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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi fellow INTP's! A little over four years ago, I had a burn-out. I have never been the same since, and I am currently struggling to figure out what to do with my life. This has led me to start a discussion with two main questions in mind:

1. Have any of you had a burnout, and if so, what was that process like for you (other types are welcome to answer as well)?
2. Since my burnout, I feel so lost and stuck regarding my purpose. I want to add value and meaning to this world but am afraid that I am damaged to the extent that I will not be able to thrive in a stressful/dull/cut-throat working environment. Doing something that doesn't really add value seems even less appealing since my burnout. Do any of you have tips on INTP purpose-finding (specifically keeping meaning creation in mind)?
 

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Hi fellow INTP's! A little over four years ago, I had a burn-out. I have never been the same since, and I am currently struggling to figure out what to do with my life. This has led me to start a discussion with two main questions in mind:

1. Have any of you had a burnout, and if so, what was that process like for you (other types are welcome to answer as well)?
2. Since my burnout, I feel so lost and stuck regarding my purpose. I want to add value and meaning to this world but am afraid that I am damaged to the extent that I will not be able to thrive in a stressful/dull/cut-throat working environment. Doing something that doesn't really add value seems even less appealing since my burnout. Do any of you have tips on INTP purpose-finding (specifically keeping meaning creation in mind)?
If you had a choice between:

A. A life full of purpose but it would also permanently condemn you to suffering and misery.
B. A life totally without purpose, providing nothing of value, contributing nothing, changing nothing - but blissfully joyous.

(And if I may, I'm aware people sometimes if they are presented with a binary choice people are tempted to point out how they're not mutually exclusive or possible to both comprise in a catch-all approach - but I am presenting a binary choice for a reason.)

Which would you choose?
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you had a choice between:

A. A life full of purpose but it would also permanently condemn you to suffering and misery.
B. A life totally without purpose, providing nothing of value, contributing nothing, changing nothing - but blissfully joyous.

(And if I may, I'm aware people sometimes if they are presented with a binary choice people are tempted to point out how they're not mutually exclusive or possible to both comprise in a catch-all approach - but I am presenting a binary choice for a reason.)

Which would you choose?
Without a doubt, I would go for option A. Why do you ask? And which option would you choose?
 

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Without a doubt, I would go for option A. Why do you ask? And which option would you choose?
Because I used to feel the same way, and I used to burn out a lot, and in the end I felt I couldn't go on if I didn't contemplate what I would do with the former option.

You don't lose the faculties which drive you towards option A if you at least consider option B as an exercise - so what would you do if you were freed from the will to purpose?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Because I used to feel the same way, and I used to burn out a lot, and in the end I felt I couldn't go on if I didn't contemplate what I would do with the former option.

You don't lose the faculties which drive you towards option A if you at least consider option B as an exercise - so what would you do if you were freed from the will to purpose?
I would probably adopt a cute dog, take him/her on long walks in nature, bake and eat a bunch of cake and play boardgames all day. I'm assuming, however, that you're referring to my working life. For work, I wouldn't mind being some sort of quality manager or think tank thinker at an organisation filled with interesting people.

How did you end up choosing something that was more of a combination of A and B?
 

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I would probably adopt a cute dog, take him/her on long walks in nature, bake and eat a bunch of cake and play boardgames all day. I'm assuming, however, that you're referring to my working life. For work, I wouldn't mind being some sort of quality manager or think tank thinker at an organisation filled with interesting people.

How did you end up choosing something that was more of a combination of A and B?
It'll be a long answer so give me a second.
 

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You won't know what the future is like until it's the day before the future (Markov property). So how useful is the notion of purpose?
 

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I would probably adopt a cute dog, take him/her on long walks in nature, bake and eat a bunch of cake and play boardgames all day. I'm assuming, however, that you're referring to my working life. For work, I wouldn't mind being some sort of quality manager or think tank thinker at an organisation filled with interesting people.

How did you end up choosing something that was more of a combination of A and B?
I was someone who was joyously content working on the beach - but I also got the highest grades in my school - so society says that means you have to go out and do something "more with your life".

