Sitting Vs. Standing – Which One Helps You Get More Done? #VIDEO

Okay, by now we all know that sitting all day every day can be bad for your health. But why? And what can you do about it?

It’s true that correlation doesn’t equal causation, but there is a link between people who sit too much and shorter life span.

I also think there might be a link between sitting and slouching at your desk and lower productivity levels… Therefore, there might be a link between standing and higher productivity levels. And I think there is.

I made my own awesome standing desk a few months ago. It was super easy and simple to make. I get so much more done when standing at my standing desk, rather than sitting, so I made quick a video about it. Check it out:

Watch this video (at 0:15) to see my homemade standing desk that only cost me $3.10 to make :)

If you’d prefer to listen to this as a podcast, you can click play below:

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Click here to download the podcast mp3.

I got my supplies at home depot: a 2’x2′ (~$2) piece of already cut particle board, and one 8′ 2″ by 2″ (~$1), plus a few screws which I already had.

Standing helps lower the risk of heart disease!

Standing increases blood flow, energy and productivity!

Standing increases leg strength and endurance!

Want to create your own standing desk? You can either buy something, or just stack up some boxes (like game board boxes) to the right height on your kitchen counter.

Thanks for listening. I always love to hear what you have to say! Here’s my thought question for you today:

Have you ever used, or do you have a standing desk? How is it for you?

Are you going to make your very own standing desk now? Or do you think it’s silly? Leave a comment below with your thoughts on standing vs. sitting.

Your comments don’t fall on blind eyes. I read every single one!

Also, let me know if you have any questions on how to make a quick standing desk for yourself.

Thanks a bunch for reading, watching,and listening. I’ll see you next time!

Taking Personal Responsibility Empowers You to Accomplish Your Goals

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Today I want to talk to you about personal responsibility.

There was a man named Peter. He grew up in a poor family, so he knew he had to work hard and be smart in order to get out of the struggle and not repeat his parents’ fate. He got good grades in school and even studied other trades and business.

Eventually he came to run a successful catering business. He tried to put a lot of his profits back into the business in marketing and advertising, and expanding his business, hiring more employees, giving his employees top-notch benefits and bonuses each year.

But with all the hard work he put into his business, he still earned a large sum every year, so obviously his taxes were high. A portion of Peter’s income that he slaved away to create, was given to the government to use as they see fit. Some of which went to people on welfare.

Welfare in the US was created during the Great Depression in 1935 when 20% of the US population was still unemployed.

And so began the dependence on government aid. And that’s exactly what it’s become.

I say all of this coming from a family of poverty on welfare. So before you start swinging your hammer at me, know that I understand.

George Bernard Shaw, an Irish playwright and co-founder of the London School of Economics said that “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”

Ever hear that quote?

I’m not saying that people shouldn’t give their fair share. If you have more, then you have more to give.

What I am saying is that government aid not only helps struggling families in their times of need, it also enables a struggling family to continue to be in a lifelong time of need. They know deep down that they will always have the government to lean on if they can’t get ahead, so then they don’t get ahead. Not because they really don’t want to, but because getting ahead really does take a lot of hard work and time. It takes a lot of patience and sacrifice. It’s not easy, so most people think they can’t do it, and not only that, most people know they don’t have to.

So since it’s really hard to do, people think they can’t or won’t be able to, and because they really don’t have to because there is always the government to rely on, they just won’t do it.

Living in poverty has become the status quo for them. They are used to it. It actually becomes comfortable. It seems ironic that living through a constant financial struggle can become comfortable, but it does. Just like the woman who stays in the abusive relationship. It’s familiar.

It’s harmful, but it’s familiar.

What harmful things do you keep doing simply because it’s familiar?

People like to complain about their lives, but then don’t take responsibility. Everyone really has the same hope at succeeding in life, whether that be financially, relationally, physically, or spiritually. But successful people make different choices and take different actions, even in the little things.

What do you want to become successful in? What does success mean to you? Are you going to do what it takes to get there? Are you going to buckle down and get the hard work done? Are you willing to make sacrifices in order to live a better more fulfilling life?

Then stop living the status quo. Start believing in yourself, and start completing the steps it takes to get where you want to be in life.

Do you want to lose 20 pounds? Do you want to have a thriving marriage full of passion? Do you want to be a millionaire? Do you want to start a non-profit organization to help those less fortunate?

What do you want to do with your life?

If you keep blaming your circumstances, your past, your finances, and other people in your life on your current situation, you will never get what you really want out of life.

