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Why INTPs Can't Finish Things

v3nge

Too busy thinking to make any decisions.
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#1
I've just had a moment of clarity and I'd like to share it with you all. Perhaps you will gain some insight from it as I have.

I struggle, like many INTPs, with getting things done and doing things consistently. I have great ambitions, but implementation is very difficult for me.

I was thinking this afternoon (it's rainy here and I like to think when it rains... and when it doesn't for that matter) and I realized that it goes down to the very identity I have for my self.

As a child I was treated differently because I tested as gifted. I wasn't held to the same standard as other students, because of this, and frankly I did the very minimum amount of work possible. (A trait that would follow me all the way into my college years.)

This created in me a self-esteem that wasn't tethered to whether or not I actually accomplished anything, but to the possibility that I may accomplish something great in the future, if I so choose.

I identified myself (subconsciously) with the lazy genius, the aloof professor, the archetype of a person who has vast untapped potential.

To this day I find myself identified with that archetype, and so despite great efforts, various meticulously planned daily schedules, timers, memos, and even prescription medications, I can't get myself to stay consistent enough with my habits for there to be a possibility of achieving the things I want in life.

The reason being, because I'm identified with this "lazy genius" archetype, I find it much more appealing to live in the future potentiality than to actually finish something. Because upon finish something, you're saying "That's it. That is the best I can do." And if it isn't as good as you thought it would be, or as good as other people thought it would be, then the identity is destroyed, and that is as good as death to the ego.

In the same vein, I can't stay consistent with things, because I'm unconsciously afraid the longer I stay consistent with something the closer I get to the moment when I could potentially fail and be forced to realize that I'm not competent and that I will never actually accomplish anything. Again, killing my identity.

My unconscious mind would rather fail from not trying than risk failure due to incompetency, because at least without really trying, I can still say "I could have done that."

My subconscious then feeds my conscious mind the excuses "One day won't hurt." "You can do that tomorrow." "Just skip today, you've worked hard."

I don't know yet how I will disidentify myself from this identity, but I think this is an interesting epiphany I've had.

Does anyone else relate to this?
 

Cognisant

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#2
100%

I've got nothing to add right now but I'll give it some thought.
 
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#3
I 100% relate. I’ve also had the epiphany, exactly as you describe.

My existence has been mostly geared towards trying to fix it since 2013. Furthermore, I’m currently in therapy for anxiety related to the aforementioned.

It seems futile. I hope we can all one day overcome this crippling ailment.
 

Pyropyro

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#4
100% relate but that lazy genius thing got shattered hard at Uni where I faced actual and hard-working geniuses.
 
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#5
I can relate to the not getting things done part. I thought it was a more common problem with people in general though and not just INTP's. There seems to be a lot of self-help stuff about it.

I have a lot of big goals floating in circles in my head. Let's say I was to crack down on one. Oh no, now I realize that before I start on what I thought was step one, I'll actually need to set some mundane preliminary steps up first. Then I start asking if those things actually land that high on the priority list of bigger-picture goals. Is cleaning the garage really going to further my life? What am I going to do when I'm 50?

I've tried whipping myself into a programmed routine. That really doesn't work for me, but in that process, I realized that it was more productive to ask myself what was important in the moment. Never mind tomorrow or next week, what good can I do right now?

I know my answer is a little simplistic and not offering much. But lately, I'm considering a new tactic. Being okay with getting just a little bit done sometimes. It kind of works like reverse psychology. Maybe. It's working so far, and I might keep you updated on that one.

About the part of being potentially able to do anything, I give trust that anyone is able to do anything if they put the right attitude towards it.
 

Niclmaki

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#6
Aaay ENTP here. Surprisingly similar sounding story to me.

I was also tested and identified as gifted as a child. I built stuff like a radio, hand fan, flashlight. Just for fun (in elementary). I pretty much excelled in everything at school. My small community didn’t know what to really do with me.

In highschool I was still treated differently, but year one was the only year I did homework / projects. I determined them a waste of my time after that because I could pass on the exams alone. 60% (the passing grade) was all I aimed for. It really pissed off all the teachers.

