best? Do you have enough RL experiences to make a quality distinction between the life you currently lead, and the life you might want to lead ("My real life is the better life")?
 

INTP

New member
Joined
Jul 31, 2009
Messages
7,808
MBTI Type
intp
Enneagram
5w4
Instinctual Variant
sx
for me its more like i feel like id rather live another life, but some things i dont know how to change, even if i know what my goal about that would be, and some things i just cant change without turning my back on real me. so im kinda stuck on something i dont really care about. it wouldnt be a problem since i dont exactly hate my life, but years go by and im getting older and older and im starting to feel pressure to do something since im wasting my youth living a way i dont really care about..
 

Not_Me

New member
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
1,641
MBTI Type
INTj
Which is the life I was "meant" to lead? My real life is the better life, so why do I feel so strongly called by the alternative, as if I am missing something more important than all I actually have? Has anyone else experienced something like this?
Was there a specific crossroad in your life that lead you down this path? Now that you achieved a level of success, perhaps its time to explore the alternative.

In my case, I am certain that I did not take the wrong path. I have a good career with almost certain job security and no money worries. I am not unhappy about my personal life. Yet I have never been satisfied. I feel like I am simply coasting through life. I see so many other possibilities and don't want to have regrets after age closes the doors.

It would appear you need a new challenge in your life, that it has become too efficient and smooth to be anywhere near what you need. Ironically, you've just achieved everything you've ever set out to do, you should be feeling pretty good about yourself..but that doesn't take away that nagging need to *fix* things, especially when there is still so much to fix and conquer in this world..and several others ;)
You're understand the INTJ drive very well. :)
 

Amargith

Hotel California
Joined
Nov 5, 2008
Messages
14,717
MBTI Type
ENFP
Enneagram
4dw
Instinctual Variant
sx/so
Grin. It happens when you attempt to make one happy for as long as I have ;)
 

Qlip

Post Human Post
Joined
Jul 30, 2010
Messages
8,465
MBTI Type
ENFP
Enneagram
4w5
Instinctual Variant
sp/sx
Yeah, I know the feeling. As Satine said, look for the things that bring you satisfaction. Give yourself a nice chunk of space and time where no other damands are exerted on you except for finding those things. Mental/physical/time/emotional space.
 

INTP

New member
Joined
Jul 31, 2009
Messages
7,808
MBTI Type
intp
Enneagram
5w4
Instinctual Variant
sx
You're understand the INTJ drive very well. :)

its not an INTJ thing to get those feelings in that sort of situation, its an human thing.
 

Not_Me

New member
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
1,641
MBTI Type
INTj
its not an INTJ thing to get those feelings in that sort of situation, its an human thing.
I'm not so sure. I hear the phrase "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" so may time from my friends and coworkers.
 

INTP

New member
Joined
Jul 31, 2009
Messages
7,808
MBTI Type
intp
Enneagram
5w4
Instinctual Variant
sx
i wasnt talking about INTJ profile, i wanted to show you this effect, so that you could see that she said general thing about people, but you applied it to you and your type, even tho it can be applied to pretty much anyone
 

Amargith

Hotel California
Joined
Nov 5, 2008
Messages
14,717
MBTI Type
ENFP
Enneagram
4dw
Instinctual Variant
sx/so
its not an INTJ thing to get those feelings in that sort of situation, its an human thing.

True, but I'll deal with that situation by going out and learning something new and taking classes or volunteering for some charity that fully supports my moral beliefs, unlike INTJs who will go around fixing stuff that doesn't work properly and making it efficient.

And I'll feel that way when I've mastered the subjects that had my interest for some time and when my emotional relationship with my So is not in need of work but has gotten perhaps a bit stale and stuck in a rut, as those are my goals in life, only to then find a new passion to delve into and a new way to engage him and grow together as a couple.
 

disregard

mrs
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
7,826
MBTI Type
INFP
It might be that phoney, idealised images of people living "fulfilling" lives in movies and on facebook and whatnot are making you feel like you're missing out on something that isn't real.
 

Litvyak

No Cigar
Joined
Oct 5, 2008
Messages
1,822
Instinctual Variant
sx/sp
It might be that phoney, idealised images of people living "fulfilling" lives in movies and on facebook and whatnot are making you feel like you're missing out on something that isn't real.

You can diss pop culture as much as you want - If it hits, it's a sign that somethings's wrong.
Fulfilled people don't long for fake candy.
 

highlander

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 23, 2009
Messages
26,359
MBTI Type
INTJ
Enneagram
6w5
Instinctual Variant
sx/sp
Have you ever felt as though you were living the wrong life?

Yes. Many times before. It might be an INTJ thing.