Once you accept responsibility, that empowers you to take action and begin to make awesome changes in your life. Click to Tweet This!

We are not in control of everything, but everything you have control over, it’s time to take control of it.

Start taking personal responsibility for where you are in life right now, and make the changes necessary to get what you want out of life. What habits can you change right now, even just a little bit, to get closer to your goals?

Do it, starting today.

Now I want to hear from you. In a comment below, please answer this question: What is one habit that you are going to try to change, stop, or create, in order to move forward toward a goal you have?

I’m excited to see your response and what you’re planning on working on. I’d like to help you get there and keep you accountable to your own desires. So write your comment below!

How Our Beliefs Control Our Long Term Life Circumstances

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As a child, we’re all taught different things. Some of the things we’re taught, are taught to us purposefully. Our parents telling us things they want us to know, or want us to know how to do.

Other things we’re taught by watching others, or hearing what others say, to us, or to others.

We all form a bunch of beliefs. Some of them are true, and some of them are untrue. But whether they are true or not, we believe them to be true.

We internalize a ton of things as children growing up. And then we also internalize even more things as adults. But our early formative years really shaped us.

As adults we live our lives a certain way. In our minds, we’re all doing the best we can. It’s all we know.

Until we learn more.

Until we learn the truth.

The truth that we are not what people say we are.

We don’t have to be what people told us we’d become.

We can be whatever we want to be.

We don’t have to hold on to any false beliefs any longer.

Somehow you have gotten to where you are in life. You’ve had successes and failures. And failures happen to everyone (even those who don’t have any false beliefs about themselves). But do you want to go farther? Is there something else you want to do with your life. Do you want to reach higher?

What’s been holding you back?

True and false beliefs about yourself have caused you to go in whatever direction you’ve decided to take. Most of your decisions probably didn’t even feel like decisions. You might even feel like life has just happened to you.

But it’s not true.

I’m not saying that some things don’t just happen to us. Things do happen to us. But for the most part, how you have gotten to where you are is a result of what you believe and the choices you’ve made because of those beliefs. That’s how our beliefs control our long term life circumstances.

But you have the power to change that at any time.

Whether you are struggling a lot in life and need a drastic change, or just want to improve in some areas, you can do it. You have it inside of you. You just have to believe it.

You may not feel you have the resources available to you to be able to be whatever you want to be. And if that’s the case, then it’s time to find or build up those resources. Create it. It’s time to become resourceful.

Resourcefulness is not the ability to take useful things and use them as they’re supposed to. Resourcefulness is the ability to take whatever it is you have and create something useful out of it, whether it was intended for that or not.

I’ve created things out of what has seemed like thin air, simply because I believed in myself. I’m not perfect, but when I believe in myself, I do what it takes. And when I’m down on myself, that’s when I fail to even take action.

So rather than get down on yourself, telling yourself those lies that you’ve told yourself all your life, that others have told you all your life, get inspired. Realize that if you just do A, B, and C, that this, this, and this can happen for you. And it’s not easy, but it is definitely possible. And if it’s possible, you can do it. And it’s up to you. You have to take action. Action on your part is the only thing that will make it happen for you. No one will do it for you.

Do you need support? You can get the help of those in your life to help get you where you need to go. Don’t have anyone supportive in your life, then get out there and find supportive people and build those relationships.

Do you need more money? You get a job that earns you more money, or you learn how to live on less (something that’s definitely possible for most of us!).

Do you need more time? You wake up earlier, stay up later, or change your priorities so you’re spending less time on less important things, and can then spend more time on more important things.

Whatever it is, you have the ability to make it happen. Whatever you want to do in life, you can do. We all have obstacles, and some of us have more obstacles than others, but you have the ability to move past the things that are in your way.

Don’t stand in your own way.

Untrue beliefs about yourself, telling you you’re not good enough, that you’ll never be able to do this or that. That is what’s holding you back more than anything.

Write down your goal.

Then write down why you think you can’t make it happen.

Then write down ways you can jump those hurdles.

You have the ability. You just have to believe in yourself, and then do the steps it takes.

You can do anything.

What do you want to do?

Leave a comment. I want to hear what you want to do with your life. What do you want to be? Who do you want to be? I’m excited to hear about your goals.

If you want, you can email me at info@upgusto.com. I’d be happy to give you any encouragement you need.

And while you’re at it, subscribe to our monthly personal development newsletter.

Here for a Reason #PODCAST

I wanted to tell you this inspirational story about a young girl who should have died getting hit by a 50 mph car, but instead, lived to tell the tale.

Moral of the story: We’re all here for a reason.