Come college I was consistantly told to go to university because “I was too smart for this”. I wanted to be an ECE (early childhood educator, 1yo -5yo). Looking back, I’m pretty sure this was mostly just sexism, but I listened and transitioned into university.

My epiphany there was essentially, “umm, I actually have no desire to be doing this. I’m just doing what everyone else is telling me to”. Especially my parents / extended family. I was really a wonderful piss stream for them to throw out in their pissing contests with other families.

I suppose my great diffetence here is that I don’t really have any ambitions now.

I do have some guilt though. Am I obligated to use my abilities for whatever reason? Or ought I? I’m quite content with how my life is. I don’t desire more, in fact I’d consider it greedy to want more.
 

Hadoblado

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#7
Self-handicapping is very common, INTP or not. But yeah, it's a bit of an eye opener about the irrationality of behaviour.
 

Polaris

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#8
Dunno if this is MBTI related - seems pretty common.

I have multiple projects going on. There are significant people involved - the reason I get these projects is because these people seem to think I can do all this stuff (don't know how I manage to somehow convince people that all this stuff has merit, which means there are suddenly multiple projects mushrooming everywhere). So now I'm getting closer to the deadline on two of these mushrooms - and with what results?

A lot of thinking, many emails to many people followed by invitations to slightly drunken meetings at the elite university private member's club (what am I, of all people, doing in there....???); incomprehensible random drawings and notes in my computer and all over my "diary" (more like a severely disorganised frazzled, black book of obscure functional origins), an inordinate accumulation of data on various devices plus a bunch of kangaroo bones floating around the kitchen.

I've woken up in the morning to find my external hard drive under my pillow - don't ask me how it got there.

It really is mad scientist 100%.

The project is done.


Errr, in my head, that is :D:ahh:

So I'm sitting here playing the piano, reading the forum, drinking tea, cuddling the cat and thinking about my next project.


But people expect tangible things...


"Polaris, you must publish"


:ninjahide:


:ahh:


:rip:
 
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#9
I have multiple projects going on. There are significant people involved - the reason I get these projects is because these people seem to think I can do all this stuff (don't know how I manage to somehow convince people that all this stuff has merit, which means there are suddenly multiple projects mushrooming everywhere). So now I'm getting closer to the deadline on two of these mushrooms - and with what results?
Hey yeah! Wtf is this about? I have the same problem! I’m like, constantly buried with multiple projects (most people at my level have 1 or 2, while I seem to have between 5-10 at any given time). So I somehow manage to keep my head just above water, somehow suspended in this constant state of “FFFFFFFUUUUUUU—” and everyone is like “oh mang - Happy is crushing it, better give him more projects”.

What the fuck? What is happening? I thought it was just me - do you have some insight into this bonkers phenomenon @Polaris ???
 

Polaris

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#10
Oh dear, @Happy your situation sounds even worse....:phear:

The fact that someone pays you to do all that stuff just increases the pressure, IMO. I'm only getting paid for one of these projects, and this thing is consequently hanging over me like a death sentence...."fuck, they're paying me, fuckfuck....must perform"

The rest of them are all my own fault, thanks to my big mouth and what I suspect is an inability to say no, combined with momentary over-enthusiasm...at least, I have been getting some funding lately, but it seems to also add to the stress because this means I am also obliged to cough something up eventually.

I really need to change my outlook on this. I mean, I should be pleased that people are finally wanting to support me financially for my ideas.

I don't know. I would guess we're the type of people who thrive on momentary waves of enthusiasm/creativity, but then end up completely overwhelmed because of over-commitments. Resulting in increasing anxiety, which then affects performance/output.

At my age, you would think I would have learnt something, but no, I keep up the kamikaze pace, regardless of my sanity. Damn it, I'm developing a heart problem because of it. I don't intend to warn you of the pitfalls, I know you already know.

Oh well, if I die of a heart attack due to stress from doing what I love, I guess it's not so terrible....

