I took a two month blog hiatus to turn 40 which I did exactly one week ago. Over the years, I found that many INFPs I’ve met in their 40’s and 50’s are some of the happiest people I know. So am I happier now than I was last week?
Happiness and Control
Happiness is directly proportional to the control we feel we have in fulfilling our needs.
For example, I know a few INFPs wanting new jobs. Their current one is terrible and getting worse by the hour. They’ve had good jobs turn bad before. What they did before was quit, take some time off, then sent out a zillion resumes and got rehired quickly after. They have great qualifications, but in this economy they feel stuck.
They’re more unhappy because they feel stuck. They’d be less unhappy with a bad job situation if they felt they could quit at any time and get another job immediately. If we feel we have no control in getting a job, a relationship, a fulfilling life and that something external like the economy or fate controls our ability to meet our needs, then we are unhappy.
Quick Overview of our six Critical needs: Certainty, Uncertainty, Love/Connection, Critical Significance, Growth, and Contribution.
In my early 20’s, my biggest need was Love and Connection. All I wanted was a girlfriend. I also felt I had no control over that. It seemed the only way I would ever find a significant other would be for the universe would send someone my way who would recognize something special in me. I wasn’t good at dating or meeting girls. It was up to fate. All my other accomplishments didn’t make me happier because the one thing in my life that I needed at that time, I felt I had no control over.
Happiness is about the feeling of control not the feeling of accomplishment. A few years later, I met someone. It wasn’t officially becoming boyfriend and girlfriend that made me happy. I was happy long before she became my girlfriend. It was meeting her and both of us knowing we had potential together. Having a girlfriend was no longer in control of the whims of the universe. The beyond-my-control part of the equation was out of the way because “fate” brought someone my way. Having a potential girlfriend wasn’t what made me happy. Knowing that I was the only one who could screw up from there on made me happy....Continue Reading