Friday, March 29, 2019

Quick and Dirty INTJ Thoughts #6: Fun Should Have A Point

Hey, everyone.

As promised, I'm back with another Quick and Dirty INTJ Thoughts... much later than promised.

Anyway, so this one is about how INTJs don't do anything solely for the fun of it. My inspiration for this one comes from recent events in my life. Two weeks ago I went to a friend's house and played poker with him and a few others. Now, they all seemed to be there to have fun as they really got into the trash talk, and they were loose and fast with their betting. Not me; I was very cautious. I was there to win--I was out for blood--I wanted to make some money, honey! And I did. Not a lot, but hey, I still got paid.

Now, this isn't the only experience I've had with doing something and hoping to meld fun with a point. Back in the day, I was a part of an archery league, and often times, the range owner's wife would ask me if I was having fun. I would lie to her and say "yes." The reason I wasn't having fun was because I wasn't shooting well, and to be honest, I've got better things to do than suck at archery.

Basically, I don't want to partake in any activity that has no purpose. I'm too old to be wasting my time on fruitless endeavors and challenges. True, the only way I'm going to get better at certain activities is by practicing them, which means occasionally messing up or sucking at them, but let's be honest, performing under pressure has its virtues as it forces you to adapt and survive, whereas in rewardless practice, it doesn't matter if you fail because there's nothing at stake.

In conclusion, I don't do anything solely for fun. There are things I do for fun, but they also help me to fulfill a challenge and/or reach a goal. My fun has a point.


For next week, I found a video called "10 Signs You Won't Be Rich" by Valuetainment. So, here's the question: can INTJs be rich? We'll find out next time.

Until then...

Keep writing, my friends.

More About Bryan C. Laesch:

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Are INTJs Creative People?

Hey, everyone.

As you know, I like to think of myself as a writer, and not just a blogger, but a novelist and poet, which is unusual for an INTJ. Speaking of, I found an article on Medium called "Writing and the Creative Life: 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently" and I thought it would be fun to see if INTJs qualify as "highly creative people". Of course, though, I'll be using myself as the metric and from I've gathered about our kind from social media. Let's see how we stack up.

1. They daydream.

I can't speak for all INTJs, but I know I daydream.  Although, some of my daydreams are about world conquest, or at the least conquest of ultimate efficiency, which would be a very INTJ-like fantasy, and therefore something INTJs would daydream about. And considering how much time INTJs spend in their own heads with their great ideas and revelations, it obviously takes some form of creativity in order to come up with all of that, so, INTJs probably daydream.

2. They observe everything.

This one is a bit double-edged. On the one hand, I'm very familiar with the image others have of us where they like to make jokes about how INTJs don't notice anything around them because we spend so much time in our heads; however, that has not been my experience. I don't know if it's because I have a well-tuned Se, or if it's the fact that I grew up with a father who is always planning and strategizing, regardless of task, but I like to think I notice everything. Well, maybe I don't observe everything, but I definitely observe more than nothing, and I think all INTJs have this capacity to some extent.

3. They work hours that work for them.

INTJs are known for being loners, doing what they want as opposed to following a set course, especially when it behooves them to. Now, true, a lot of INTJs work in fields where they work eight hours a day, but that's a limited view on "work". Taking myself as an example: while I work a job, I don't consider it "my work". My work is much grander, has a purpose, and can change the world. Usually it takes the shape of my writing, but can also include my thinking, my pursuit of knowledge, my reading, or even my teaching of others, which, guess what, don't all take place in my 9-5. I mean, sometimes my work does, but most of it takes place at night. Just the other day I tried writing during the day and it was an awful, mind-wrenching experience for reasons I don't understand; ergo, I work hours that work for me, whether it be times of convenience or times when I feel the least inhibited.

4. They take time for solitude.

This one should be obvious. INTJs are introverts, and then you throw intuitive thinking on top of that, or Ni, and you end up with the most introverted of the introverts. And like I said above, we are loners, so, do we take time for solitude? No, we take solitude for a time.

5. They turn life's obstacles around.

I'm not a hundred percent sure what to "turn life's obstacles around" means. I would go back to the source article, but apparently, the article from Medium was based on a similar article by Carolyn Gregoire from HuffPost who wrote examples for each of these, but I was not able to find it.

I'm going to assume that to "turn life's obstacles around" means finding a way to make a life obstacle work for you rather than against you. Unfortunately, I think this might be one where INTJs come up short. We are known for our perfectionistic tendencies, and when something doesn't match our ideal of perfection, we often obsess and fixate on it. So, I think INTJs aren't particularly good at this. We can solve problems, but we can't really make them work for us. And if we can't do either, then we ignore or destroy them. So, I think this is one we don't have.

6. They seek out new experiences.

Here's another one where I think INTJs come up a little short. We are judging types, so we're not the biggest fan of change. The thing about change is that it is often new or novel. The problem with novelty is that it's inefficient, and inefficiency hinders.

The only way I could see an INTJ seeking out new experiences is if they're new in a limited perspective. For instance, an INTJ might read every day at the same exact time. Thus, in keeping with that scope, a new experience may result in the INTJ reading a new book or a genre they wouldn't usually touch. That can be a new experience, and all the new experience an INTJ really needs.

7. They "fail up."

Here's another one where I could really use an explanation of its meaning. "Fail up"; I see two possible explanations for this: 

1. A person learns from their mistakes,
2. When a person does make a mistake, they still succeed in some way.

Of the two, I think the first one is more likely as the second requires a person to be more lucky than skilled or gifted creatively. After all, it isn't often that a person can screw something up and still come out of it fresher than daisies. So, can an INTJ learn from their mistakes?

Well, we won't ever know since INTJs are never wrong...