:slash:
 

Cognisant

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#11
My robotics project continues slowly but surely (with breaks that may last months) I find it helps to keep in mind who I am, what I'm passionate about and why I'm passionate about it and also to keep telling myself that as long as I'm closer than I was yesterday it's all okay, any progress no matter how small is progress, I just have to keep going.

Hand.png
 

Serac

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#12
I agree with OP, but I would add another aspect to the whole thing which I experience often.

When you are initiating some ambitious project, and the project exists mostly in theory, it is in some sense a perfect thing, protected from the messy realities of the world. Thus while it remains in that realm, it is very pleasant to think about it, and it supplies a good measure of self-esteem. Once you start actually implementing your ideas, you have to face all the difficulties of reality and all the imperfections this entails. You have to be prepared to take significant blows to your ego and face your own limitations and ignorance if you do that. I guess that's just another aspect of fighting one's ingrained vision of oneself as some genius or clever individual. If something potentially undermines that vision, you will tend to avoid it.
 
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#13
I can't finish anything because I am not smart enough.
I am unable to work things out in my head.
I can't hold all the steps so forget things.
I can't really make designs for my abstract ideas.
 

v3nge

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#14
I agree with OP, but I would add another aspect to the whole thing which I experience often.

When you are initiating some ambitious project, and the project exists mostly in theory, it is in some sense a perfect thing, protected from the messy realities of the world. Thus while it remains in that realm, it is very pleasant to think about it, and it supplies a good measure of self-esteem. Once you start actually implementing your ideas, you have to face all the difficulties of reality and all the imperfections this entails. You have to be prepared to take significant blows to your ego and face your own limitations and ignorance if you do that. I guess that's just another aspect of fighting one's ingrained vision of oneself as some genius or clever individual. If something potentially undermines that vision, you will tend to avoid it.
Yeah, that's definitely an aspect of it too. Idealism.

I find it interesting that so many of you relate to this. I've been thinking about it more, and I've realized that there's also a sense of impostor syndrome as well, especially when things are going well. I think some of you hinted at this, as well.

For example, things are starting to pick up in my business right now as I'm getting my first clients since graduating college last year, and I'm starting to feel a lot of anxiety.

"What if they find out that I'm not really as good and experienced at what I do as I let on?" "What if someone tries to sue me?" All these irrational things start to come up.

I don't have any real reason to think these things, other than my fear of being inadequate.
 

Jennywocky

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#15
Without reading much of the thread:

- I like thinking/exploring more than doing/producing.
- Translating ideas into real life is messy and I have to live with imperfect results for something that was once beautiful while in my head. Everything I produce feels like a miscarriage in some way.
- It involves a channeling of my mind that requires I stop thinking in radiant directions (Ne); I don't mind chasing something down as much as having to shut everything off / limit my divergent thinking while I'm chasing something down... excluding things to focus on one thing.
- I feel like I will be misjudged by others for my imperfect product, yet don't care to waste the energy to explain/justify.
- my perfectionism demands a LOT of intense effort. It's like having a baby; it takes dedication and sacrifice and hurts like hell throughout the birthing process.
- I am very go with the flow, I hate the intensity of planning and careful alignment I need to do to implement an idea.

But yeah, I'm getting the idea a lot of people agree with the feelings of inadequacy. I never quite feel like I can rise to the level of my idea.
 

scorpiomover

The little professor
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#16
This created in me a self-esteem that wasn't tethered to whether or not I actually accomplished anything, but to the possibility that I may accomplish something great in the future, if I so choose.
True. Then you are a container of great things, a book that contains wonders, a magnum opus, a Principia Mathematica, if you will.

If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no-one to hear it fall, what sound does it make?

As long your potential never gets realised, there is no difference whether your potential is to accomplish something great, or your potential is to accomplish nothing whatsoever.

It is only in the actualisation of your potential, that there is any relevance in your potential.

Where the love of potential differs from the love of accomplishment, is in the sage, the wise man. The wise man who knows that he will do more by helping a few children than becoming President of the universe, spurns the honours by becoming the man that others think of as great, but is really for the most part, irrelevant and full of hot air. Instead, he becomes great, even though only a handful know of him.