What’s your reason? What’s your story?

Fact correction for this podcast: This mystery girl was 16 when this happened, but I was shooting the video off the top of my head not really thinking about the factual details, just for clarification if this story ever comes up again and I get it right next time, I didn’t want you to be confused or feel like this story was just made up, because it really happened.

Listen now.

clickplay

Click here to download the podcast mp3.

Thanks for listening. I’d love to hear what you have to say. Here’s my thought question for you today:

What’s your story? What have you done to find your purpose?

Thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment. Share your story and what you want out of life. I’d love to hear from you. Your comments don’t fall on blind eyes. I read every single one.

Recharge Your Life – Spend 3 Days Differently

Recharge your life

One of the reasons for discontentment and a feeling that life just isn’t “good enough” is the lack of variety in our lives. Every day we wake up and do the same things. Changing it up can really give you that oomph, that spark that you’re missing.

Most of us take a day off every week, or you have your usual saturday and sunday weekends. However, my challenge to you, is that no matter what your usual routine, try to do something different for 3 straight days in a row.

Most people say to stick to your routines because then you’ll be able to stick to your habits. But doing the same thing for a long period of time also causes you to feel in a rut, which decreases your motivation to keep on going.

I’m all for creating good habits that you can stick to, and I highly recommend spending many many days on creating those habits. But once you’ve really gotten settled in your habits, and you start to itch for something different, you feel something is missing, then it’s time to change it up.

So basically what I’m instructing you to do is take a 3-day weekend, because your 3 days of difference can’t be spent at work!

Spend these 3 days doing whatever you want.

You might be saying, “well, I can’t because I have children,” or other responsibilities… but the fact is, that most of us have people in our lives who can shoulder our responsibilities for a few days. And if you don’t then that’s for a whole other blog post (you should be building some form of support system in your life–we can’t go it alone).

The thing that brought this idea up to me was the flu. Yep, I had some of my happiest days while suffering with the flu. I was amazed and ecstatic that I found an answer to monotony. And no, I don’t mean purposely getting sick, I mean living your life for a just few days, differently than you ever normally would.

I slept in til noon. I got up and worked for a few hours when I felt like it. When I got too tired, I finished up whatever I was working on and watched tv. I got caught up on all my email newsletters and videos which I had been putting on the back-burner because it’s not a priority. I ate when I felt like it, not based on what time it was, and I ate whatever I wanted (which really wasn’t extreme because you typically don’t feel like eating a lot when you’re sick). I stopped worrying about my husband and the little details of daily life because quite frankly he really can take care of himself. If that were not so, how did he make it all the way up to the time he met me?

I typically do responsibilities first, then after everything that needs to be done is done, I then can spend some time on my hobbies and rest. But when I was sick this past week, I only worked if I felt like it, and I actually got more caught up on things. I believe the reason for this was because I wasn’t stressed. I wasn’t putting any expectations on myself. So I felt a lot better about everything I did. I actually chose to do everything I did, rather than feeling required to do it all.

This past week with the flu, a few things fell to the wayside and had to wait, but I was sick afterall, so I had my excuse if anyone had any problems with me about it. Eventually I was able to get to it, so it all worked out.

We don’t always get to use the excuse that we’re sick, however, at times, we all become mentally ill, even for just s short period of time. And I’m not talking about being clinically ill where you need to be institutionalized or put on prescriptions–and there’s nothing wrong with having times like that in your life either, it happens to many people. But what I’m talking about is being functional in life, but going through the motions, passionless. Not going through life with zest–with Gusto!

The point is to feel absolute freedom, for just a few days. Freedom from your daily responsibilities (like work, house-work, cooking, or child-rearing). Freedom from thinking about or considering others in your little daily decisions (like what, where, or when to eat). Freedom from others’ expectations (like what you should be doing right now or with your day). And not only that, but also freedom from your own expectations that you place on yourself. For me that’s actually the hardest part. I didn’t feel happy until I removed all my own expectations that I have of myself and just let myself be sick and happy.

I had this revelation and I went through with it all while I was sick, but I’m planning on doing this a few times a year even when I’m not sick.

We always feel that so many things are important, but only a few things actually are. I read a post on Myrko Thum’s blog where he explains that many times we put urgent things (things we think are important right now) above important things (things which are actually intrinsically important to us for life), which slows us down from accomplishing our goals and feeling fulfilled on a daily basis. If we were to try to lessen the urgent matters in our life and concentrate only on what’s important to us, then we would be able to accomplish our goals and feel happier overall.

