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Introduction

Many of us have given in to powerful beliefs, such as, "These great ideas I have will never get going." or "I will follow through, but not today."

Perhaps it is not really our fault. The discovery of personality type, something that at first delivers hope, later becomes easy to use as a scapegoat. We may give up the fight, settle into our box, and let it take over.

Even so, the embers of hope are never doused. Our inner critic becomes vexed with our poor performance in life and it propels us on a seemingly endless search for reliable, simple solutions.

The journey is not an easy one. Mainstream ideas and solutions usually concern a different crowd. We strive to fit in, but the end result is rejection, because such ideas are not well suited for our unique personality.

In light of these problems and with NeTi’s in mind, I wrote this. I hope that the contents within will prove useful and reliable to my readers, as they have for me.

When possible, I have included references to primary and secondary scientific literature on the subject. While I understand as a practical guide this deviates from the research, I wanted to include what inspired the root of my logic.

TL;DR: The advice of an ENTP is debatably best for ENTPs.

Acknowledgements

My eternal gratitude to Rebecca. For your enduring support in this initiative. You're a truly gifted editor, for sure. But more than that, thanks for always being there. Whether to answer the simplest question, to help me bounce ideas; for being someone I could confide in, even to my darkest hours of depression. For calling me out on my bullshit. I doubt this guide would be a reality today if not for your help.

And to Rick. You taught me to set goals. You challenged me to show I can finish what I start.

To Andrea. Scientific investigation was made a lot easier thanks to your generous sharing of your .edu account.

To Marshall. You taught me to simplify my writing. You’ve influenced my writing style permanently. And for buying me
that antivirus license when I was poor as fuck. Thanks.

To INFJen, for your encouragement.

To Azdahak, because the fear of your harsh, intelligent and relentless criticism pushes me to excel.

To the dozens of ENTPs who allowed me to test my hypotheses on them. Thanks for your continued support of this guide. :)

And to you, dear reader, for reading this guide and commenting below.

TL;DR: ...Thank you?

Chapter 1: Set Specific Goals

Ron rests casually on the sofa. Drawing a long breath, he imagines a fuzzy future bright with promise. Apparently he has better chances than most to become a famous artist: Intelligence, unparalleled creativity, wit, persuasive powers. His friends believe in him. He’s got what it takes, doesn’t he?

Two years roll around. Ron has made friends, and landed a lucrative job as a programmer just yesterday. He still has that goal in his mind’s eye. But so far, no progress has been made. A constant shift in priorities happen to him all the time, and a while later he has nothing to show for his efforts. Project after project gets shelved and nothing seems to make sense anymore, but one day, he’ll be a famous artist (right...).

Specifics

Today, we'll talk about a technique you can use to reach your goals more easily.

It turns out that when we use concrete details to describe our goals and milestones, the time we take to make them a reality is drastically shortened. (1)

This effect mainly depends on the time frame we believe exists between ourselves and our goals. If we perceive a short time frame, we put ideas into action sooner. You might say, “Okay, that’s great, but what if it the end goal feels like it’s infinitely far away?”

We can actually trick our minds into perceiving a shorter time frame by using details (Ti - Si) to describe our goals and avoiding too much generalization (Ne). (2)

An example of generalization that causes procrastination and last minute rushes: "I need to take out the car for a ride."

This feels like one enormous task because we can sense that there are a lot of underlying details that we’ll have to address in this process. We glaze over the details and let them scare us away from completing the task until we absolutely have to.

An example of breaking a task down into its details to help us act sooner rather than later:

"I need to get into the car, turn it on, take it out of the garage, go around the block once, park it back in the garage, turn it off, and get out of the car."

Corollaries

Next, we’ll elaborate on additional mind hacks that use the simple technique of setting clear milestones and goals. It’s been established that describing a goal in concrete terms motivates us because we think the goal is closer.