But what if I don't care? Bliss is a hard emotion to walk away from, it's a very static thing. Contendedness is a very static thing. How do you walk away or find a viable proactive source of regard or energy when no fascination or challenge can beat that sort of happiness? And the answer was simple: Hate.

"Hate is nature's most perfect energy source. It's endlessly renewable."

And if you're going to choose something to hate - it should be something you can feel universally justified in hating, and to which your actions against that thing you hate can be seen as universally doing good. I hated what the financial system had done to the economy and what they had gotten away with - seems like a good enough task for a source of meaning - even Jesus Christ whipped the money lenders.

But the problem with hate is that is not without cost - it kills you slowly: I'd be walking down the street and would collapse feeling my heart hold and misfire. I'd work 23 days in a row until blisters began to form in my eyes from blood cortisol. I'd stop seeing friends, had no purpose anymore to relationships, even beauty itself which had given me so much solace became amputated and impossible to feel anymore - and none of it was enough to stop the hatred and the rage which gave me energy.

But eventually I had a situation where someone demanded of me that I showed them who I really was and they saw that there was nothing but hatred and anger left - and I had to ask myself was purpose worthwhile if it made you someone who always had to hide what they actually were?

I mean you can do it, sure:

The Operative : I'm sorry. If your quarry goes to ground, leave no ground to go to. You should have taken my offer. Or did you think none of this was your fault?

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds : I don't murder children.

The Operative : I do. If I have to.

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds : Why? Do you even know why they sent you?

The Operative : It's not my place to ask. I believe in something greater than myself. A better world. A world without sin.

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds : So me and mine gotta lay down and die... so you can live in your better world?

The Operative : I'm not going to live there. There's no place for me there... any more than there is for you. Malcolm... I'm a monster. What I do is evil. I have no illusions about it, but it must be done.


The suffering I had elected to take on and bring into my life was wholly world-oriented - it was the pain of a world that was not the way it should be.

I now had a new source of suffering - the pain that I was not as I should be. And with embracing that and failing to trust what had brought me to that point came inversions in all sorts of manners of thinking which had lead me there. I'd throw out a whim to the world and the world would Speak back to me - and I would trust it - see meaning in its coincidences.

And in the end that gave me far more power to realise my happiness-serving goals than my purpose-serving ones. (But it's not finished yet - I am still in the process of that).

Now this, seeing the World as Intelligent and Good, instead of Chaotic and Amoral, was akin to finding "God".



Yet God is a concept.

You can see it as an old man with a beard in the sky or you can see an outline of the human brain and an internal/external representation of cross-contact across the corpus callosum - a new meaning to the term "self-aware" - either way it's the same thing:

Having Faith in the things about the world you do not associate with your Self.

You're burning out because you're unhappy and because a purpose uninformed by that happiness is like a tool used for something which isn't its purpose.

You can hammer in a nail with a pocket watch if you like but it's a shame.

And you choose purpose even if it means misery and suffering because you are not comfortable with the side of yourself which you associate with the World.

So for you it means letting go of what is intricate, planned and consistent and accepting what is expedient, modular and effective.

It means letting go of what is possible, fascinating and endlessly refined and accepting what is inevitable, undoable and unavoidable.

It means letting go of what you are and what you know in favour of what is and what you don't.

It means letting go of what is good and what is necessary in favour of what is personal and breaths meaning.

Mastering both sides lets you master both ends.

As to whether you can do it or whether you're ready to do it - I suppose that depends on how much you've suffered and what sort of suffering it has to be until you decide to let go of your Self and have Faith in the things which are Not.

I don't know if that's helpful - I'm not really sure I've found the way way to explain this stuff properly....
 

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Hi!
I am an INFP with low T, low F whatever

There is a school of psychology known for helping people giving sense to life. It's actually one of the factor behind resilience. And it is also the goal of ACT Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

My solution was to do a lot of self assessment and test.