One way to practice this is to spend 3 days in a row of doing only what you feel is important. Not what you feel is urgent.

For me it was little things. The time I woke up. What, where, and when I ate. Whether or not I cooked dinner for my husband and I. Letting my husband take on a few more responsibilities for a couple days (by asking him if he would do this or that, so that I didn’t have to). Resting when I felt tired, doing an activity when I felt the urge.

We probably can’t live our lives this way all the time, doing whatever we want when we want (unless you enjoy the responsibilities you already have, which I’m going to talk about in a later post). However, by practicing this from time to time, we will realize what’s truly important and stop letting so-called “urgent” matters take over our lives and our happiness. Some things really are urgent. But many things we label as urgent really could go without care.

So right now, look through your calendar and decide a 3-day weekend in the near future where you can take off work, and/or have someone babysit your kids, etc. Then spend those 3 days just doing whatever you want, whatever you’re inspired to do, taking a mental vacation. If you have kids, your kids don’t have to leave the house, bring someone in to babysit. You get the idea. Just make sure everyone in your household understands what these 3 days mean for you. It’s a time for you to recharge, so you can be even more productive and present to your family and work-life afterward.

It might mean that you accomplish more toward your goals in those 3 days, or you accomplish less than you normally would on a daily basis. Whatever it is, make those 3 days different than how you normally live your life.

If you always spend all your days at home, go out and do things outside of the home. If you are always leaving your house, try not using your car at all for the entire 3 days. But by all means, do what you really feel you want to do so that you’re getting the full experience of freedom.

Take those 3 days to recharge and get some variety in your life, so you’re motivated to get back into the swing of things once those 3 days are done. You’ll love your life even more once it’s over, and you’ll even be happy to get back to your regular responsibilities.

And be sure to thank anyone who helps you through this challenge.

Try it and let me know how it goes for you!

Got any other ideas that help you recharge? Let us know in a comment.

What’s Really Important to You?

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I ended up taking this Values Test the other day, and it took me about 4 hours to do, which was a little too much time to spend on it, but I just couldn’t narrow down what was most important to me. I always feel that most things are important to me, which can actually be a problem. This is probably why I always feel like I have too many interests, too many things on my to-do list. Things I want to do, and so much I feel I need to do.

By taking this values test, however, I did realize what I really feel is important in life, and I realized that some of the things I thought were important, weren’t really that important to me after all.

There is a list of about 400-500 words (some are very similar) and you’re supposed to select the words (the meaning of the words) that you feel are most important to you. Then you’re supposed to narrow down the ones you originally picked to about 20 max. Well, that is the preferred amount, but I couldn’t narrow it down to less than 38.

The third step is to compare two of your chosen values at a time, and there were about 630 “votes” I had to make, comparing every single word to every single other word, choosing which word of every pair that popped up that was the most important to me compared to the other word. So that was very time consuming. I should have narrowed it down more on the second step!

Realizing that a lot of things aren’t actually that important was one of the main lessons I learned from this. Learning to prioritize appropriately. The other thing I realized is that I don’t have to take everything so seriously. Not everything is life or death. I need to learn to let go in order to live a peaceful life.

I used to think that trying to be perfect, making things perfect, or living a perfect life was very important. But after comparing that to all my other values, that ended up being something that wasn’t that important to me deep down.

I seek balance in life, and one of the ways I can gain balance is to let go of these things I hold so dear. Trying to be perfect, trying to make everything around me perfect. It doesn’t have to be. And that is very freeing.

So here are my 38 things that I thought were important to me, with the number of votes each value received from me. After doing all the voting, it ended up being that only the top half of my list is relatively important to me and the bottom half of my list is not as important to me as I thought.

The main thing I realized was that, for me, if I am content and grateful, I don’t really need anything else in life at all! I should probably say here that contentment may be the most important thing to me, but it doesn’t mean I have mastered it quite yet.

1. Contentment (35 votes)
2. Gratitude (33 votes)
3. Wisdom (32 votes)
4. Trustworthiness (31 votes)
5. Faith (30 votes)
6. Loyalty (29 votes)
7. Peace (29 votes)
8. Comfort (27 votes)
9. Reliability (27 votes)
10. Relaxation (27 votes)
11. Affection (25 votes)
12. Resourcefulness (24 votes)
13. Freedom (22 votes)
14. Independence (22 votes)
15. Stability (20 votes)
16. Practicality (19 votes)
17. Logic (19 votes)
18. Balance (18 votes)
19. Efficiency (17 votes)
20. Simplicity (16 votes)
21. Exploration (15 votes)
22. Variety (14 votes)
23. Wealth (14 votes)
24. Motivation (13 votes)
25. Reasonableness (12 votes)
26. Order (10 votes)
27. Resolve (9 votes)
28. Energy (8 votes)
29. Proactivity (8 votes)
30. Satisfaction (8 votes)
31. Harmony (6 votes)
32. Passion (5 votes)
33. Respect (3 votes)
34. Prudence (1 votes)
35. Speed (1 votes)
36. Perfection (1 votes)

Steve Pavlina outlines how to live out your values Here and Here.

