Curiosity is also a great motivator. I can wonder if something is possible in the morning, and have my proof by the afternoon.
Being an INTP is unlucky in one sense: I’m not motivated by goals. It’s not just that they’re too distant, though there is that, it’s more that there’s nothing that I want enough in the future to get working now.
On the other hand, the advantage in being an INTP is that I can enjoy the Now. The promise of doing what I enjoy, such as watching a film or going for a walk or taking pictures, is what gets me out of bed.
Curiosity is also a great motivator. I can wonder if something is possible in the morning, and have my proof by the afternoon. I can enjoy life moment-to-moment, which is something that’s more difficult if you’re goal-orientated.
For me, there needs to be an immediate purpose to what I’m doing. If I’m making a video diary, for example, it’s so that I don’t forget how to speak, as a result of being alone so much.
While I read books for enjoyment, it’s also so that I don’t lose my ability to write. I notice that the less I read, the less good I am at forming coherent word lines of what-do-you-call-ems.
I write these blog entries because my mood improves. I keep them brief because too much work makes me unhappy.
I read somewhere that you shouldn’t end a blog on a downbeat note. Or perhaps I just made that up. Anyway, that is what this paragraph is for. Ah, damn it! I thought of a good final sentence to put here, distracted myself by thinking what a great ending it was, and immediately forgot it. If I recall it at some point, I’ll drop it in.
I imagined that humans worked like computers: we took input in the form of new information; we processed it by thinking about it; and we output it as a new idea, product or invention.
About twenty years ago, I recognised that my life was going nowhere, that I was stuck in a loop. I labelled this a “process-only” loop. I imagined that humans worked like computers: we took input in the form of new information; we processed it by thinking about it; and we output it as a new idea, product or invention.
I believed that I had become stuck in the “process” step, analysing the same information over and over again. The solution, I reasoned, was more data – a return to the “input” step. It turns out that this idea was close to the theory espoused by MBTI, as described by the idea of the Ti-Si loop.
Forgive me if I don’t elaborate on the Ti-Si loop. My knowledge is patchy on the subject, and if I wait until I get round to looking up the information, I’ll end up never completing this article, brief though it is. Safe to say, the Ti-Si loop is a thought-process by which the sufferer (and it is a form of suffering) gets stuck trying to find a way out of a situation but being unable to move on because it perhaps hasn’t occurred to them that they don’t have enough information – a bit like being reluctant to look things up for an article because of the time it would take. Ah. 😦
In the 1980s, like many teenagers, I used to play computer games. By far my favourite type was the “arcade adventure”. These were usually platform-style games, and involved exploring an environment – such as a building or mine-working – and solving puzzles to get past obstacles. They were the forerunners to Tomb Raider and similar games.
I liken the “process-only” Ti-Si loop to some of my attempts to navigate the games – trying repeatedly to use the same objects or keys to solve a puzzle or open a door, and getting nowhere. The only solution was to go to another part of the game and search for a new object, or find another way through. My attempts to get through life have been much the same, for many years. Despite identifying the problem and positing a viable solution over two decades ago, it’s only recently that I’ve taken the message seriously.
Perhaps I liked those games not because they were an escape, as I’ve always assumed, but they were true-to-life as far as an INTP sees it.
The fact that our brains are reprogrammable can lead us to the erroneous conclusion that we can modify our personalities, which appears not to be the case, beyond minor changes.
Today, I dined on crisps and chocolate-covered coconut bars. Also, two slices of ham that tasted off, with some tomatoes and fake cheese, in a sandwich. I can’t eat wheat without consequences, so there’s that. The bread was 25 pence per 800g loaf. I bought two. I eat what I can afford.
I’ve often thought about why I am so different from other people. Others have no problem applying themselves to essential tasks such as working for money. They are able to apply themselves even when hate what they do. Now I know it’s just that my brain is different. Obvious really. Then again, the fact that our brains are reprogrammable can lead us to the erroneous conclusion that we can modify our personalities, which appears not to be the case, beyond minor changes. I know I can’t change, having spent over thirty years trying.
The only times I’ve had any success, like a normal person, have been when the environment has been right – when there has been no pressure to look for work. There is little chance of finding such an environment today, in this country.
“But John,” they say. “The real world doesn’t work the way you want it to.”
Well, that’s what I’m objecting to. As a small-minority personality type, INTPs are poorly catered for by politicians who are willing to get the environment right for the entrepreneurial types and the worker bees. Entrepreneurs who say they can thrive in any environment, nevertheless campaign for “business-friendly” political policies.
I am low on hope.
I have, at most, a couple of months to find a way of making a living, or risk destitution.
I’ve spent the last thirty years trying to turn into a go-getting action-orientated type. That’s what everyone says is the personality we should have. Mostly, I’ve failed. The few times I’ve succeeded, I’ve become chronically miserable.
Recently, I discovered from an online psychologist that your personality type is hard-wired, that my efforts to change have been wasted. Unfortunately for INTPs, there aren’t many ways of making a living that don’t make us miserable or drive us mad. At least, that’s my experience.
I have, at most, a couple of months to find a way of making a living – in my forties – or risk destitution.
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Couldn’t be bothered to eat, the other day, as it involved having to cook. Next morning, I had a big pile of vegetables with half a tin of chilli-con-carne.
I don’t often go without food but I’m getting into practice for when I have no money at all.