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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Infps.. does the life of fulfillment exist?? Has any infp been able to create a life that syncs with their inner core? Have any of you been able to find a job that is rewarding and are living your dreams? I ask this because I am feeling lost myself. It is almost like I am on a mission to do/find something that may or may not exist. I am dying to live a life of meaning. I can't sit in a cubical any more doing the same thing day by day. I just can't.. I am about to pack up and leave but realistically I know I would be more unhappy once I left... or would I be? I want to use my life for good. . Helping others. . Or being in nature.. this life of go go go is getting to me. Does the idealistic life of the infp exist? ?? Is it possible to find perfect happiness or is that a fairy tale?? :/
 

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Yes. It exists in finding little ways of improving the present moment, each moment.
 

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Try doing some career counseling or something like that.

I did it after I tried several jobs but always came to the conclusion that it wasn't for me (not fulfilling, too repetitive, too chaotic, when my inferior function Se was crucial for the job :laughing: etc).

After this counseling, the lady gave me some propositions of jobs that could suit me well.

I choose Occupational Therapist and I'm starting my bachelor's degree in september. I'll have to keep working in the meantime to pay the rent, but I'm convinced this job will give me fulfillment and joy, and if it doesn't, I'll continue my search...

"Find a job you love, and you will never have to work again"

Good luck!
 

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You'll never get a life completely without pain, so an unescapable part of becoming happy must be to harmonize with that fact.

I belong to the school of thought that believes that there is no sense in trying to be happy, you just have to be it.
 

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Cubiclephobia seems to be a common fear amongst INFPs. Its like some of us believe that your whole identity and your whole life is shaped by your job, that your job is the only source of meaning & fulfillment in life.

It isn't?

Of course it isn't!!

Friends. Family. Sports. Hobbies. Art. Voluntary work. Travel. Through all these things, and more, you can find meaning & fulfillment. Actually.....if you work in an office, in a low responsibility job, for 40-ish hours a week you have lots of spare time and during those hours you can pursue many meaningful things. You can also work a job that keeps you busy for well over 40 hours and you pour your heart and soul into it. The job would dominate your life. As a consequence you have less time for hobbies, travel and the people in your life.

Both type of lives are meaningful. In one life you derive almost all your meaning/fulfilment from one source (work) and in the other type of life you derive meaning from multiple sources. What type of life you want: that's for you to decide.
 

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Well i have been ''deciding'' to be happy for months now and i am just tired of it, it's fake. If I let my thoughts wonder I am not happy at all, so nothing gets solved. I see these kinds of comments pop up more and more now and it bothers me ... ''you can be happy by just deciding to be happy''.... ''happiness comes from within yourself and only you yourself can create happiness for yourself by working on yourself and doing what you like to do". Nope, I get happiness and fulfilment from sharing and caring with/for others and I like to have such things in return. I don't like self-focus to begin with.

It doesn't just work like that. I am tired of pretend-happiness, also because I know this does not have to be like this since I have experienced better times in my life which were quite fulfilling :) ... and I know why. However, I can't control that, even though I have tried my hardest. It actually kinda sucks if happiness and fulfilment comes from sharing and caring with others. Life would have been easier if I was perfectly happy being a somewhat lonely snob doing what I like to do for myself only. Maybe I can start by trading in my Enneagram 2 for something else.
 

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My vision of a life of fulfillment is simple. My life would be fulfilled or any life would be if it was spent following their true passions. If a person doesn't know their or have a passion *which seems hard for me to imagine an INFP preference person to not have, just gonna throw that out there.....* then they need to dedicate a lot of time in figuring out what actually makes them happy at the end of the day. Then find a way to try and do that for a living, it's not always possible. But even having just the 'pursuit' of being able to live through following your passion would be fulfilling and inspiring to me and probably EVERY INFP.