Click here if you want to take the Values Test. It can be very eye-opening. But don’t spend 4 hours on it like I did, lol!

Once you take the test, let me know how you did, what your results were, and what you learned from it. Leave a comment!

Also, stop by my friend Brendan Baker’s blog to see his most recent post on how you can actually easily become a millionaire in your lifetime by making tiny little sacrifices, or tiny quick smart decisions all along the way. It’s really brilliant, so I wanted to share it with you.

What’s Your Myers-Briggs Jung-Type Personality? Here’s Mine!

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I took the Jung-Type Personality Test which is based on the Myers-Briggs Personality test. I decided to create this post for my family to learn from to understand me better, and for people to read as a personal case study.

I scored as an INTJ. That means I am an introvert, intuitive, thinking, and judging.

My scores break down as follows:

89% more toward Introvert (I) on the Introvert-Extrovert scale:

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38% more toward Intuitive (N) on the Intuitive-Sensing scale:

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1% more toward Thinking (T) on the Thinking-Feeling scale:

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67% more toward Judging (J) on the Judging-Perceiving scale:

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Based on these numbers, I am mostly introvert and I am mostly judging, but I am almost equally thinking as feeling and also just a bit more intuitive than sensing.

Based on that, I am first an INTJ, the next closest personality is INFJ, then ISTJ, then ISFJ.

After reading the descriptions of each one, I compiled the parts of each description that actually matched my personality, way of thinking, reacting, and reasoning. Because I am so close to the middle between Thinking and Feeling, I am extremely like both INTJ and INFJ, like I am a coin and INTJ is one side of me and INFJ is the other side of me. But the Sensing in me shines through a bit as well, so I have included some of that in my full report.

My compilation of my personality from all 4 descriptions is below. I have taken out the parts of each description that don’t relate to me at all, and I have bolded the parts that resonate with me the most, and might answer any questions about me you may have about why I am the way I am, and why you might think I am a certain way when maybe something else is really going on. Further down, I also explain more about my Thinking-Feeling inner-conflicts, and my thoughts on introversion vs. extroversion.

My INTJ Personality Traits:

To outsiders, INTJs may appear to project an aura of “definiteness”, of self-confidence. This self-confidence, sometimes mistaken for simple arrogance by the less decisive, is actually of a very specific rather than a general nature; its source lies in the specialized knowledge systems that most INTJs start building at an early age. When it comes to their own areas of expertise — and INTJs can have several — they will be able to tell you almost immediately whether or not they can help you, and if so, how. INTJs know what they know, and perhaps still more importantly, they know what they don’t know.

INTJs are perfectionists, with a seemingly endless capacity for improving upon anything that takes their interest. What prevents them from becoming chronically bogged down in this pursuit of perfection is the pragmatism so characteristic of the type: INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion “Does it work?” to everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social norms. This in turn produces an unusual independence of mind, freeing the INTJ from the constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own sake.

INTJs are known as the “Systems Builders” of the types, perhaps in part because they possess the unusual trait combination of imagination and reliability. Whatever system an INTJ happens to be working on is for them the equivalent of a moral cause to an INFJ; both perfectionism and disregard for authority may come into play, as INTJs can be unsparing of both themselves and the others on the project. Anyone considered to be “slacking,” including superiors, will lose their respect — and will generally be made aware of this; INTJs have also been known to take it upon themselves to implement critical decisions without consulting their supervisors or co-workers. On the other hand, they do tend to be scrupulous and even-handed about recognizing the individual contributions that have gone into a project, and have a gift for seizing opportunities which others might not even notice.

In the broadest terms, what INTJs “do” tends to be what they “know”. Typical INTJ career choices are in the sciences and engineering, but they can be found wherever a combination of intellect and incisiveness are required (e.g., law, some areas of academia). INTJs can rise to management positions when they are willing to invest time in marketing their abilities as well as enhancing them, and (whether for the sake of ambition or the desire for privacy) many also find it useful to learn to simulate some degree of surface conformism in order to mask their inherent unconventionality.