The RIASEC gives you a profile and your favorite occupation (do not only see it as a job but also as hobbies)

This test mix the RIASEC with your personality

The middle of this podcast have two exercices to find your meaning

This long toolkit ables you to ask the crucial question of your way of seeing your purpose

Personality Database reference most likely to have this job, you select INTP for example
the larger the number of votes it has, the more reliable it is

This test find your strenghts and weakness! Strenghts in positive psychology is crucial to overcome hardship.

Could I ask you something? What drives you when you wake up?
And how actually your burnout has affected your relationship to work? Disgust? etc

There is also the UnderstandMyself kit but it is not free
----
I will write down the three exercises

1 The growth narrative
Select two areas you ve grown as a person with challenge you currently have
Pick specific examples
How these experience help you grow with the issue

2 Childhood Lesson
2 experiences as a kid that were important
What lesson it gave that influence you today, what results?

3 Picture taking
take 10 meaningful picture to you
describe each pictures, with detail and why you choose it


I hope it help you
 

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Yes, I've felt severe burnout a couple of decades ago. There are still small bouts of it, but they are smaller because I set boundaries where the stuff that trigger it only get so much of me. But, yeah initially once I was in a downward spiral, a counselor and time helped.

Had began a much longer narrative, but unless somebody stumbles along the same path, I'm not sure sharing is helpful for all who may read.

There is an old saying/prayer that I just realized applies to this journey, imo. "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage(I'd add tenacity to this for INTPs) to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Yeah, wish you well.
 

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@Six Wise words, but I have one question - is the hate coming from nature, or from something that tries to rid of it? Or perhaps cloak it in its opposite?

@Lostlove I've had a burnout several years ago, after what you'd call a reversal of consciousness - Jung talks about this. When consciousness decides to discard so much precious info that's coming to you into your unconscious, it accumulates. When the weight is overbearing, the board gets flipped upside down so to speak, and the person has to deal with all the nasty creatures that were swept under the rug. Have you had that experience?
Also, what made you lose your initial purpose?
 

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I can't answer for how to deal with the burnout, but it's interesting to hear your stories of it, as I'm about to enter an industry that has some of the highest turnover rates... Burnout and compassion fatigue are things to watch out for. My teacher says that what can help prevent burnout is to better deal with stress: having better awareness of stress, having a good work/life balance, and feeling connected to your passion, values and purpose, reminding yourself of this, in the coalface perhaps.

About finding your purpose, do you have a goal? I have a huge goal, and that is related to my vocation of being an artist. I feel that a lot of INTPs fall into a scientist vocation, so what goals could come from that? Or do you have a goal like, 'own a beautiful house to my favourite design, in a beautiful place to call my home, and share my life with family.' That's purpose isn't it?

Funnily, and despite myself having a goal, it doesn't feel right to go all out 100% on it. Studying as an artist, doesn't feel right to me. If I had gone up this alley, maybe I would suffer burnout as well. Instead, I chose the path that felt right to me in the present. So it is indeed very strange how it works, my mind says this path is best--based on my theory, but my heart says, no, let's stay here on this track. My soul wants to learn new things on this land, gain experiences on this land. Maybe my mind doesn't know everything about me, and I got to trust my own... love to lead the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You won't know what the future is like until it's the day before the future (Markov property). So how useful is the notion of purpose?
I would have to say that purpose for me is like going on a road trip to a specific location instead of simply driving off into the sunset. In life, I want to pursue a purpose that doesn't necessarily rest on a specific location - I wouldn't want to wake up one day and feel like I have attained my purpose - but rather on a concept, like justice or love. That way, you can fill in a rather abstract concept on a daily/weekly/yearly basis. Not everyday has to look the same, nor should it! How do you attach a sense of meaning to your day if you do not seek out a sense of purpose?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I was someone who was joyously content working on the beach - but I also got the highest grades in my school - so society says that means you have to go out and do something "more with your life".

But what if I don't care? Bliss is a hard emotion to walk away from, it's a very static thing. Contendedness is a very static thing. How do you walk away or find a viable proactive source of regard or energy when no fascination or challenge can beat that sort of happiness? And the answer was simple: Hate.