After you've designed your road trip, there is an artificial way to get closer to the goal, without any real effort involved. If you have difficulty starting a task, all you need is to endow yourself with the first few steps, so that it seems you've started already.(3)

For example, if my milestone layout looks like this:

1. Look up sources
2. Write a scientific summary
3. Write a relatable 200 word story
4. Write down 2 real world examples

I can add a few bullet points to my list before #1, things that I've already done. They may be very small in comparison to the end goal, but they still advance you towards your end goal, like so:

1. Sit down
2. Open laptop
3. Turn on laptop
4. Open word processor
5. Look up sources
6. Write a scientific summary
7. Write a relatable 200 word story
8. Write down two examples

It doesn't matter how simple or easy the artificial steps are, you cannot avoid fooling your brain into thinking you're already close to the goal. And when you think you're close to the goal, the evidence suggests that you’re much more motivated and persistent.(4)

(Please enlarge image)

EYmsjPt.png

And if that isn't enough, we also have a tendency to remember tasks that are incomplete much better than complete ones. The tension caused by this incompleteness will push us to finish what we've artificially started. (5)

TL;DR: Write down specific goals and milestones on the long and short term. You'll reach those goals sooner (Because they're measurable) and you'll be more motivated to carry them out. If done correctly they won't look as insurmountable obstacles to overcome.

Chapter 2: Keep Your Intentions Private

Richard is at a bar, chilling with a new intuitive mind he just made a connection with. Ideas are exchanged, and his excitement grows with the new possibilities forming in his mind’s eye. The conversation eventually fizzles out, and he goes to his apartment with the promise of a good night’s rest.

While climbing into bed, out of the blue a new business solution to a problem he’s faced all week emerges, bright with promise. When it's implemented, he knows he’ll rake in the cash big time.

The idea infuses his tired body with energy, and he spends all night poring over the new concepts. Over the internet, he excitedly tells his friends what it is, how it’ll happen and what he’ll do. The enthusiasm is contagious and there are no difficulties that can’t be overcome.

Two days roll around, and somehow his project is no closer to completion. He tries to justify the lack of progress by convincing himself it really wasn’t a good idea after all. He still wants it to happen, but because he now lacks conviction, he keeps finding excuses to not do it.

Replacement

We form intentions all the time. It's not uncommon to hear people saying they're going to do this or that. In this chapter, we'll expose a good reason to not tell others what you intend to do.

Commonly, we assume that if we tell others about our intentions, we are more likely to carry them out because it will keep us accountable. However, evidence suggests that only highly self-consistent people benefit from sharing such things before they act on them. (7)

Other evidence says that if our peer group has expertise on the topic of our intention, leading us to believe that they’re superior to us, it’s easier to commit to our goal. (8)

However, as an NeTi, it’s likely that you aren’t highly self-consistent, quite justifiably arrogant about your skills and expertise, and if anything, you have a tendency to look down on others rather than seeing them as superior to you.

Luckily, there is still hope.

Similar to other humans, we form identity goals. For example: "I want to become a productive person", or "I want to be good natured and more logical."

When we create these goals, our natural inclination is to show off and tell others how we’re going to do that, or to perform activities that reward us with the sense of identity we’re after.

Showing off to our peers is a great way to “replace” actually doing the relevant activities for the identity we want to have. It tricks our mind and convinces us we've already reached the goal we declared we would pursue. (6) For example, "I’m going to read more books from now on…" or "I'll go learn spoon carving."

(Please enlarge image)

0AKAkPI.jpg

Show off… ;)

Understandably, the motivation to carry out the intention is lowered a few notches.

I have developed two rules of thumb to make application easier. First, I remove the two words "I will" from my vocabulary (and all possible variants, such as "I'll," "I'm going to," "I'm gonna," etc.)

It is true that some intentions are not about identity, and you're safe to declare them. So how do we differentiate them? Well, these intentions are declared in a very specific manner.

We live in a world where most ENTPs often speak in general terms (Ne). We are likely to avoid specificity (Ti - Si) whenever possible! It's logical to say that if this is true, then most of our intentions will be vulnerable to substitution.

But how do you get a message across, then? Not being able to say "I will" might cripple you. Such as when someone needs you to commit.

What I've found works, is to declare an intention in relative, unclear terms. Leave some stuff hanging, be ambiguous.