What matters in this world, is not what accomplishments others will praise you for.
What matters in this world, is what you actually achieve, no matter how many are unaware of what you have achieved.

Fame is fleeting, and little more than hot air. But a woman of valour is worth praising to the skies.
 

baccheion

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#17
I don't finish things because I lose interest, didn't get clear and plan it all out before I started, or usually, because others start getting in the way. I learned at a young age that when I start on something and no one bothers me, then it gets done. If it didn't, then it was because it lost relevance or I was wrong about its significance (ie, it was irrelevant, but I didn't notice).

Nowadays, there's selegiline, SEMAX + selank + alpha-GPC, automation, apps, services, etc. It's good to know how to write code. Almost anything can be automated and put on autopilot (ie, the program will repeat consistently or will see it through).

Adding a multivitamin, D + K, and magnesium supplement stabilized energy and had other positive effects I can't quite articulate. I still remember when I first found a good multivitamin (it was in 2010 after searching for 9 years); it was a great day.
 

KilledCat

Curiosity (the space rover) Killed the Cat
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#18
I think I struggle with that, but also ADHD which makes me lose focus.
Speaking of which
I need to get my paper done for tomorrow
 

Serac

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#19
I was gonna start painting a few years back, since I was considered a prodigy in drawing when I was a kid. I painted exactly one painting, which I was quite happy with, so I ended my paining career with that.
 

Ex-User (8886)

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#20
Does anyone else relate to this?
100% same story.

I learned to finish stuff, but it's complicated to explain.
I can't force myself, in the past I was trying to and it was really bad. So now I do only what I want and I hope my brain will do good decisions for me (because I think my brain is much more intelligent than me). I start study for exams when I begin to feel anxious, I don't care about some courses and I don't pass some, but it's everything ok for me.

Getting job done for me is getting it done in any time. So I always give myself a lot of time and I don't hurry. I write a book and I know I need about 2-3 years to finish it. I play games and I know I need to practice a lot to get to the top. I'll finish university, but later than my peers. I get the job in AI research, but it'll take about 5 years, I don't hurry.

I still can't get rid of some very ambitious ideas, like creating AI intelligent equal to human, creating new theory in physics or starting my own IT business. I know that everything is possible for me, but at least I realized that there is only small percentage of chance of success.
 

Puffy

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#21
Worked from home today. Procrastinated until 7pm. Finished preparing presentation at 2am.

I thought the late night coffee was a necessary strategy but now the buzz hasn't worn off and I doubt I'll get much sleep. :coffee::sleepy:

I can relate to this thread, I don't think it's a type thing and is probably common outside this forum. I significantly delay and post-pone things as I tend to over-think from all possible angles to make sure what I'm going to do is optimal. It has lead to great work sometimes. But underlying that I'm unsure it's purely a desire to do great work so much as a dread of doing the task rooted in anxiety - that I'm not good enough, that the work won't be good enough, that I'll be judged as a fraud - and procrastinating (just more thinking time) is the means of relieving the anxiety until a future time.

The result is putting it off until the deadline is looming enough that I'll experience greater anxiety (i.e. failing) if I don't confront it and so am forced to deliver what I can in the available time.

I often resent people who pressurise me but they play a necessary devil's advocate. :goat: I think it's about learning to just enjoy what you're doing and lessening the expectations so that you can do so.
 
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#22
Honestly, I think it has nothing to do with your type and more to do with your laziness, which you have already said. SO, the trick i think is not to think of your type and think more of how privileged you are and why you should look at other people's lives, or go and live them, and then you will get motivated.
 