Sounds like you had your head rule your heart..not uncommon for an INTJ, but sometimes it means that you take a turn and ignore things that your heart truly could've enjoyed, something that would've given you a purpose, fulfilment and even happiness. However..it could also be that..well, since you're INTJ, you like to fix things. With things going smoothly in every area, you've achieved what you've set out: to conquer a life for yourself, on every area. But INTJs relish in fixing things...to then hand over and have someone else maintain them, so they can fix and conquer the next challenge :smile:

It would appear you need a new challenge in your life, that it has become too efficient and smooth to be anywhere near what you need. Ironically, you've just achieved everything you've ever set out to do, you should be feeling pretty good about yourself..but that doesn't take away that nagging need to *fix* things, especially when there is still so much to fix and conquer in this world..and several others ;)

So perhaps, you could combine that need with the search for something that fills your heart with joy :)

Very good response.
 

mmhmm

meinmeinmein!
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
2,280
more like wrong place and wrong time. never really wrong life.
i just have to make it work within the actual time i'm in. like there
will be moments where i'm like alright i'll suck it up in order
to co-exist with the rest of the world. but it's always about "timing"
for me, kairos man. i'll always love what i'm doing even though
it just doesn't make sense at the time. but it fucking will. the
process of making it happen keeps me going. so fun.

like i feel william burroughs just waiting for the right moment to draw
my gun at a shoot out in the good the bad and the ugly. equal parts
excited, equal parts focused, but always at my own time. maybe
that's why i really love watching westerns. cowboys. bang bang.
 

Coriolis

Odd man out
Staff member
Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Messages
27,007
MBTI Type
INTJ
Enneagram
5w6
Instinctual Variant
sp/sx
First, thank you to everyone who has replied. It is interesting that others have had similar thoughts crop up.

Is "progress toward professional goals" the same as "progress toward personal goals"? Are these two different? Did you achieve success in both, or maybe only in the former? Are your personal goals dictated by yourself, or external factors?
Professional and personal goals are different. The first involves education, career, even hobbies or other areas of skill and ability; the second involves relationships. And yes, I consider myself successful in both, though the second still comes rather as a surprise. My personal goals are dictated by myself. I have always been strongly resistant to external factors.

- It seems to me that, after stating your question, you almost immediately started to explain how you have a "good life", as if you wanted to convince somebody (yourself?) on the fact that "it's not that bad" to lessen the need for change (post-rationalizing).
I made a point of describing my life as good because I don't want people to think that the perspective I am experiencing is caused by some obvious source of disappointment, like being stuck in a boring job or an unsatisfying relationship, or having some serious regret. That is what makes it at times seem foolish. I feel as though I am whining to myself when nothing is wrong, because nothing IS wrong, except the feeling that something is wrong. (Is that circular enough?)

- Do you already know the answer to your question? Is the systematic approach always the best? Do you have enough RL experiences to make a quality distinction between the life you currently lead, and the life you might want to lead ("My real life is the better life")?
Not only do I not know the answer to the question, I am not sure I even know the question. For me, the systematic approach is often best for implementation, but rarely for getting answers, especially on topics like this. I do have enough experience to assess the relative merits of my life, that is part of what makes this both odd and frustrating.

I know the alternative that lurks in the shadows is worse, in some significant ways. It is a version of "there but for the grace of God go I", except I wonder in all earnestness sometimes whether I should have gone there. Whether there is an upside that would have more than compensated for the obvious downside; whether it would simply have been a better fit for me. My real life, however rewarding and successful, just seems so draining to sustain at times.

My question, then, is not so much one of how I can have this other life, but why I would even want it. To paraphrase INTP, I can't actually change many of these things without turning my back on the real-life me.
 

Litvyak

No Cigar
Joined
Oct 5, 2008
Messages
1,822
Instinctual Variant
sx/sp
I see. Maybe you've overdriven yourself, or neglected your need to relax? Perhaps an exotic vacation would solve the problem, or provide you with further clues? Too much introspection? Not enough introspection?
I would like to help you somehow. Could you describe the alternative version of your life in a more down-to-earth way? Which one of your choices do you seem to doubt?
 

Coriolis

Odd man out
Staff member
Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Messages
27,007
MBTI Type
INTJ
Enneagram
5w6
Instinctual Variant
sp/sx
It took me awhile to figure out how to answer your question. I "know" what the alternative is; I can feel it, even see it almost, but putting it into words is a challenge. The primary difference is in the personal side of my life. I hinted unintentionally at it above when I mentioned being surprised at my success here, whereas my professional success was much more expected, even planned.

For most of my growing up years, through college in fact, I had good reason to think that I would probably spend my life alone. Not completely alone, of course, but with colleagues and neighbors and distant relations rather than close friends or (heaven forbid) a partner/spouse/SO. It turns out, however, that I have both friends and SO, my earlier predictions to the contrary. I think it has just been catching up with me lately what a significant investment of time and energy that can be, especially when one considers the secondary relationships: parents, siblings, old college buddies, etc. of my SO; husband, kids, sister of my best grad school friend, etc. I think of what else I would or could do with that time and energy if I were alone, and wonder if I made the better bargain.
 
Top