* I say every INFP has/should have and KNOW their passions in life. Because of the way Fi function actually works as a (personal-judgement) process, interpreting the world and playing off the parts you find interesting and enjoyable.*
Fi is an intrinsic view of 'what is valuable', and this is on a personal level
. Which will leading some to assume it's all emotional and that is just flat out wrong, Fi is like a subconscious authentication system. Wherein if it is used as a primary function preference you'll have come to specific conclusions on what you enjoy and find interesting to 'you' as an individual in life.

This will and should in-turn, create a "passion" somewhere inside those Fi based areas of interest in life. Be it visual art, philosophy, medicine, animal rights, mathematics/science anything. Things can interfere with this process of finding a personal passion), like depression/sickness/stress ect. Making it harder to 'know' and that's something only someone trained in those fields can responsibly help with, or in the person taking the time to get rid of the things stressing them out in life.

The struggle is creating a life where you can dedicate 100% of yourself /self-worth / time into the pursuit of your own passions. If anyone (probably all INFPs) cannot accomplish this they will probably lead very unhappy and unfulfilled lives. Follow your passion or do your best to get things ready to follow them for now. I would tell anyone that isn't supporting a child or someone else, if they hate their job they need to quit. It's only going to make you unhappy, and that is not healthy. You need to research, research, research, and research your 'specific' areas of true interest in life and once you have, then peruse it to the best of your ability.
 

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Well i have been ''deciding'' to be happy for months now and i am just tired of it, it's fake. If I let my thoughts wonder I am not happy at all, so nothing gets solved. I see these kinds of comments pop up more and more now and it bothers me ... ''you can be happy by just deciding to be happy''.... ''happiness comes from within yourself and only you yourself can create happiness for yourself by working on yourself and doing what you like to do". Nope, I get happiness and fulfilment from sharing and caring with/for others and I like to have such things in return. I don't like self-focus to begin with.

It doesn't just work like that. I am tired of pretend-happiness, also because I know this does not have to be like this since I have experienced better times in my life which were quite fulfilling :) ... and I know why. However, I can't control that, even though I have tried my hardest. It actually kinda sucks if happiness and fulfilment comes from sharing and caring with others. Life would have been easier if I was perfectly happy being a somewhat lonely snob doing what I like to do for myself only. Maybe I can start by trading in my Enneagram 2 for something else.
I relate a lot to this. I think it's a trendy philosophy nowadays to say that happiness is a mindset, a choice, etc. I realize there is some truth to the idea that we need to realize the locust of control can be internal, but it also ignores that all of reality is not internal. Giving validity to the internal world is great - our perspectives and assignings of value/meaning do much to shape our reality. But we cannot ignore that there is a reality beyond our control. There comes a point when putting a spin on something in order to maintain a certain internal state becomes a delusion.

In order to support this trendy philosophy, a false dichotomy is set up (a typical way to present something as the answer - present only one, flawed alternative). People mistakenly think happiness is achievment of something specific (ie the dream job) or they correctly accept its a state of mind (choosing to see the positive, etc). But what if it's neither, or not fully either? What if it's not one thing at all?

Too often people do make fulfillment something specific (ie the job, the partner, the material possession), but they think failure to be happy from achievment means happiness is never tied to a specific need. This is false - the mistake they made is thinking a specific achievement will lead to a permanent fulfillment of a specific need, instead of it being a context to cultivate fulfillment of the need. Many fail to identify the need itself, just seeing it embodied by a goal, and thinking reaching the goal is the answer.

As Fi types, we usually see the need, but we have trouble figuring out what may embody it, and perhaps that's because nothing may embody it, rather it is only a context which may make it possible to cultivate fulfilling the need.

Also, as extroverted intuitive types - possibilites lie outside ourselves. Change is outside. The suggestion that we shift our internal view asks us to use introverted perception, and I'm not surprised Ni types are often the ones spouting this philosophy, and the majority ISxJ types find it useful. Even some Pe-dom may find it a useful counter to the running from one context to the other extreme (which Im going to discuss below in its temperate form).

