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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I didn't even know how to title this thread, because it's something i've only recently started to think about and tried to understand about myself. So sorry... if it's not a very accurate description or a good articulation of my thoughts.

Lately... I've been noticing that I spend a lot of time optimizing my plans -- putting it into action, but also optimizing throughout the process, and making it as effective or "perfect" as possible. It's like I spend a lot of time writing and rewriting my plans, while I'm also simultaneously working on achieving the goals in the pre-rewritten plan. So by the time, I achieve that goal, it has little weight for me, because the perfection of the plan has already shifted wayyy forward. The process itself of me achieving that goal is very valuable, but the goal itself loses significance once I achieve it. By then, my plans have optimized a LOT so the goals of my optimized ideas seem more "better" or more "perfect" than whatever I just accomplished. And then what I achieved seems not so useful anymore.

Sometimes I wish I can STOP optimizing and commit to a specific plan and have a strategy to succeed in that plan. My ST friends seem to get this down really well. It's so tiresome for me to constantly be optimizing because I feel like I'm in a never-ending pursuit of something more perfect. I've had times in my life (up to half a year) where I committed myself to a specific plan, and promised myself I wouldn't change or add anything to make the plan "better." I kept the promise to myself... however... the entire time, i felt like i wasn't growing or that i SHOULD be thinking of ways to improve. Does anyone relate to this?

Oh... and when I talk about optimizing or improving my plans, I don't drastically go off into completely different directions or different focuses. Everything still stays true to my values, ideology, and original focus, but it is built upon... so there are more nuances and developedness to the original idea.
 

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I had this problem in the past, always chasing my tail. A few yeas ago I fashioned a grand, sweeping plan to change my situation and decided to carry through with it. The plan was very specific and required a specific order of events to materialize. As the years went by, certain of these criteria collapsed or were no longer viable. It was necessary for me to adapt the plan to new circumstances. I did this many times, as certain parts of the plan would collapse and new methods of compensating had to be found. I must admit that luck played no small role, but it seems that the plan will work, even with all of it modifications. So, rather than optimizing, I merely adapted, and hedged my bets at every new twist.
 

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yepp.. i like the plans and the executions to be as elegant (as effective and efficient and minimal as possible) ... so obsessed with optimising my routines and use of energy.. how i plan and approach things.. how to induce better ideas, better states how to maintain them and so on..
also i am very much obsessed with carefully controlling my environment in a way that will helps me achieve my objectives elegantly, successfully and to achieve greater goals and so on... to a point it drives me crazy and tired LOL also im very much into aligning physical objects in a geometrical fashion and also processing things in a way that helps me understand things better.. (because i believe my brain to be kind of limited in terms of certain multitasking capabilities & flexibilities and so on)..

i want to be less rigid both physically and mentally when i approach things as i seem to falter in chaotic situations .. and somehow usually life is too darn chaotic :(
but this sort of optimisation-aspiring quality has some advantages too when it is successfully competed .. all a matter of balance :]
 

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Some general thoughts on planning:

1) "no plan survives first contact with the enemy" although written from a military perspective Moltke's quote rings true for planning as a whole. What Clausewitz calls the friction of war - stuff just happens - sometimes in your favour, sometimes not. Are you flexible in your approach to adapt without replanning.

2) Are you using planning as an avoidance behaviour? (I notice, curious0610, that you mentioned execution as well so this is general comment not neccessarily directed at you)

3) What part of the plan needs changing? Is it the steps to get to your goal or is it the goal itself.

4) How are you defining your plans? - by outcomes or by detailed next things to do - be clear about separating goals from steps - overall goals should be reasonably fixed - how to get there may change on a daily basis!

5) Self development - are you working on your capabilities to reach your goals as well as your tasks? This is often not really considered.

6) sorry to disappoint you but there is no such thing as a plan that remains elegant during execution (see point 1) Life simply doesn't happen that way - I know this sounds harsh but an elegant plan is not a plan (a plan by definition is capable of being carried out and takes into account messyness)

7) Keep your overall goals in mind and flex to find routes to meet them.

8) Do you use SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Acheivable, Relevant, Time bound) For INFJs I would also add that goals should resonate emotionally as well. i.e. it fits your values and just feels right (you lot know what I mean! other types don't seem to get this!)

9) Use your intuition as well as logic - planning often ends up very logical - allow both to come into play
 

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Some general thoughts on planning:

1) "no plan survives first contact with the enemy" although written from a military perspective Moltke's quote rings true for planning as a whole. What Clausewitz calls the friction of war - stuff just happens - sometimes in your favour, sometimes not. Are you flexible in your approach to adapt without replanning.

2) Are you using planning as an avoidance behaviour? (I notice, curious0610, that you mentioned execution as well so this is general comment not neccessarily directed at you)

3) What part of the plan needs changing? Is it the steps to get to your goal or is it the goal itself.

4) How are you defining your plans? - by outcomes or by detailed next things to do - be clear about separating goals from steps - overall goals should be reasonably fixed - how to get there may change on a daily basis!

5) Self development - are you working on your capabilities to reach your goals as well as your tasks? This is often not really considered.

6) sorry to disappoint you but there is no such thing as a plan that remains elegant during execution (see point 1) Life simply doesn't happen that way - I know this sounds harsh but an elegant plan is not a plan (a plan by definition is capable of being carried out and takes into account messyness)

7) Keep your overall goals in mind and flex to find routes to meet them.

8) Do you use SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Acheivable, Relevant, Time bound) For INFJs I would also add that goals should resonate emotionally as well. i.e. it fits your values and just feels right (you lot know what I mean! other types don't seem to get this!)

9) Use your intuition as well as logic - planning often ends up very logical - allow both to come into play
Excellent advice!
 

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I agree that was some really good advice. I am prone to planning as way of avoiding doing unpleasant things at times. Then I snap at myself for overanalyzing and overcomplicating things once again. Helps to vent about this to your friends about it once in a while hehehe

STs are good at making short range plans, but they can fail big time with long-term strategy. This is what I find frustrating about them. Ok so this lasts you for the now - what about a year into the future? Doesn't seem like they think about these things much.

To not overthink stuff it helps to occasionally go into this 'ST' mode and just live focusing on the moment and plan for the concrete things that are facing you now. Sometimes also exercising that Ne - allow outside variables come your way without having a plan and see what you can do with them on the spot. In low-stress situations it actually feels good, very liberating, to do this. Like the shackles of Ni have momentarily been cast away.

Building a perfect model, perfect strategy, perfect system is what Ni strives to do. This urge will never leave you, but if it is overemphasized then it may lead you observing and planning for life rather than taking part in it. I think INFJ overall spend their lives as observers for the most part. Nothing wrong with this as long as you can balance it out so that your life isn't like 99% just planning and observation. Life will throw new variables your way all the time. Overly complicated plans at such points usually collapse, so all the time and energy put into constructing those therefore comes wasted.
 

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I think it is an NF thing, not just an INFJ thing. From Kiersey's Please Understand Me:

“How can one achieve a goal when that goal is to have a goal? The NF’s “truest” self is the self in search of itself, or in other words, his purpose in life is to have a purpose in life. Always becoming himself the NF can never truly be himself.”

“The NF works hard and toward perfection in their work. Paradoxically, once the work is done, however, no matter how perfect the outcome is, it never seems to live up to the magnificence of its conception.”
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
“The NF works hard and toward perfection in their work. Paradoxically, once the work is done, however, no matter how perfect the outcome is, it never seems to live up to the magnificence of its conception.”
THIS articulates my thoughts on the outcome perfectly...
 
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