Procinogen

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#23
I can relate. I haven't been identified as 'gifted' (but I haven't taken a test either, but a friend of mine who is says I exhibit traits of one, either way I'm not sure of the validity of anything I say here), but I can relate. I'm very self aware of this issue, and I'm always trying to get that to change. I've started completing more projects that I start. Point is I while I like the "lazy scientist" archetype I'm trying to become more productive, and trying to use my knowledge in other ways than daydreaming. That, and it's kind of fun to show off! :disdain:
 

baccheion

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#24
I can relate. I haven't been identified as 'gifted' (but I haven't taken a test either, but a friend of mine who is says I exhibit traits of one, either way I'm not sure of the validity of anything I say here), but I can relate. I'm very self aware of this issue, and I'm always trying to get that to change. I've started completing more projects that I start. Point is I while I like the "lazy scientist" archetype I'm trying to become more productive, and trying to use my knowledge in other ways than daydreaming. That, and it's kind of fun to show off! :disdain:
Projects are usually unfinished due them becoming a waste of time. Absence of efficiency or progress isn't common among INTPs not bogged down with minutiae. In any event, there's still some sort of motivation issue.

Computers, smartphones, internet, apps, forums/groups, etc make it easier to finish projects. There's an app or site that helps keep track of all being done. They also make it more likely plans/ideas/visions will be recorded rather than lost.

It's about finding a system that's easy/sustainable. Even waiting for bursts of energy will result in steady progress, as a majority of time is usually spent ruminating/researching/refining/waiting rather than doing anyway. It's even better if there's an ability to program/automate.

When younger, I remember thinking to write down and then later assign any ideas/notes. It crossed my mind while using Basecamp, a project management webapp that was popular at the time. I pretended to hire myself as a freelancer. These are the types of games I have to play with myself.

Maintaining physical energy/stamina by improving nutrition, meditating and/or listening to brainwave entrainment audio, fixing nutrient deficiencies (NutrEval + a comprehensive hormone panel + genetic testing), taking a multivitamin (AOR Ortho-Core + Life Extension D and K), and sleeping well (400 mg Doctor's Best High Absorption Magnesium before bed) had a significant effect. I still had motivation issues (helped by SEMAX + selank + alpha-GPC, or even better and harder to find, selegiline + memantine), but realized lethargy and fatigue were a huge part of the problem.
 

Serac

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#25
Computers, smartphones, internet, apps, forums/groups, etc make it easier to finish projects. There's an app or site that helps keep track of all being done. They also make it more likely plans/ideas/visions will be recorded rather than lost.
You gotta be kidding. Internet makes it easier to finish projects?

The time I engaged in huge projects and actually worked steadily and focused for prolonged periods of time (in the ballpak of 1 year), I didn't have an Internet connection at all. I wrote most of my notes with pen and paper. If I needed to look up information I used books. I've actually been considering disconnecting my Internet to become more productive again

Internet is only good for one thing – downloading papers. But for that purpose you need like 5 minutes of access per week.
 

baccheion

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#26
Computers, smartphones, internet, apps, forums/groups, etc make it easier to finish projects. There's an app or site that helps keep track of all being done. They also make it more likely plans/ideas/visions will be recorded rather than lost.
You gotta be kidding. Internet makes it easier to finish projects?

The time I engaged in huge projects and actually worked steadily and focused for prolonged periods of time (in the ballpak of 1 year), I didn't have an Internet connection at all. I wrote most of my notes with pen and paper. If I needed to look up information I used books. I've actually been considering disconnecting my Internet to become more productive again

Internet is only good for one thing – downloading papers. But for that purpose you need like 5 minutes of access per week.
You don't have enough self control to avoid going online? A quiet distraction-free work area is always nice. What sorts of projects were you working on?
 

QuickTwist

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#27
Fuck, I relate too and I already know I am not particularly brilliant.

I think this is something that stems from the personality type itself rather than any sort of conditioned motivation. INTP's simply think this way about themselves.

The weird thing about this is that IQ is still probably a valid metric of success and because of that, the INTP in question is relative to accomplishing what their given ability actually is.

