If you’re not particularly keen on your current job, you may be interested in learning ways to make it better. And even if you do enjoy your work, you might be interested in learning how to make it even better.
In the comments section of last week’s post, a few INFJs started a great discussion on this topic – making your work more enjoyable and bearable. One person’s comments, in particular, reminded me of what I’ve tried to make my work a better match for my personality and to change the way I think about and approach what I do.
To that end, here are four suggestions, based on the function stack, that you can use to improve your workday.
When I pulled up to a stop sign yesterday, the cars to my left and right weren’t moving. The lady on my left had arrived first, so it was clearly her turn to go. I patiently waited, but she didn’t move. She soon started waving angrily, motioning for me to drive. I looked at the car to my right, who was now also motioning. Confused, I pulled threw, wondering why these people were so hot and bothered.
Then, I realized: I never had a stop sign.
Mind you, this was my own neighborhood. I was paying attention but only enough to be safe. Most of my mental energy was caught up, contemplating some aspect of personality, planning out the weekend, or something else.
Why are the routine, practical details of everyday life often a challenge for INFJs?
How do you see yourself, and where does your self-image come from?
These are questions many INFJs naturally spend a lot of time mulling over. We’re wired to think deeply about identity, both our own and others’. We also tend to care quite a bit about what other people think of us.
No doubt your family, community, and the culture in which you grew up influenced your self-image and the way you see yourself. But what else?
What can you do better than anyone else, fellow INFJ? That’s an important question to ask when you’re thinking about…
- Life stewardship
- Return on investment
- Life enjoyment
Every personality type is especially good at a particular set of skills, and it’s wise to spend some time figuring out what those particular skills are for you.
In a recent podcast episode, a guest mentioned 4 skills that NF personality types (which include the INFJ) do better than anyone else. He was spot on, in my opinion. And while this isn’t an all-inclusive list for the INFJ, you should consider investing considerable time developing these particular abilities.
Sharon spent thousands of dollars working through her past with a counselor. She wanted to be a great mom to her kids. They often found her at night behind a pile of books or on the internet planning a vacation or researching a topic that she wanted to teach them about. She’d put her impressive creativity and ingenuity to work and spend hours crafting original curriculums and studies to help them grow.
But the best part about Sharon was that she was always available to listen and advise. Her girls new that. In fact, they still call her up for advice, even though they’ve started families of their own.
Sharon is a remarkable parent similar to many INFJs I know. But are all INFJs like her?
How do INFJ parents care for their children? And how does their parenting style differ from those of other personality types? Here’re 7 unique ways INFJ parents care for their children.
“My biggest struggle is finding the passion in daily living. I love depth and powerful meaning, [but] it’s difficult to be happy when things are just so normal.”
Have you ever felt this way? I can definitely relate to this fellow INFJ’s comment.
In Gifts Differing, Isabel Myers describes how extroverted intuition (Ne) – the kind of intuition ENFPs, ENTPs, INFPs, and INTPs, use – works. She points out that Ne users “[regard] the immediate situation as a prison from which escape is urgently necessary.” While Myers was addressing Ne types, her description applies to all intuitives – especially dominant intuitives like you and me.
Figuring out how to enjoy and live passionately in the moment is a tall task for any INFJ. So how do we make the most of normal life?
To be an INFJ is, to some extent, to feel misunderstood. At least, that’s the case when you’re first learning about yourself. Fortunately, you don’t always have to feel this way.
Your perspective on life can change so that you…
- Do an even better job leveraging your unique gifts…
- Appreciate others for what they bring to the table…
- Break free of feeling as though you need to win everyone’s approval…
But how do you change your perspective? One way is to grasp why people have a hard time understanding INFJs.
How do you find your passion and the work that you were meant to do as an INFJ? This is an important question that many of us are asking, perhaps even after going into what we thought would be our life’s work.
INFJs have numerous interests as well as high expectations for what they want out of life, the curse of idealism. And in our current age, culture is telling us that we need to find our fulfillment and identity in what we do. But is that too much to ask of a job?
While wrestling with the role of work and passions as sources of meaning and fulfillment, I learned a great method for finding suitable work as well as some perspective on the role and purpose of work.
I have two sides: the chameleon and the real me. When I’m first getting to know someone, I reflect back to him or her what I think he or she wants to see. I adapt to his or her conversation style and interests, holding back my true thoughts and opinions, much like a chameleon blends in with a tree branch. This goes on until I’m sure a person is safe and I decide I want to take the relationship deeper.
As a result, many people never get to know my true thoughts and feelings. They see only a shadow of the real me. I blend in to preserve harmony, minimize conflict, and protect my thin skin.
Many INFJs I’ve met do life this way. Is this a bad thing? Why do we act this way, and what can we learn from our behavior?
INFJs enjoy few things more than seeing people change and grow. Our intuition and desire to help others make us natural coaches, counselors, and teachers. But we also love to experience personal transformation. And one of the best ways to continually invest in personal growth is to read (or listen to) great books.
If it weren’t for the books I’ve read over the past few years, I most likely wouldn’t be blogging, YouTubing, or podcasting to encourage other INFJs. The ideas and messages I’ve read over the past few years have changed me.
Thinking about that fact made me ponder which books have changed me most. I keep a running list of the books that I read each year, so I took a few minutes to review the past three years. In this post, I’ll share the top 5 non-fiction books – and an honorable mention – that impacted my life. They’re books you’ll enjoy and that will change you if you apply their lessons and take advantage of their insights.