Relax, I'm joking, but only partially. INTJs are hardly ever wrong, so there really isn't a precedent set for them learning from their mistakes. However, seeing as how we're beings of relentless rationale, logic dictates that if we are ever proven wrong, we must admit fault and learn from our mistake. So, I would say that INTJs can indeed "fail up".

8.They ask big questions.

Here's another one I don't really have to explain. INTJs do not concern themselves with the small and mundane, and it is never enough for us that something "is"--we must also know "why" and "where it fits".

9. They people-watch.

This one sort of goes back to #2, about whether or not we observe everything. Bearing that in mind, there is obviously a split between INTJs: those who observe, and therefore people-watch, and those who don't.

One would think that since INTJs think so highly of themselves in comparison to regular people that they would have some knowledge regarding what regular people are like. True, they can learn that knowledge from a book or from a teacher, but they can also observe it for themselves. However, observing the faults and shortcomings of people is not the same as people-watching. Therefore, this one likely depends on each individual INTJ.

10. They take risks.

This one is interesting. On the one hand, I want to say the INTJ personality isn't predisposed to taking risks. We prefer to research and strategize so we can mitigate loss as much as possible. However, my uncle once told me I have a habit of letting my chips fall where they may, but I don't think this is the sort of risks the article is referring to.

Creative types can take risks without actually risking anything, such as wearing something strange or brightly colored to a funeral. Other than failing to read the room and being considered a total dolt, there's not much to risk here. Similarly, a creative person might wear a full tuxedo to a funeral, which while not totally appropriate, said person isn't dressed inappropriately. Therefore I think a creative person might take a risk drawing or writing in a style they're not familiar with, which may or may not be a loss regardless of what happens.

But the question is, would an INTJ take that sort of risk? Probably not, unless the specific INTJ was already prone to creative risks. Like I said, we try to mitigate risk.

11. They view all of life as an opportunity for self-expression.

I wouldn't say INTJs have this quality, but at the same time, I don't think we lack it. It's not so much we view all of life as an opportunity for self-expression, it's more we're going to express ourselves regardless of the opportunity. Of course though, the methods in which an INTJ will express himself are far more conservative and restricted, such as discussing existential morality at a house party rather than performing keg stands. So, I would INTJs have this quality, just not in the way one would expect.

12. They follow their true passions.

Ah! Whom are we talking about? INTJs. So, could the answer to this be anything other than "but of course"? True, an INTJ's passions may seem boring when compared to the passions of an ESFP or an ENTP, but INTJs are some of the most honest personalities in the whole world. Therefore, we cannot act counter to our passions because that would cause us to act counter to our natures, and the two are inseparable. So, yes, INTJs follow their true passions.

13. They get out of their own heads.

Very rarely, if ever, do INTJs get out of their own heads. Even when we need to give our brains a break, we still remain firmly planted within the realm of our own minds. More than that, we don't see the need to get out of our heads; not because we're scared, but because there's no virtue in it. Sure, we may research disparate theories, opinions, and perspectives, but we never leave our own heads. Even when attempting to use someone else's rationale to see things from their perspective, we still don't leave our own heads. Although, I think the real reason why INTJs don't leave their own heads is because they think it's a silly sentiment and infeasible action; therefore, we don't do it.

14. They lose track of the time.

Like #10, INTJs are not predisposed or stereotyped as beings who lose track of time. In fact, we're generally regarded as not losing track of anything. However, I know for my part that I can certainly lose track of time when I'm having fun, regardless of the activity, whether it be playing video games, bowling, reading, writing, or hanging out with friends. Surely, I cannot be the only INTJ who does this.

15. They surround themselves with beauty.

I don't know why you would want to surround yourself with ugliness. I also think it possible that this statement unintentionally offends uncreative people. Just because you aren't traditionally creative, doesn't mean your surroundings are unpleasant. More likely your surroundings are beautiful but in a utilitarian sense. I don't care what anyone says, you can find beauty in anything that is true or good, which can manifest as "useful".

16. They connect the dots.

Are you joking? Again, whom are we speaking about? INTJs, right? All we do is connect dots. That's what our Ni was born to do.

17. They constantly shake things up.

Well, just like with #11, INTJs don't constantly shake things up because they're trying to, we merely shake things up by virtue of who they are. One of our most notable traits is that we have a tendency to indulge in refreshingly brutal honesty, which is all you really need to shake things up, because, you know, everyone is lying.

18. They make time for mindfulness.

This one I'm torn about, because on the one hand, like I said earlier, I like to think INTJs are exceedingly aware, perspicacious almost, although obviously not everyone agrees. However, I think what they mean here by "mindfulness" is a state of being considerate of other people, which is again another area where it is believed INTJs fall short. I tend to disagree because when an INTJ lacks mindfulness or consideration, it's not due to incompetence. It's generally a very conscious decision in which we choose to ignore something because it has no import to us. But when it comes to those closest to us, or anything we care about greatly, we become the most mindful or aware persons in the world. And of course, we like to think we are very mindful of the things that actually matter in life, like why does the universe exist as opposed to who won the Oscars.


In summation, I don't entirely know where this leaves INTJs. This is by no means conclusive proof as to whether or not INTJs are creative. Point of fact, I think some INTJs are creative and some are not, however that's only when you regard creativity in a traditional sense. If you broaden the definition, I think all INTJs may fit it, because after all, in order to ask big questions and think about things in ways people don't usually think requires some level of creativity. Not to mention, you sort of have to be exceedingly creative if you plan on taking over the world someday; that's no mundane task.


So then, what will I do for next time? I'm not entirely sure, but those Quick and Dirty INTJ Thoughts are awfully popular on Pinterest, so maybe I'll invest some time in those. But we shall see.

Until then...

Keep writing, my friends.

More About Bryan C. Laesch:

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