The interesting thing here that I am noticing is that all the people who were saying "I 100% relate" I would type as NTP in a heartbeat. ENTP's share many many of the same types of ways of thinking about things with their close cousins the INTP. IMO these two types are very very similar. As an example, and you might not consider this valid, but over on PerC where I play a lot of Mafia, there are a couple people who interrelate with me on a pretty similar level. They are all NTPs. The weird thing here is that we all know we think so damn similar that we can read each other like the back of our hand. You might think this just means we have played a lot with each other, and that is not necessarily true in all cases. There's a guy I know there who came back after taking a break from the site for a good few years and started playing Mafia again. Within the first game, I already felt like we just get each other and a bromance soon ensued. Guess what type he is, yup, ENTP. He's not the only ENTP who I feel this type of thing with either. A guy named Dizzy (Dyslexicon) I have had a WAY better record than average at reading him compared to other people there, and guess what? ENTP again. The biggest and most glaring difference I can see between INTP and ENTP is that the ENTP is generally a lot less serious about things. IMO, this slight difference is the exact thing that is needed to produce a very strong kinship between two people. Still, the point remains that XNTP's think remarkably similar and it's a kind of closeness I don't get from very many other people.
 

Serac

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#28
You don't have enough self control to avoid going online?
Definitely not.
A quiet distraction-free work area is always nice. What sorts of projects were you working on?
Programming-related stuff.

I mean sure, I have a pretty good ability to focus. But if you really wanna make headway in massively complicated projects, it requires your attention pretty much your every waking hour. It's not enough to have a nice stint for 6 hours a day and then fuck around the rest of the day on intpf or reading news articles or whatever. Completely removing all possible other stimuli than the project allows for complete immersion in the project 24/7.
 

QuickTwist

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#29
I was gonna start painting a few years back, since I was considered a prodigy in drawing when I was a kid. I painted exactly one painting, which I was quite happy with, so I ended my paining career with that.
I lol'd. It's so damn relatable it's incredible. I had a stint with Pottery/Ceramics which is pretty much the exact same story you have.
 

Serac

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#30
I was gonna start painting a few years back, since I was considered a prodigy in drawing when I was a kid. I painted exactly one painting, which I was quite happy with, so I ended my paining career with that.
I lol'd. It's so damn relatable it's incredible. I had a stint with Pottery/Ceramics which is pretty much the exact same story you have.
Yeah at least for me personally, I'm pretty sure I know what the problem there was. It was that I don't have any vision for myself where I become a painter or something like that. Like, at most, it will be just a hobby. I can only sustain interest in something when it relates to a bigger vision.
 

baccheion

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#31
You don't have enough self control to avoid going online?
Definitely not.
A quiet distraction-free work area is always nice. What sorts of projects were you working on?
Programming-related stuff.

I mean sure, I have a pretty good ability to focus. But if you really wanna make headway in massively complicated projects, it requires your attention pretty much your every waking hour. It's not enough to have a nice stint for 6 hours a day and then fuck around the rest of the day on intpf or reading news articles or whatever. Completely removing all possible other stimuli than the project allows for complete immersion in the project 24/7.
Interesting. I agree that a continuous extended period of time is required to get rich/refined results. On the other hand, I tend to become fully engaged when interested and all else fades away. The internet and tools/apps present then help maintain rhythm/flow. That is, a system is put in place at beforehand to ensure I can continue without interruption/distraction/lulls.

Are you the one trying acetyl L-carnitine + alpha-GPC? How's that working out? I wonder how SEMAX + selank + alpha-GPC would affect you. Regarding programming, selank or p21/cerebrolysin goes well with high-level (Python, PHP, Ruby, etc) and phenylpiracetam hydrazide + SEMAX + alpha-GPC with low-level (C/C++, Go, etc). Phenylpiracetam hydrazide is better as-needed, as tolerance quickly develops.
 