"Hate is nature's most perfect energy source. It's endlessly renewable."

And if you're going to choose something to hate - it should be something you can feel universally justified in hating, and to which your actions against that thing you hate can be seen as universally doing good. I hated what the financial system had done to the economy and what they had gotten away with - seems like a good enough task for a source of meaning - even Jesus Christ whipped the money lenders.

But the problem with hate is that is not without cost - it kills you slowly: I'd be walking down the street and would collapse feeling my heart hold and misfire. I'd work 23 days in a row until blisters began to form in my eyes from blood cortisol. I'd stop seeing friends, had no purpose anymore to relationships, even beauty itself which had given me so much solace became amputated and impossible to feel anymore - and none of it was enough to stop the hatred and the rage which gave me energy.

But eventually I had a situation where someone demanded of me that I showed them who I really was and they saw that there was nothing but hatred and anger left - and I had to ask myself was purpose worthwhile if it made you someone who always had to hide what they actually were?

I mean you can do it, sure:

The Operative : I'm sorry. If your quarry goes to ground, leave no ground to go to. You should have taken my offer. Or did you think none of this was your fault?

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds : I don't murder children.

The Operative : I do. If I have to.

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds : Why? Do you even know why they sent you?

The Operative : It's not my place to ask. I believe in something greater than myself. A better world. A world without sin.

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds : So me and mine gotta lay down and die... so you can live in your better world?

The Operative : I'm not going to live there. There's no place for me there... any more than there is for you. Malcolm... I'm a monster. What I do is evil. I have no illusions about it, but it must be done.


The suffering I had elected to take on and bring into my life was wholly world-oriented - it was the pain of a world that was not the way it should be.

I now had a new source of suffering - the pain that I was not as I should be. And with embracing that and failing to trust what had brought me to that point came inversions in all sorts of manners of thinking which had lead me there. I'd throw out a whim to the world and the world would Speak back to me - and I would trust it - see meaning in its coincidences.

And in the end that gave me far more power to realise my happiness-serving goals than my purpose-serving ones. (But it's not finished yet - I am still in the process of that).

Now this, seeing the World as Intelligent and Good, instead of Chaotic and Amoral, was akin to finding "God".



Yet God is a concept.

You can see it as an old man with a beard in the sky or you can see an outline of the human brain and an internal/external representation of cross-contact across the corpus callosum - a new meaning to the term "self-aware" - either way it's the same thing:

Having Faith in the things about the world you do not associate with your Self.

You're burning out because you're unhappy and because a purpose uninformed by that happiness is like a tool used for something which isn't its purpose.

You can hammer in a nail with a pocket watch if you like but it's a shame.

And you choose purpose even if it means misery and suffering because you are not comfortable with the side of yourself which you associate with the World.

So for you it means letting go of what is intricate, planned and consistent and accepting what is expedient, modular and effective.

It means letting go of what is possible, fascinating and endlessly refined and accepting what is inevitable, undoable and unavoidable.

It means letting go of what you are and what you know in favour of what is and what you don't.

It means letting go of what is good and what is necessary in favour of what is personal and breaths meaning.

Mastering both sides lets you master both ends.

As to whether you can do it or whether you're ready to do it - I suppose that depends on how much you've suffered and what sort of suffering it has to be until you decide to let go of your Self and have Faith in the things which are Not.

I don't know if that's helpful - I'm not really sure I've found the way way to explain this stuff properly....
Beautifully written, thank you. As of late, I have been on a spiritual journey, if you may. It has not reached the depth that you have described nor has it offered such a clear view on my life. And I do want my purpose to be informed by happiness. I think it would be cruel and unnecessary not to account for happiness. I would just 'hate' ;) to look back on my life at old age and feel disappointed and underwhelmed by my contribution. I think I have talents that I could put to better use, but there are just so many possible ways in which I can apply myself. I think I'm suffering from first world problems for sure, but I guess that doesn't make it any less real or problematic for the individual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi!
I am an INFP with low T, low F whatever

There is a school of psychology known for helping people giving sense to life. It's actually one of the factor behind resilience. And it is also the goal of ACT Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

My solution was to do a lot of self assessment and test.

