In this article, you are going to learn about why INFJs and INTJs can become absolutely obsessed with their creative work. Why INFJs spend so many hours working for free on impractical ideas. Why INFJs and INTJs are able to focus so easily on their creative projects and why they never seem to stop using their Introverted iNtuition.
First of all, any type can use Introverted iNtuition, but no type can use it to the extent an INFJ or INTJ does. Introverted iNtuition is our engine, our captain of the ship, our fire, our purpose, and our end destination.
Secondly, while any type can use Introverted iNtuition, most types can stop using it, but we can't. We are always using it. It's always on, and if it's not on, we're not on. We're not ourselves without it.
Thirdly, Introverted iNtuition is not something mystical or unconscious to us, it's here and now, visceral, real, and important. It makes us visualise things, it is our minds inner eye, it shows us where we need to go, and it helps us understand the world around us. It's our filter through which we see the world.
Now, let's talk about what this means for INFJs.
The INFJ Personality Type is known for setting their mind on one singular, all-encompassing goal, and pursuing this goal with unyielding curiosity and fascination. This is my personal story, expressing how this could play out and how I have learnt to adjust to this nature in myself.
Those that know me know that I can be, despite my innate sensitivty, unyielding in my curiosity. I have always been absolutely obsessed with ideas, philosophy, and the understanding of the universe. This pursuit has gone before friendship, relationships, love, career-aspirations, and my day to day life and happiness.
Never do I seem to stop looking ahead - never do I seem to stop planning, at least when it comes to my primary interests. I'm the kind of person who cries to movies, who gets sentimental, and who finds himself in awe over the sight of a cute flower or animal. I'm also the intense work-o-holic who never seems to stop working, thinking, and planning for the future.
While I think my ex girlfriend would have described me as a very caring and sweet partner, who always looked to her needs and interests, I believe many of my former partners could say that at times, I would tunnelvision on my own ideas and get lost inside my own world, forgetting about time and chores that needed to be done.
Before I got a real job, I scraped by on little to nothing, juggling student debt. I only put in as much effort as necessary into my education, just enough to get my grades, and sometimes not even that. Instead, my schoolbooks were full of theories about life, politics, philosophy, and psychology.
When did this obsession start? I remember when I was a 13 year old kid, I wrote down my life goal and purpose. I decided that my goal was to bring out a new theory in the world that would help reframe our perspective on life and change how we saw ourselves, the world, and the universe. I hoped my ideas would contribute to a more peaceful coexistence, a more healthy perspective on life, happiness, and love.
It should be said that it is strange that a person who is so terrible at long-term relationships, and to taking care of his own well-being, would be so focused on universal happiness and success. I remember summers spent writing, instead of in the sun. I remember parties skipped, as I pulled all nighters, trying to unravel the mysteries of the universe.
I remember spending my time reading and studying, instead of hanging out with friends. Not because I didn't enjoy having friends, or didn't enjoy time in the sun, or because I hated parties, but just because I thought there was a timer, a deadline on my intellectual aspirations. The time to strike was now, and only after I was done, could I progress to something more.
Eventually, I had to get into working life. At first, I told myself it would be a short-term thing, while I developed my ideas and that eventually, I'd be able to work full time on my creative projects. Five years later, I've found that I'm working 60+ hours a week, 40 hours on my full-time job, and 20+ hours on making videos, writing, studying different theories, and learning about the universe.
You'd think I'd be rich, putting in such insane hours every day, but I was terrible with money, and even more terrible with making money. I had no idea how to monetize my work and never seemed to have time to do it. I was always just more interested in getting my ideas out. I work for free, purely out of passion and purpose, even though I know that I should learn to be smarter about that. I'll start developing Extroverted Thinking later. Maybe it will make me more resourceful?
Settling with this has often been difficult, and at times, I've been fighting a depression, as work in customer service was highly draining and stressful. Even after I left that environment and got a better job, I still found myself feeling constantly agitated, frenzied even, as the stress of the customer job was still deeply ingrained in my body, muscles, and fingertips.
During COVID-19, I completely isolated myself, lost touch with friends, and lacked the energy to do any real creative work. Instead, I studied web development and scraped by best I could, the TV dulling my senses. I was in an absolute frenzy, terrified about the coronavirus. I read every news article I could, constantly tracking daily numbers, as if knowledge would somehow protect me from what was happening. My response to COVID-19 was absolutely irrational and I regret how I let the media and the virus influence my emotional health and well-being.
The last year went by with a haze and ofcourse, without any entertainment, or joy, or energy, my relationship slowly degraded. On the plus side, I came out of COVID-19 with a new, better job, and a drivers licence.
I spent the year studying new things and I have skills with me now I can take with me into the future. On the negative, I left COVID with nothing, having lost my relationship, I had to move out and get my own place. For the first month, I had nothing but a bed and bills to my name. Now, the bills are slowly paid off, and life begins to settle down, but I still have little to my name. My YouTube channel had lost 70% of it's viewers. My new videos were angry, and people couldn't help but notice how unhealthy and stressed I was.
Still, despite all of these events, I've remained unyielding in my desire to understand the world. My goals haven't changed. I still want the same thing that I wanted when I was a kid. I am still the same person I was back then. I still have the same optimistic, positive nature. I am still a understanding, tolerant, curious little kid. I started building a community and found the community becoming my very own support group, people that always were there and listened when I needed it.
Why are INFJs so curious, so obsessed, so driven in their intellectual pursuits? Why do we hone in on one thing and never seem to stop? Why does life never get us down? And even if it does, why do we keep getting back up? First, because we can't stop. Thinking is like breathing to us. It's always there, no matter what we do. If we don't do it, we think about when we are going to do it. If we are not doing it well enough, we think about how we can do it better.
Life is a struggle, for everyone, and over time, I'm learning that my intellectual aspirations can never come at the expense of my health. I had my first burnout at age 21 and I learnt then that there was a limit to how much stress I could endure. I had a body and needs. I am reminded again today, that, after that experience, I learnt exactly how much I could whip myself before I broke. Since then, I've been my own slave master, pushing myself forward.
Now, I think I need to learn to become my own gardener, making myself into the happy, fulfilled person, that can be happy, and at peace, while I pursue my goals. I see this as learning to incorporate Introverted Feeling into my life. I have, at this point, not only been able to recognise that I have limits, but also that I have needs in order to be happy and to thrive. I promise that I will start caring for myself more, and that in the future, I will continue to explore my passion, but in a way that is going to enrich my life, not as a slave master with a whip.
Introverted iNtuition is and will always be my natural domain and where I feel most at home. I feel a duty to realising my ideas and to sharing my discoveries with the world. I know I always will. But I also understand that this duty is not meant to be a burden. My ideas and perspectives are my gift to myself and I am grateful for having a strong sense of purpose and always knowing where I need to go in life, even if I sometimes stumble on more practical activities.
How do you experience being an INFJ and how do you manage happiness with your intellectual goals as an INFJ?