Serac

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#32
Interesting. I agree that a continuous extended period of time is required to get rich/refined results. On the other hand, I tend to become fully engaged when interested and all else fades away. The internet and tools/apps present then help maintain rhythm/flow. That is, a system is put in place at beforehand to ensure I can continue without interruption/distraction/lulls.
Well, I guess I can be impressed that you are able to do this consistently. I definitely cannot. The only thing that works for me is to put all possible distracting stimuli completely out of reach. For me personally, it's a fragile strategy to rely on my self-discipline (because I have no self-discipline – only obsessions).
Are you the one trying acetyl L-carnitine + alpha-GPC? How's that working out? I wonder how SEMAX + selank + alpha-GPC would affect you. Regarding programming, selank or p21/cerebrolysin goes well with high-level (Python, PHP, Ruby, etc) and phenylpiracetam hydrazide + SEMAX + alpha-GPC with low-level (C/C++, Go, etc). Phenylpiracetam hydrazide is better as-needed, as tolerance quickly develops.
I'm trying acetyl L-carnitine and lypoic acid. It's currently hard to tell. My focus was extremely bad a couple of weeks back, which has improved lately. And it's certainly true I have been taking the L-carnitine during this time. Gonna try to not jump to conclusions though.

Appreciate the recommendations, gonna check them out.
 
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#33
While INTP's problems stem from their minds, their minds are also the key to overcoming them.

... and so despite great efforts, various meticulously planned daily schedules, timers, memos, and even prescription medications, I can't get myself to stay consistent enough with my habits for there to be a possibility of achieving the things I want in life.
...
That kind of thinking is for the immortal. Those who consider themselves immortal.

The mortal have no need for habits and timers to serve as some sort of proverbial whip. The mortal have too little time to waste it carelessly.

Memos are a good thing. Only a fool is convinced he can do it all in their head. But schedules are best left to our INTJ friends. Personally I utilize a dependency graph as a scheduling system.

The reason being, because I'm identified with this "lazy genius" archetype, I find it much more appealing to live in the future potentiality than to actually finish something. Because upon finish something, you're saying "That's it. That is the best I can do." And if it isn't as good as you thought it would be, or as good as other people thought it would be, then the identity is destroyed, and that is as good as death to the ego.
I think INTPs may be happier when measuring their lives based on how much insight they have gained, instead of to see how "well" they can do. Veteran INTPs know insight does not come from thinking alone. The guiding force of the mind which I shall call "Intuition" comes from experience. That is the real call for action.
 

asiaaw

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#34
I've just had a moment of clarity and I'd like to share it with you all. Perhaps you will gain some insight from it as I have.

I struggle, like many INTPs, with getting things done and doing things consistently. I have great ambitions, but implementation is very difficult for me.

I was thinking this afternoon (it's rainy here and I like to think when it rains... and when it doesn't for that matter) and I realized that it goes down to the very identity I have for my self.

As a child I was treated differently because I tested as gifted. I wasn't held to the same standard as other students, because of this, and frankly I did the very minimum amount of work possible. (A trait that would follow me all the way into my college years.)

This created in me a self-esteem that wasn't tethered to whether or not I actually accomplished anything, but to the possibility that I may accomplish something great in the future, if I so choose.

I identified myself (subconsciously) with the lazy genius, the aloof professor, the archetype of a person who has vast untapped potential.

To this day I find myself identified with that archetype, and so despite great efforts, various meticulously planned daily schedules, timers, memos, and even prescription medications, I can't get myself to stay consistent enough with my habits for there to be a possibility of achieving the things I want in life.

The reason being, because I'm identified with this "lazy genius" archetype, I find it much more appealing to live in the future potentiality than to actually finish something. Because upon finish something, you're saying "That's it. That is the best I can do." And if it isn't as good as you thought it would be, or as good as other people thought it would be, then the identity is destroyed, and that is as good as death to the ego.

In the same vein, I can't stay consistent with things, because I'm unconsciously afraid the longer I stay consistent with something the closer I get to the moment when I could potentially fail and be forced to realize that I'm not competent and that I will never actually accomplish anything. Again, killing my identity.

My unconscious mind would rather fail from not trying than risk failure due to incompetency, because at least without really trying, I can still say "I could have done that."

My subconscious then feeds my conscious mind the excuses "One day won't hurt." "You can do that tomorrow." "Just skip today, you've worked hard."

I don't know yet how I will disidentify myself from this identity, but I think this is an interesting epiphany I've had.