INTJs are capable of caring deeply for others (usually a select few), and are willing to spend a great deal of time and effort on a relationship.

However, many INTJs do not readily grasp the social rituals; for instance, they tend to have little patience and less understanding of such things as small talk and flirtation (which most types consider half the fun of a relationship). To complicate matters, INTJs are usually extremely private people, and can often be naturally impassive as well, which makes them easy to misread and misunderstand. Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense. This sometimes results in a peculiar naivete’, paralleling that of many Fs — only instead of expecting inexhaustible affection and empathy from a romantic relationship, the INTJ will expect inexhaustible reasonability and directness.

Probably the strongest INTJ assets in the interpersonal area are their intuitive abilities and their willingness to “work at” a relationship. Although as Ts they do not always have the kind of natural empathy that many Fs do, the Intuitive function can often act as a good substitute by synthesizing the probable meanings behind such things as tone of voice, turn of phrase, and facial expression. This ability can then be honed and directed by consistent, repeated efforts to understand and support those they care about, and those relationships which ultimately do become established with an INTJ tend to be characterized by their robustness, stability, and good communications.

My INFJ Personality Traits:

INFJs are distinguished by both their complexity of character and the unusual range and depth of their talents. Strongly humanitarian in outlook, INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their J preference for closure and completion, they are generally “doers” as well as dreamers. This rare combination of vision and practicality often results in INFJs taking a disproportionate amount of responsibility in the various causes to which so many of them seem to be drawn.

INFJs are deeply concerned about their relations with individuals as well as the state of humanity at large. They are, in fact, sometimes mistaken for extroverts because they appear so outgoing and are so genuinely interested in people — a product of the Feeling function they most readily show to the world. On the contrary, INFJs are true introverts, who can only be emotionally intimate and fulfilled with a chosen few from among their long-term friends, family, or obvious “soul mates.” While instinctively courting the personal and organizational demands continually made upon them by others, at intervals INFJs will suddenly withdraw into themselves, sometimes shutting out even their intimates.

This apparent paradox is a necessary escape valve for them, providing both time to rebuild their depleted resources and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent “givers.” As a pattern of behavior, it is perhaps the most confusing aspect of the enigmatic INFJ character to outsiders, and hence the most often misunderstood — particularly by those who have little experience with this rare type.

Due in part to the unique perspective produced by this alternation between detachment and involvement in the lives of the people around them, INFJs may well have the clearest insights of all the types into the motivations of others, for good and for evil. The most important contributing factor to this uncanny gift, however, are the empathic abilities often found in Fs, which seem to be especially heightened in the INFJ type (possibly by the dominance of the introverted N function).

This empathy can serve as a classic example of the two-edged nature of certain INFJ talents, as it can be strong enough to cause discomfort or pain in negative or stressful situations. More explicit inner conflicts are also not uncommon in INFJs; it is possible to speculate that the causes for some of these may lie in the specific combinations of preferences which define this complex type. For instance, there can sometimes be a “tug-of-war” between NF vision and idealism and the J practicality that urges compromise for the sake of achieving the highest priority goals. And the I and J combination, while perhaps enhancing self-awareness, may make it difficult for INFJs to articulate their deepest and most convoluted feelings.

Usually self-expression comes more easily to INFJs on paper, as they tend to have strong writing skills. Since in addition they often possess a strong personal charisma, INFJs are generally well-suited to the “inspirational” professions such as teaching (especially in higher education) and religious leadership. Psychology and counseling are other obvious choices, but overall, INFJs can be exceptionally difficult to pigeonhole by their career paths. Perhaps the best example of this occurs in the technical fields. The significant minority of INFJs who do pursue studies and careers in sciences and logical fields tend to be as successful as their T counterparts, as it is *iNtuition* — the dominant function for the INFJ type — which governs the ability to understand abstract theory and implement it creatively.

In their own way, INFJs are just as much “systems builders” as are INTJs; the difference lies in that most INFJ “systems” are founded on human beings and human values, rather than information and technology. Their systems may for these reasons be conceptually “blurrier” than analogous NT ones, harder to measure in strict numerical terms, and easier to take for granted — yet it is these same underlying reasons which make the resulting contributions to society so vital and profound.

Beneath the quiet exterior, INFJs hold deep convictions about the weightier matters of life. Those who are activists – INFJs gravitate toward such a role – are there for the cause, not for personal glory or political power.

INFJs are champions of the oppressed and downtrodden. They often are found in the wake of an emergency, rescuing those who are in acute distress.