For example:

I had a chat with Rick a while ago. We had been brainstorming for a project. Our conversation was as follows:

​Him:​ Talk to you tomorrow
​Me:​ Take care, good session :wink:
Him:​ Good shit going on here. Feel free to continue the thought process while I sleep though :wink:

Me:​ What makes you think I'm stopping?

See, I don't directly tell Rick I'll continue the thought process. Even so, what I say leaves him with enough information for him to to infer that I likely will.

I have found that this doesn't allow me the closure of completion. Because the message allows for interpretation based on context (Maybe this is because Ti needs the accuracy and is starved of it?)

Thus, I suggest that when we refrain from making our identity related intentions public, we are much more likely to carry out what we have in mind.

TL;DR: Remove the words "I will," "I'll," "I'm going to," "I am going to," etc. from your vocabulary forever, and you'll remain motivated enough to implement your intentions.

Chapter 3: Trigger Altruistic Motivation

Harry was bored. And more importantly, frustrated. The group project with the theme 'The Modern World Reimagined' in his philosophy class had started three weeks ago. He had been excited then, his mind buzzing with a trillion ideas and concepts. Shall we try a George Orwell's 2015, a modernistic approach? Shall we show the Internet changed our world, for the worse? Instead of flying cars we got 140 characters. So much potential.

At least, that was till he had been assigned these three dullards: A, B and C.

He didn't even remember their names anymore. A was the class topper, on the straight and narrow, the workaholic, the teacher's pet, the suck up, the one who played by all the rules, the guy who thought that "The Modern World Re-imagined" meant making a blueprint of the earth and showing what the new technology trends of the future were going to be. It wasn't a bad idea, but his was much better.

B was an imbecile. One who followed the self-proclaimed leader, A. Moderate at studies, enjoyed his life and didn’t give a shit either way. He just knew this project was a solid 50% of his grade and A would be his ticket to that.

Then there was C. C was a girl. A girl who watched “Pretty Little Liars” and “Gossip Girl” and who had a new boyfriend every semester. She was content to do whatever you gave her to do, on the condition that it was minimal and didn’t involve too much independent thinking.

So first week was a tussle between him and A. Which A won because the majority, B-Sheep and C-Sheep, voted for him. Harry went along with this crap for two weeks, but most of his ideas were rejected. Politely, and with absolutely transparent attempts at mollycoddling.

“Sure, Harry, that sounds nice. Let's see if we can squeeze that idea in somewhere towards the end of the project.”
Well, screw A and his alphabet posse. Harry approached the teacher and requested that they give him a small extension and let him do a separate thesis on his own. But of course, they refused. So, groaning, he went back to his group, activated asshole mode, caused a fight between A and C, introduced B to weed and some good music and waited for the semester to end.

Altruism

Identity is a matter of perspective. While some of you might identify as humans, I identify as a writer, a philosopher, entrepreneur, an ENTP, someone who went through horrible experiences as a kid, and a cat lover (among other things. My interests are legion).

Here’s the thing. I feel a lot more empathy for the people that share the traits, experiences and interests I'm aware I have. And scientific evidence suggests you're similar in this respect. (9)

Scientific experiments also indicate that a high level of empathy causes a strong desire to help others. This has been observed to occur even if our own well-being is at risk. And even if there's an easy way to flake without bad consequences. (10) This fits our definition of altruism. (11)

The opposite is true as well. If there’s no empathy, we won’t care, unless we’re forced to.

(Please enlarge image)

table.jpg

How is this knowledge useful?

The answer is our TL;DR: When we work for and with people we identify with, we benefit from increased motivation.

This is becomes an advantage when it's a struggle to go on. When all seems uninspiring, too difficult and boring, when you're mired in apathy and depression, this will make it easier to carry on and finish.

Note: Drop me a line on reddit or telegram if you'd like me to help you apply this guide, if you'd like to donate to my year's work, if one of the images or source links is broken, if you have ideas about how to improve this guide, if you'd like to chat about Jungian Cognitive Functions and/or if you're an E or INTP who'd like an ENTP friend to start projects with.