Does anyone else relate to this?
I don’t even think I could’ve said it better myself. Every word. Unreal
 

ZenRaiden

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#35
Laziness is natural human instinct along with sexual drive and survival drive. If people lacked this instinct they wouldnt survive. The problem is that this instinct is rather strong and people can easily grow this instinct too strong.
Only antidote is developing disciplin and have some ambitions. Healthy people have ambitions and discipline.
INTP and ENTP are thinkers so they arent so lazy to think, as they are lazy to move, but overall all types are lazy. All humans are lazy even people who work 12 hours a day are lazy, they just have ambitions and drive to success that is stronger along with discipline.
Laziness is addictive like a drug and you get dopamine hits all the time to be lazy. Its a thrill to do nothing for humans. Why go and do something that will stress you out or bother yourself with stuff that makes you exert your energy when you can just lay down and sleep. Well if you have to do something you will do it, because your brain overdrives the laziness with priority of survival, but thats only if your survival is strong enough.
Factually its innate quality of human psychology, but other animals also have lazy instinct.
Some would say laziness is a sin, I say its important lest you wanna burn up like gun powder. Its actually easy for humans to over work themselves. Its doesnt take genius to work until you die of exhaustion, but thanks to laziness instinct we survive up to 100+ years.
All in all its just a balancing act. Learn to work, but learn to also rest to get best results.
 

Serac

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#36
Some would say laziness is a sin, I say its important lest you wanna burn up like gun powder. Its actually easy for humans to over work themselves. Its doesnt take genius to work until you die of exhaustion, but thanks to laziness instinct we survive up to 100+ years.
All in all its just a balancing act. Learn to work, but learn to also rest to get best results.
I would say it's exceedingly difficult to overwork yourself unless you're either quite old or doing physically/psychologically very straining work. Rest is very overrated.
 

Artsu Tharaz

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#37
Some would say laziness is a sin, I say its important lest you wanna burn up like gun powder. Its actually easy for humans to over work themselves. Its doesnt take genius to work until you die of exhaustion, but thanks to laziness instinct we survive up to 100+ years.
All in all its just a balancing act. Learn to work, but learn to also rest to get best results.
I would say it's exceedingly difficult to overwork yourself unless you're either quite old or doing physically/psychologically very straining work. Rest is very overrated.
Depending on the nature of your self and the work you could be doing something that requires contorting your brain into an unnatural patterning, which could become psychologically exhausting if kept up for an extended period of time.
 

ZenRaiden

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#38
Its not hard to overwork yourself, its just a matter of what type of job you are working. Most jobs are probably terrible if you have asshole boss or people who demand too much from you. People who demand too much from themselves too - overwork too often. Today its mostly labelled as burnout syndrome.
Practically if you work in hotdog stand or in local caffee with 5 customers per hour you cant overwork yourself, but most jobs are easy, because we are smart enough and probably lazy enough to make them easy.
When there is too much work you add one worker and job gets easier. When there is time stress you just reduce the time limits.
There are plenty jobs though where adding time pressure is common and people often cant handle it.
Not going to even try to explain how easy it is to make menial jobs hard or impossible to do.
 

TransientMoment

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#39
I wouldn't say laziness is instinctual, but it is natural. We become tired, and our bodies say, "Stop working so you can recharge". But the less you work, the more accustomed your body becomes to not working, which means that any effort you exert causes your body to say "this is tiring". The counter to this is working more and building up stamina. But of course, your body has real limitations, and you will eventually need to rest for a day at least one day a week + every night. ... Why am I typing this after midnight?????

In regards to the original topic: I don't think INTPs can't finish things. I think people in general can become so dreamy that they think their fantastic ideas are too impossible to accomplish or they prefer the dream to the reality. The truth is, you can accomplish things. You start with admitting to yourself that what you want to accomplish does not exist, that there is no fulfillment tomorrow without the work of today, and that you do not need to be perfect. (I think a bit of our perfectionism comes from OTHERS holding us up to such high standards that WE start to hold that mentality.) Set shorter, more reasonable goals, and make note of your progress. And if you aren't making progress, you need a change of setting. Psychologically, it helps to go somewhere else for awhile so you can focus on one thing.
 
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