For Ji types, I think understanding that you must constantly be shifting and adapting outwardly with life as it occurs (ie "dont get comfortable") makes sense. Since external reality is dynamic, you maintain an internal constancy, ie refined principles and values, to guide you as you adapt. The idea that happiness takes work will often resonate better with Pe types. You have to take certain action, BE a certain way, etc, and then you will yeild results which lead to fulfilling needs. But it NEVER ends.

For example - love and belonging are basic human needs. We generally need some manner of these to be happy. People may focus on making certain friends, qualifying for inclusion in some group, or finding a romantic partner in in order to fill these needs. But while those are possible contexts to fulfill a need, in themselves, they do not guarantee fulfillment of the needs. Instead, you have to cultivate a dynamic within the context, which means constant work. You dont find a relationship and become happy and fulfilled, rather it is a context which holds potential to do so. You still have to constantly cultivate the relationship. It's not only cultivating a mindset, but also choosing actions, words, decisions, etc.

Because dynamics are often dependent on external elements (ie other people), we are right to be angry when people suggest it's all in our minds. But they are right to note that we can only control ourselves. The first step is picking a context, and being ready to act in the context. That's why people talk about being emotionally ready for stuff. That's why we sometimes recognize we have to leave a context.

------

Personally, I don't think I get happiness simply in sharing and caring for others....because I easily feel drained, unappreciated, and resentful at a sacrifice which doesnt benefit me. "Giving to get" is an unhealthy enneagram 2 state, for example. Martyrs arent happy, no matter if they stuck to their principles.

I feel happier when I receive whatever love and belonging I need as a human, but I wont accept it deep down unless I feel I deserve it, and that's why it needs to be reciprocal, and why my giving cannot have strings attached. Im neither a martyr nor a selfishly driven person if happy; there should be a healthy dynamic with people. And sure, I can only control myself, but that includes finding the right contexts, which are influenced by other people/things.
 
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Cubiclephobia seems to be a common fear amongst INFPs. Its like some of us believe that your whole identity and your whole life is shaped by your job, that your job is the only source of meaning & fulfillment in life.

It isn't?

Of course it isn't!!

Friends. Family. Sports. Hobbies. Art. Voluntary work. Travel. Through all these things, and more, you can find meaning & fulfillment. Actually.....if you work in an office, in a low responsibility job, for 40-ish hours a week you have lots of spare time and during those hours you can pursue many meaningful things. You can also work a job that keeps you busy for well over 40 hours and you pour your heart and soul into it. The job would dominate your life. As a consequence you have less time for hobbies, travel and the people in your life.

Both type of lives are meaningful. In one life you derive almost all your meaning/fulfilment from one source (work) and in the other type of life you derive meaning from multiple sources. What type of life you want: that's for you to decide.
Job takes much more time than it seems. Even with 8 hour workday, there's a lot of additional time lost for travel from and to workplace and preparing for work.
 

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If you believe Buddha, even the shittiest of situations should leave you feeling fulfilled. My personal idea of fulfillment would call for more than what I think is possible - not something I expect to be able to create in this lifetime at the very least. These days I'm wondering if it's a balance. Short answer is, I don't know.

Regardless I know exactly how you feel. I couldn't have said it better myself.
 

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Job takes much more time than it seems. Even with 8 hour workday, there's a lot of additional time lost for travel from and to workplace and preparing for work.
Even so you have a few evenings and a weekend to yourself. When you come home from work you can decide to sit on the couch and watch television or undertake activities that are a bit more meaningful to you. My point really is that if you have a 'cubicle' type job, with low responsibility, you often don't have to take your work home with you and work isn't something that consumes all of your time because you don't want it to. This leaves you with enough time to pursue other activities.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you all for the great replies!!

