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Day to Day

Sep

21

2011

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27

Practical Authenticity

What does it mean to be authentic? Answers vary based on individual values and needs. Our desire for authenticity reflects our desire to create something more in our lives.

For example, if someone values relationships but they can’t tell that friend they have a crush on how they really feel, then they’ll see their “real” selves as someone who can be open. They’ll define authenticity as openness and honesty. If someone values freedom, but feels stuck in their job or their life, then they’ll see their authentic self as someone who follows their dreams. This person will define authenticity as being true to themselves.

Definitions of authenticity have different inherent assumption. Some of these assumptions in real life make achieving authenticity almost impossible.

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Jan

05

2011

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6

How To Be Aimless

Throughout our lives, we have periods when we don’t know where we’re going with our lives or what we should be doing. A bad breakup, loss of job or loved one or a change of heart can make once immutable goals seem no longer relevant.

We become a bit lost but that lost feeling seems oddly right for the moment. We’re in downtime. Downtime is a period where we regroup, conserve energy and figure things out. If downtime extends too long we get antsy and feel that we should be doing something more.

However, after having no direction for so long, it’s hard to figure out what we should be moving towards. The more we try to get ourselves moving, the less appealing our choices become. Nothing we do feels right.

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Aug

27

2010

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9

Making Our Dreams a Better Investment

The most important thing I learned from Robert Kiyosaki about real estate investment was that a house isn’t an asset. It’s a liability. I don’t own it. The bank does. It costs me utilities, maintenance, insurance, taxes and interest each month. Over a 30-year loan, I will have paid over 80% in interest. I would then need to sell my house for at least three times it’s current value in order to break even.

A house is a liability because I’m still responsible for it even though I don’t own it yet. If I don’t make a payment, the bank takes the house away along with all the money I’ve put into so far. If the house burns down and I have no insurance, I still owe the bank the money I borrowed.

Don’t get me wrong. I love being a homeowner. Owning a house fits my lifestyle, but I have no illusion that owning a house that I live in will make me a financial profit. People buy houses thinking they’re making an investment when in reality they’re taking on debt.

This is how I feel about dreams. INFPs think following a dream is an investment for future happiness, but sometimes it ends up costing us more than we realize.

Our Dreams as Investment

All dreams have a payoff, a Return on Investment (ROI). That ROI on achieving our dream is usually in the form of happiness and fulfillment. No one dreams great dreams that will leave them feeling unfulfilled and unhappy.

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May

03

2010

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17

Fulfilling our needs

I’ve never been a fan of Mazlow’s hierarchy of needs because I never saw people moving from Physiological needs to Self-Actualization in any type of linear progression. We jump around. Sometimes love is more important than eating. Sometimes people forgo love completely for esteem through achievement.

Instead, I prefer Tony Robbins definition of the six basic human needs.

Certainty – This is our need to be free from constant worry. In order to achieve this we develop a certain amount of consistency like getting a job or buying a house. We don’t want to worry everyday about how we’re going to eat or where we can sleep safely.

Uncertainty – This is our need for variety. If we knew everything that was ever going to happen in our lives then our lives would be boring.

Critical Significance – This is our need to feel special. Some people make a lot of money to feel significant. Other people get a lot of tattoos. It’s different for everyone.

Love and Connection – This is our need for belonging. We don’t want to feel like we’re all alone inside our heads and our lives.

Growth – This is our need to avoid stagnation. Our lives never reach equilibrium. We are either growing or dying. If we stay at the same point in our lives for long enough, our level of happiness declines.

Contribution – This is our need to feel our lives are more than just ourselves. We don’t want to die feeling like our lives made no difference to anyone.

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Apr

12

2010

Comments

23

Healthy procrastination

I like junk food. I love Kit Kat bars and triple chocolate cheesecake. I like soda.

About a month a go, I stopped drinking two sodas each day. I use to get to work in the morning and drink a Mountain Dew for the caffeine. Then I’d have a Coke with lunch. If I was going out that night to eat with friends then it would be another Coke plus at least 1 or 2 refills.

Then I stopped. It was easy because I knew that I wasn’t going to stop completely. I’ve had three sodas in the last month. I don’t think I’ll ever stop completely because I like soda. I like a lot of things that have no nutritional value, but I don’t eat Kit Kat bars and triple chocolate cheesecake with dinner every night.

That’s why I’m don’t think I will ever stop procrastination. Although junk foods have little nutritional value, they taste really good filling up my stomach. I enjoy junk food. Like junk food, I have junk activities. These are activities I enjoy immensely but add very little to advance my quality of life. Television is enjoyable but it’s just junk food for my life. It fills up my time, but has very low life value.

If you eat enough junk food on a regular basis, you get fat and unhealthy. If you do enough junk activities on a regular basis, you get low self-esteem. We can feel our life congealing all around us like extra pounds added to our body. It’s a slow process. We don’t wake up one day and we’re fat much like we don’t wake up one day and have low-self esteem.

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Jan

26

2010

Comments

11

Why things fall apart

Yesterday, my 6 year old daughter’s teacher told us that my daughter R. has been acting up in class. Mostly, it’s just refusing to do the current class activities.

When did this happen? I thought everything was going fine. R. can read Harry Potter and recently used “discombobulated” in a sentence which excites me to no end. So she still has to count seven plus two on her fingers. I was good at math but I don’t think it’s that big a deal if she’s not up to speed with the other kids.

At home, I drop everything when I get off work and spend time with her and her sister equally. We play whatever they want. Mom helps R. with her math homework and R. is usually done with her reading homework already. R. is pretty well behaved for a 6 year old INFP who can’t sit still for one moment. My wife and I write that off to her free spirit personality. I figured everything was okay.

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Apr

15

2009

Comments

11

Role vs Identity

I think that INFPs are the worst at confusing Role and Identity because the idealistic part us wants our roles to be our identity. Everyone plays many roles in the life, but we only have one core identity.

In my daily life, I play several roles: father, husband, employee, blogger, friend, etc. Each of those roles requires a certain set of behaviors to be successful in that role. Also, those roles are transient. I haven’t always been a father and sometime in the future, my role as a son will pass away with my parents.

Our Identity or a better term, our Self, is a not so fleeting. We are who we are and I posit that we have always known who we are. Our Self is an amalgam of our values and beliefs. Our roles are an external manifestation of those values and beliefs.

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