Accurately suspicious about others’ motives, INFJs are not easily led. These are the people that you can rarely fool any of the time. Though affable and sympathetic to most, INFJs are selective about their friends. Such a friendship is a symbiotic bond that transcends mere words.

INFJs have a knack for fluency in language and facility in communication. In addition, nonverbal sensitivity enables the INFJ to know and be known by others intimately.

My ISTJ Personality Traits:

ISTJs are often called inspectors. They have a keen sense of right and wrong, especially in their area of interest and/or responsibility. They are noted for devotion to duty. Punctuality is a watchword of the ISTJ. The secretary, clerk, or business(wo)man by whom others set their clocks is likely to be an ISTJ.

As do other Introverted Thinkers, ISTJs often give the initial impression of being aloof and perhaps somewhat cold. Effusive expression of emotional warmth is not something that ISTJs do without considerable energy loss.

ISTJs are most at home with “just the facts, Ma’am.” They seem to perform at highest efficiency when employing a step-by-step approach. Once a new procedure has proven itself (i.e., has been shown “to work,”) the ISTJ can be depended upon to carry it through, even at the expense of their own health.

ISTJs are easily frustrated by the inconsistencies of others, especially when the second parties don’t keep their commitments. But they usually keep their feelings to themselves unless they are asked. And when asked, they don’t mince words. Truth wins out over tact.

My ISFJ Personality Traits:

ISFJs are characterized above all by their desire to serve others, their “need to be needed.” In extreme cases, this need is so strong that standard give-and-take relationships are deeply unsatisfying to them; however, most ISFJs find more than enough with which to occupy themselves within the framework of a normal life.

ISFJs are often unappreciated, at work, home, and play. Ironically, because they prove over and over that they can be relied on for their loyalty and unstinting, high-quality work, those around them often take them for granted–even take advantage of them. Admittedly, the problem is sometimes aggravated by the ISFJs themselves; for instance, they are notoriously bad at delegating (“If you want it done right, do it yourself”). And although they’re hurt by being treated like doormats, they are often unwilling to toot their own horns about their accomplishments because they feel that although they deserve more credit than they’re getting, it’s somehow wrong to want any sort of reward for doing work (which is supposed to be a virtue in itself). (And as low-profile Is, their actions don’t call attention to themselves as with charismatic Es.) Because of all of this, ISFJs are often overworked, and as a result may suffer from psychosomatic illnesses.

In the workplace, ISFJs are methodical and accurate workers, often with very good memories and unexpected analytic abilities; they are also good with people in small-group or one-on-one situations because of their patient and genuinely sympathetic approach to dealing with others. ISFJs make pleasant and reliable co-workers and exemplary employees, but tend to be harried and uncomfortable in supervisory roles. They are capable of forming strong loyalties, but these are personal rather than institutional loyalties; if someone they’ve bonded with in this way leaves the company, the ISFJ will leave with them, if given the option. Traditional careers for an ISFJ include: teaching, social work, most religious work, nursing, medicine (general practice only), clerical and and secretarial work of any kind, and some kinds of administrative careers.

While their work ethic is high on the ISFJ priority list, their families are the centers of their lives. If any of their nearest and dearest depart from the straight-and-narrow, it causes the ISFJ major embarrassment: the closer the relationship and the more public the act, the more intense the embarrassment. Over time, however, ISFJs usually mellow, and learn to regard the culprits as harmless eccentrics. ISFJs take infinite trouble over meals, gifts, celebrations, etc., for their loved ones–although strong Js may tend to focus more on what the recipient should want rather than what they do want.

Like most Is, ISFJs have a few, close friends. They are extremely loyal to these, and are ready to provide emotional and practical support at a moment’s notice. Unlike with EPs, the older the friendship is, the more an ISFJ will value it. One ISFJ trait that is easily misunderstood by those who haven’t known them long is that they are often unable to either hide or articulate any distress they may be feeling. For instance, an ISFJ child may be reproved for “sulking,” the actual cause of which is a combination of physical illness plus misguided “good manners.” An adult ISFJ may drive a (later ashamed) friend or SO into a fit of temper over the ISFJ’s unexplained moodiness, only afterwards to explain about a death in the family they “didn’t want to burden anyone with.” Those close to ISFJs should learn to watch for the warning signs in these situations and take the initiative themselves to uncover the problem.

My own personal explanation about the inner conflict of being both Thinking and Feeling

I have always felt like I had two brains inside one skull. It’s not Dissociative Identity Disorder (previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder), however it feels extremely similar to what that might be like. The only difference is probably the fact that I know it’s going on. It is like I have two people fighting two sides constantly in every decision, on an almost daily basis. My best days are when one side seems to just automatically give in to the other side’s demands, or when the two sides just happen to agree on something, because most of the time they don’t agree.