The RIASEC gives you a profile and your favorite occupation (do not only see it as a job but also as hobbies)

This test mix the RIASEC with your personality

The middle of this podcast have two exercices to find your meaning

This long toolkit ables you to ask the crucial question of your way of seeing your purpose

Personality Database reference most likely to have this job, you select INTP for example
the larger the number of votes it has, the more reliable it is

This test find your strenghts and weakness! Strenghts in positive psychology is crucial to overcome hardship.

Could I ask you something? What drives you when you wake up?
And how actually your burnout has affected your relationship to work? Disgust? etc

There is also the UnderstandMyself kit but it is not free
----
I will write down the three exercises

1 The growth narrative
Select two areas you ve grown as a person with challenge you currently have
Pick specific examples
How these experience help you grow with the issue

2 Childhood Lesson
2 experiences as a kid that were important
What lesson it gave that influence you today, what results?

3 Picture taking
take 10 meaningful picture to you
describe each pictures, with detail and why you choose it


I hope it help you
Wow! What a great list of tips, thank you! I will be going through these in the coming weeks. If any of them stick, I will let you know. Out of the tests that you listed, do you have a favorite? Or maybe one that helped you greatly, and why?

Now regarding your questions... [What drives you when you wake up? And how actually your burnout has affected your relationship to work?] I think the problem right now is that I'm not quite sure what drives me to wake up every morning. There have been several periods of my life in which I suffered from depression, a deep and dark depression that was almost impossible to hide from the outside world. These periods forced me to ponder over your first question on a daily basis. Now, being on the other end of it, I have bettered my internal conversation to something more compassionate and uplifting, which I hoped would guide me toward some sort of drive. Yet, I still do not know how to answer that first question. Your second question is a little easier to answer. I had my burnout while working full-time to organize this big event, during which I did not have contact with my father, was disowned by my grandpa, was dealing with resurfaced childhood trauma, finished my thesis, and was in groups of friends that I now no longer consider friends and did not support me in the way that I needed at the time (not that they are not lovely people, but sometimes it just doesn't work out). It was a lot for one person to take on in one period of time. It was not just work, it was a multitude of factors that contributed to my burnout. So, my relationship with work has not necessarily changed, but my relationship with that type of work and that type of environment, that has changed. More importantly, I have dramatically changed. I cannot work for too long before getting really tired and stressed. I used to use stress and deadlines to get work done on time. Now I would consider that strategy a last resort, because I need so much time to recover from lots of stress. I have become less daring, more introverted. I lost my sense of self, my achievements, my ego. Which, in retrospect, is a good thing by the way. I now am able to focus on and enjoy the process as well as the result. And I also have been forced to love myself instead of relying on external factors. I guess, now that I'm writing this, that I have devalued work in a way. I used to love working because of the way it made me feel, like I was really contributing and pleasing people. Now, I have other sources of happiness, like myself. And becoming aware of all of these things has been hard but very very useful and meaningful. Hope this makes sense :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes, I've felt severe burnout a couple of decades ago. There are still small bouts of it, but they are smaller because I set boundaries where the stuff that trigger it only get so much of me. But, yeah initially once I was in a downward spiral, a counselor and time helped.

Had began a much longer narrative, but unless somebody stumbles along the same path, I'm not sure sharing is helpful for all who may read.

There is an old saying/prayer that I just realized applies to this journey, imo. "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage(I'd add tenacity to this for INTPs) to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Yeah, wish you well.
I love love love that quote. Good addition as well (tenacity). Thank you for sharing. I will include it in my mantra's for this month. Wishing you well as well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
@Six Wise words, but I have one question - is the hate coming from nature, or from something that tries to rid of it? Or perhaps cloak it in its opposite?