I was feeling a bit down yesterday. I was feeling like there was something more for me out there and I just wanted to run away. Some days I think I would be crazy enough to just pack a bag and go.. We all know that is not realistic though. I feel a tad bit foolish because the answer I was looking for was reminded to me yesterday through these replies. Through the years, I have given up all of my hobbies. I abandoned my passions. No wonder I am feeling the way I am. I spend several years on self discovery and I know myself very well. So I do know what I enjoy and love in this life. I believe I have an outstanding ability to be positive in any negative situation.. However, because I have not been doing what I love, I have wound up in this special kind of gloom. I am going to reflect on what I do love, and use it in this real life to see what really clicks for me. As for the job topic, I feel very strongly that we, as human beings, are not on this great earth to just "get by". I believe there is something out there for everyone.. I believe that if you go with your passions you will never work a day in your life. HOWEVER finding a way to incorporate these certain passions of mine have proven to be extremely difficult. I love animals, but finding a job that will pay enough to live on is super hard. I love nature, but same kind of money issue as animals. I love to write, however writing a novel and having it be good enough to be published and make enough money off of it seems like more of a dream than reality. So the job topic always leads me into frustration. I am a extreme believer that if you don't love your job then just quit. Easier said than done.. No matter where I work I always feel like I could find something else that connects completely with my soul. Then I just spin in circles and ponder about it but never come to any conclusion. For now, I will work on finding hobbies and go back to the roots of my passions and see where I end up.
 

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I think it does, but to have a life of fulfillment, means you have to sacrifice what you consider fulfilled. This means often we don't know what things are like, we have an imagination of it, we impose upon it, project and by virtue of this projection, can never come close to it. The ideas we have about how something is, I feel, when that falls away, one can begin to approach what it could possibly mean to be fulfilled. We want to have answers given to us, but perhaps, fulfillment is in being comfortable with the question, and living in it, so that your fulfillment is never static, never crystallized, but malleable... a live.

So what is a fulfilled life, what is fulfillment? I don't think things are set up to actually have fulfillment, because after every mountain top is reached, their will surely be another summit, whose peak touches a space of the sky that we perhaps thought were we were ahead was the final peak. I think a person should not become static, but learn to value the things they do have and direct their attention to where it matters, within.

This inspired me to write a poem right now lol,

Fulfillment in yesterday,

Fulfillment in yesterday,
what a joy this interplay,
the moments which fuel today,
the chatters and their laughter,
what a display,
but the more I sit and stay,
the more I realize,
how these moments betray,
the clinging to coincidences,
is all I have my heyday,
temporary comfort,
smiles and wonder,
here today but now yesterday,
damn yesterday,
surely a devil it is,
to my dismay,
joys and passions today,
become their opposite,
liked cold food served on a tray,
no longer appetizing,
feelings longed with delay,
no longer tantalizing,
like a blank check on payday,

but perhaps today,
is not simply meant to stay,
but to be experienced,
in order to be surveyed,
all experiences pass away,
but what they leave in us,
those tend to stay,
so the more we witness today,
the less it dies away,
today can be more than a moment,
it can be our ascension day,
a never ending state,
fulfillment not external,
but internal play,
that deeper something,
which can never die away,
nor break away,
but can be cast away,
by depending on outer happenstance,
which is always happening,
and will never stay the same way,
so invest within yourself today,
a space of gravity,
that forms out of many-a-day,
a single condensed state,
much like voting,
your choice,
this is your election day.
 

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Thank you all for the great replies!!