The reason for this is because when you are both Thinking and Feeling, you have a logical side that uses reason to make decisions, and you also have an emotional empathic side that uses morals (or what you think is moral) to make decisions. However, when it comes to gray areas, that is when the two sides conflict the most. Not everything is absolute when it comes to morality. For instance, when someone in need asks for money, the automatic moral response would be to help out. However, when that person is a man who you know sits on the corner drinking all day and night, it’s actually immoral to give that person money. This is an extreme version of the inner conflicts I go through. It’s pretty obvious that a man who drinks all day should not be given money. Many times the situation is even more gray than this.

Sometimes my inner conflicts have to do with what I do on a daily basis, or on an hourly basis. I am constantly trying to figure out what is the very best way to spend my time so that I am as valuable as possible in this world and to God while still keeping myself sane by taking care of myself too. Taking care of myself and taking care of the world around me seem like two different things and I care about both equally. My thinking side of me knows that I need to take care of myself in order to take care of others, but my feeling side says it’s selfish to ever consider myself.

I’m well aware that my thinking side is right 99% of the time (my thinking side has figured that out, lol). But my feeling side is almost 50% of who I am so it is extremely hard to go against it. So I struggle daily on what I should do each day.

My own personal explanation about my introversion vs. extroversion:

Also, by my own explanation of myself I typically don’t view myself as that much of an introvert, but I do know that I prefer introversion, working along, etc. over being with groups of people, and I do know that I gain energy by being alone, and my energy is sucked dry when I am around people, which is also a clue that I am definitely more of an introvert.

The preference I thought I had is to spend about half of my waking hours alone and half of my waking hours interacting with people. However, now that I am thinking about it, it might actually be that I prefer to spend half of my free-time alone and half of my free-time interacting with people. And I prefer to spend practically all of my working/project time completely alone. Which means that I probably only prefer to spend about 5% of my waking hours interacting with people.

However, I do like to spend time with people doing activities side by side without interacting. I know that when I spend too much time alone I start to feel lonely, and when I spend too much time interacting with people I get very tired. So my introversion more has to do with the amount of interaction with people, not so much simply being around someone.

I also prefer to spend time with people one-on-one because relationships can grow much deeper that way. It might be fun to hang out and do fun things with groups of people, but it’s much harder to get to know someone deeply as an individual when only hanging out in groups.

However, even though I prefer hanging out one-on-one, spending time with one person can be just as exhausting as spending time with a large group of people. This is because when you are spending time with just one person, you are constantly using your social skills to keep the conversation going and/or listen. Whereas in a group, there is so much more activity (therefore, it’s tiring), but each individual is not required to constantly talk or listen. You can actually sometimes sit back and just observe when you’re in a group of people, especially (really, only) when there are extroverts in the group who will pretty much take over the conversation.

If everyone in the group is an introvert, I end up doing most of the interacting, which is the most exhausting situation of all because there is the combination of more people, and more communicating and listening on my part. When you are in a group of introverts and you are the most extroverted (or willing to talk) the rest of the introverts tend to look to you when they are talking. So you end up talking half the time (mainly asking questions of each individual to get other people talking), and you are also the main one who has to be actively listening and engaged in the group conversation the entire time.

In fact, I remember a specific time in my life when this occurred quite often. When I was a senior in college I was a small group leader of about 10 freshman. We met once a week and we could basically talk about whatever we wanted. I came up with plans on what we could discuss and activities we could do to break the ice, get to know each other, open up, learn from each other, develop interpersonal skills and empathy, and work through any issues anyone was going through. One of the things I really had to teach them was to look around the room at each person while they talked, because they always had a tendency to look solely at me, their leader, when they were sharing. This is a skill I developed over the course of being in my own small groups, and it actually helps bring everyone into the conversation and helps everyone feel included.

That was a really good experience for me, even as an introvert. When I was in college, I actually took the Myers-Briggs test and I was actually smack dab in the middle of being an introvert and extrovert. But I think the reason for that is simply that I was constantly in social situations that I even made myself think I was more extroverted than I was. But my true self really desires and thrives by spending a lot of time alone.

Introverts as a whole prefer to think rather than interact, and I do believe after thinking thoroughly about this that I am definitely more of an introvert than an extrovert, and I have simply learned how to act like an extrovert when needed, even though I don’t prefer that role.

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