@Lostlove I've had a burnout several years ago, after what you'd call a reversal of consciousness - Jung talks about this. When consciousness decides to discard so much precious info that's coming to you into your unconscious, it accumulates. When the weight is overbearing, the board gets flipped upside down so to speak, and the person has to deal with all the nasty creatures that were swept under the rug. Have you had that experience?
Also, what made you lose your initial purpose?
That does sound like my experience actually. It all become too much. And then, seemingly out of the blue, one day I woke up and felt a tremendous shift (the burnout). My soul had been crushed and I have been spending my time since then slowly working through things and lifting my soul back into a light and airy place. A burnout is honestly one of the most difficult and life changing experiences I have ever had. Mentally and physically, Pandora's box flung open and I could no longer run and hide. Regarding the losing of my purpose, I think I have come to understand that I was living someone else's purpose and doing what I was told I should do from a young age instead of actually trying to figure out what I wanted to do. So, maybe I haven't actually lost my purpose, I have simply shed myself of the life that was sort of planned for me, if that makes any sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I can't answer for how to deal with the burnout, but it's interesting to hear your stories of it, as I'm about to enter an industry that has some of the highest turnover rates... Burnout and compassion fatigue are things to watch out for. My teacher says that what can help prevent burnout is to better deal with stress: having better awareness of stress, having a good work/life balance, and feeling connected to your passion, values and purpose, reminding yourself of this, in the coalface perhaps.

About finding your purpose, do you have a goal? I have a huge goal, and that is related to my vocation of being an artist. I feel that a lot of INTPs fall into a scientist vocation, so what goals could come from that? Or do you have a goal like, 'own a beautiful house to my favourite design, in a beautiful place to call my home, and share my life with family.' That's purpose isn't it?

Funnily, and despite myself having a goal, it doesn't feel right to go all out 100% on it. Studying as an artist, doesn't feel right to me. If I had gone up this alley, maybe I would suffer burnout as well. Instead, I chose the path that felt right to me in the present. So it is indeed very strange how it works, my mind says this path is best--based on my theory, but my heart says, no, let's stay here on this track. My soul wants to learn new things on this land, gain experiences on this land. Maybe my mind doesn't know everything about me, and I got to trust my own... love to lead the way.
Maybe I'm not understanding you 100%. Are you saying that you are studying to be an artist but that you're not sure whether you should? Or are you doing something else? I'm loving your thought process of mind vs heart. It is sometimes hard to know what to do. Do you feel intuitive? I think I do. I can tell when my intuition is screaming at my decisions from the inside. It's like a dagger to my gut.

My goal really is to help people. I just love seeing other people bettering their lives or finding some sense of self/improvement/love/pleasure/figure something out. That is why I focused on refugees in my studies. But it seems so "Let me help you help yourself, because I'm in a better place" ish. Like, who am I to say that, you know? Maybe I should change my goal to love people instead of help people. But then I feel even farther away from knowing how to make that a practical goal. Ahhhh! Haha it's a struggle :)
 

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Maybe I'm not understanding you 100%. Are you saying that you are studying to be an artist but that you're not sure whether you should? Or are you doing something else? I'm loving your thought process of mind vs heart. It is sometimes hard to know what to do. Do you feel intuitive? I think I do. I can tell when my intuition is screaming at my decisions from the inside. It's like a dagger to my gut.

My goal really is to help people. I just love seeing other people bettering their lives or finding some sense of self/improvement/love/pleasure/figure something out. That is why I focused on refugees in my studies. But it seems so "Let me help you help yourself, because I'm in a better place" ish. Like, who am I to say that, you know? Maybe I should change my goal to love people instead of help people. But then I feel even farther away from knowing how to make that a practical goal. Ahhhh! Haha it's a struggle :)
I’m studying youth work, but you would think I should be studying something else, what brings me closer towards my goal.

So your goal is to be in a place, where you’re able to help people for a living? This may be a more, as you say practical version of the ultimate goal.

My intuition is my dominant cognitive function, if that answers the other question. 😆
 
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