I was feeling a bit down yesterday. I was feeling like there was something more for me out there and I just wanted to run away. Some days I think I would be crazy enough to just pack a bag and go.. We all know that is not realistic though. I feel a tad bit foolish because the answer I was looking for was reminded to me yesterday through these replies. Through the years, I have given up all of my hobbies. I abandoned my passions. No wonder I am feeling the way I am. I spend several years on self discovery and I know myself very well. So I do know what I enjoy and love in this life. I believe I have an outstanding ability to be positive in any negative situation.. However, because I have not been doing what I love, I have wound up in this special kind of gloom. I am going to reflect on what I do love, and use it in this real life to see what really clicks for me. As for the job topic, I feel very strongly that we, as human beings, are not on this great earth to just "get by". I believe there is something out there for everyone.. I believe that if you go with your passions you will never work a day in your life. HOWEVER finding a way to incorporate these certain passions of mine have proven to be extremely difficult. I love animals, but finding a job that will pay enough to live on is super hard. I love nature, but same kind of money issue as animals. I love to write, however writing a novel and having it be good enough to be published and make enough money off of it seems like more of a dream than reality. So the job topic always leads me into frustration. I am a extreme believer that if you don't love your job then just quit. Easier said than done.. No matter where I work I always feel like I could find something else that connects completely with my soul. Then I just spin in circles and ponder about it but never come to any conclusion. For now, I will work on finding hobbies and go back to the roots of my passions and see where I end up.
I think I've discovered in my lifetime that relationships matter and are the heart of a fulfilling life. It's not who you are, it's who you are when you're with different people that makes life worth the living. What floats an INFPs boat is the struggle to help others see how their relationships are not working for them. We also enjoy steering our own important relationships into directions that lead to personal growth for ourselves and the other in that relationship.

What I've learned is that there are toxic relationships and there are nurturing relationships. It is important to realize this as early in life as possible and then strive to cut out people who are jealous of you and want to bring you down to their perceived level of where you should be. Then find the people who help you know yourself better simply by spending time with you.

INFPs also need to learn about themselves and improve themselves and relationships are the only pathway to personal growth. So don't look at the work you do as a fulfilling or not fulfilling thing because that isn't what life is all about. If your work life sucks, it's because you're not enjoying the kinds of relationships you need to be forming. You're not experiencing the personal growth that comes from engaging in them.
 
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I think the first step to INFP fulfillment is accepting who we are, and being okay with it.

It's important to be able to embrace your own flaws as well (which is understandably hard for the idealist), rather than pretend to be something you're not. With self-acceptance comes gradual understanding of why you feel/think the way you do. That's why I'm on this site: The more I understand why I feel or think a certain way, the less serious/confusing/scary it seems, and the less I feel 'defective'.

That is to say, you should never avoid improving your weak points in your own way. I feel like a lot of INFPs feel that by trying to be more organized, objective and group-minded, they will be betraying themselves in some sort of way - as if they are crippling themselves with something that their body inherently rejects. I still don't understand why SJs are talked about like they're evil in so many of the threads in the INFP forum. We can certainly learn from those people, if we broke out of our irrational/emotional stubbornness sometimes. I'm not saying you need to transform yourself into an SJ - just be open-minded about why SJs are in fact helpful and desirable in their own way to society, and learn what you can from them. As painful as it might be, working with your inferior function can take you such a long way.

Once we embrace our flaws but also become open-minded enough to follow the positive examples of other types (instead of rejecting them as evil), we can truly be happy.
 

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Infps.. does the life of fulfillment exist?? Has any infp been able to create a life that syncs with their inner core? Have any of you been able to find a job that is rewarding and are living your dreams? I ask this because I am feeling lost myself. It is almost like I am on a mission to do/find something that may or may not exist. I am dying to live a life of meaning. I can't sit in a cubical any more doing the same thing day by day. I just can't.. I am about to pack up and leave but realistically I know I would be more unhappy once I left... or would I be? I want to use my life for good. . Helping others. . Or being in nature.. this life of go go go is getting to me. Does the idealistic life of the infp exist? ?? Is it possible to find perfect happiness or is that a fairy tale?? :/
You seriously just described my dilemma. I am at work right now and I can't stand doing all of these tasks that are so meaningless to me. I want so badly to feel like I don't just want to go outside and not come back. I think our biggest problem is actually finding a job that fits with our internal dreamland that will actually pay you enough money to thrive happily. I live in a big expensive city and my IT job pays great but I basically only am keeping it for the money, and that's no way to live.
 

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Thanks for your input and sharing perspectives, makes sense.

Personally, I don't think I get happiness simply in sharing and caring for others....because I easily feel drained, unappreciated, and resentful at a sacrifice which doesnt benefit me. "Giving to get" is an unhealthy enneagram 2 state, for example. Martyrs arent happy, no matter if they stuck to their principles.

I feel happier when I receive whatever love and belonging I need as a human, but I wont accept it deep down unless I feel I deserve it, and that's why it needs to be reciprocal, and why my giving cannot have strings attached. Im neither a martyr nor a selfishly driven person if happy; there should be a healthy dynamic with people. And sure, I can only control myself, but that includes finding the right contexts, which are influenced by other people/things.
''Giving to get'' is indeed unhealthy 2 behaviour, that is not my aim. I have come to think that my closest friends (friends for life) are the most constant factor in my life when it comes down to this sharing/caring/reciprocal-context. It perfectly adapts to changing environments and the changing phases in life or the unforeseen permanent circumstances that changes the context. Of course the amount of those kind of friends you can count on two hands and thats it. However, I think I value them more than a ideal romantic partner, because the ideal romantic partner has let me down and could not even be a contant context for more than 2 years. My best friends are still my best friends 20+ years and counting ... I get and always got tremendous amounts of meaning/fulfilment/happiness from them. At the same time I can be such a person for them in return, all the while contexts are changing all the time. That is just amazing!

Of course there are certain ''needs'' in a human being that can not be fulfilled with best friends, hence the romantic partner in this story. Following up on that would be education/career I guess, for me at least. Still figuring out what to do with these parts to the point where it becomes frustrating and disappointing.

I feel happier when I receive whatever love and belonging I need as a human, but I wont accept it deep down unless I feel I deserve it, and that's why it needs to be reciprocal, and why my giving cannot have strings attached.
This is where it went wrong. At some point the other one thought she didn't deserve it anymore deep down and refused receiving any love or belonging. That was out of my control ... context died.
 

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@OrangeAppled and nicoloco90

I am not sure we disagree, but I'll just make some comments.

We can safely agree that the source of happiness isn't an either-or. As mentioned it isn't a dichotomy between external factors like dream job, partner and dog, and an exclusively internally fuelled joy that overrides every negative occurrence. Neither could ever realistically satisfy us forever or fulfil all needs of the body and psyche. Actually this is analogous to the Buddhist ideas of the middle way and the god and hungry ghost realms where nirvana cannot be achieved if you go to any extreme. Too much or too little pleasure prevents the attainment of enlightenment.
We all have basic psychological and bodily needs that cannot be wished away, and we all must limit unnecessary cravings that steal our attention from what we have right now to enjoy.

When I say that happy is something you just have to be, it has nothing to do with fake-it-till-you-make-it or strategically altering perception. I hope that no one takes the notion that the mind can be trained or forced to just be constantly happy literally. If they do, it's from some spirituality that is more interested in the extraordinary than insight. It has nothing to do with Buddhism or any sophisticated philosophy I know of. It is rather an oversimplification of it.

What I find people to always fail at is to make a realistic picture of what happiness looks like. For most people the concept of happiness resembles a peaceful day in Barbie world where everybody is smiling and obstacle free - epitomized by the plastic walls and cars that are without a scratch as they've never been outside or played with; This is to mistake the momentary feeling of joy with a state of life that should hopefully last many years. This sort of constant joy happiness could never be realized. You just can't keep up that feeling for long without direct access to the locked drawer at the pharmacy.
Instead I want everyone to realize that happiness isn't a real thing and therefore you shouldn't strive for it religiously. I'm not asking anyone to be passive about life, but I don't want them to constantly search for new skills, toys and relationships that are mandatory items in their imaginary idea of what happiness looks like either. Remove the pain you get from knowing how life could be and you'll find yourself to be relieved from most mental illnesses the Western world is accustomed to by now.

@nicoloco90
It sounds like you've been listening to people who are illuding themselves. Try instead to live your life as you'd like to but still be as happy as you can where you are now. Simply telling yourself that you are happy isn't going to work if it clashes with reality, but when you can enjoy what you have, forget about what emotions you deserve and accept that there'll always be suffering, there is no way to be deceived.
 
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