Sources:

(1) (McCrea, Trope, Liberman, Sherman, "Construal Level and Procrastination")
(2) (Trope, Liberman, "Construal-Level Theory of Psychological Distance")
(3) (Nunes, Dreze, “The Endowed Progress Effect: How Artificial Advancement Increases Effort”)
(4) (Kivetz, Urminsky, Zheng, “The Goal-Gradient Hypothesis Resurrected: Purchase Acceleration, Illusionary Goal Progress, and Customer Retention”)
(5) (Zeigarnik, “On Finished and Unfinished Tasks”)
(6) (Gollwitzer, Sheeran, Michalski, Seifert, “When Intentions Go Public”)
(7) (Petrova, Cialdini, Sills, “Consistency-based compliance across cultures.”)
(8) (Lerner, Tetlock, “Accounting for the Effects of Accountability.”)
(9) (D. Krebs, “Empathy and Altruism”)
(10) (Batson, Duncan, Ackerman, Buckley, Birch, “Is Empathic Emotion a Source of Altruistic Motivation?”)
(11) (Altruism defined as “motivation with the ultimate goal of increasing another's welfare” by D. Batson, on his academic analysis titled “Empathy Induced Altruism”)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! I can't wait to read this later.
Why am I like this
Here, let me help you out.

Goal: Read productivity guide.
Step 1: Turn on computer.
Step 2: Open Browser.
Step 3: Enter personalitycafe.com
Step 4: Enter the visionaries forum.
Step 5: Click the link to this guide.
Step 6: Read the first chapter.
Step 7: Finish the productivity guide.
Step 8: Comment and tell OP how much you liked it.

There, that should do it! :D
 

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Here, let me help you out.

Goal: Read productivity guide.
Step 1: Turn on computer.
Step 2: Open Browser.
Step 3: Enter personalitycafe.com
Step 4: Enter the visionaries forum.
Step 5: Click the link to this guide.
Step 6: Read the first chapter.
Step 7: Finish the productivity guide.
Step 8: Comment and tell OP how much you liked it.

There, that should do it! :D

There was a few detours between steps 6-8, but a very productive guide. The bit about keeping intentions private it something I picked up on my own a while ago, because I realized that I was enjoying conversing about doing things instead of action. The most beneficial part of the guide actually was the first part to me, making things finite and putting things in a timeline to actually be measurable and tangible. I need to work on Te, desperately.

Thanks for typing this all up
 

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That looks interesting. I didn't read past the first paragraph yet, but it's definitely a topic that describes me. I'll but it on my new task list app I just installed. This can be task two. Task one is to make a list.
 

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Specifics

Today, we'll talk about a technique you can use to reach your goals more easily.

It turns out that when we use concrete details to describe our goals and milestones, the time we take to make them a reality is drastically shortened. (1)

This effect mainly depends on the time frame we believe exists between ourselves and our goals. If we perceive a short time frame, we put ideas into action sooner. You might say, “Okay, that’s great, but what if it the end goal feels like it’s infinitely far away?”

We can actually trick our minds into perceiving a shorter time frame by using details (Ti - Si) to describe our goals and avoiding too much generalization (Ne). (2)

An example of generalization that causes procrastination and last minute rushes: "I need to take out the car for a ride."

This feels like one enormous task because we can sense that there are a lot of underlying details that we’ll have to address in this process. We glaze over the details and let them scare us away from completing the task until we absolutely have to.

An example of breaking a task down into its details to help us act sooner rather than later:

"I need to get into the car, turn it on, take it out of the garage, go around the block once, park it back in the garage, turn it off, and get out of the car."
 

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Woah, solid post! I especially like the advise in chapters 1 and 2. Chapter 3 isn't that applicable, because I happen to be extremely charming. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Woah, solid post! I especially like the advise in chapters 1 and 2. Chapter 3 isn't that applicable, because I happen to be extremely charming. :wink:
Why thanks. Uhh... I'm not sure if you're joking about chapter three, or if I need to re-write it. Because if serious, you seem to have completely missed the intended point. ;)
 

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Why thanks. Uhh... I'm not sure if you're joking about chapter three, or if I need to re-write it. Because if serious, you seem to have completely missed the intended point. ;)
Oh, I'm completely joking. The scenario itself wouldn't apply, because I'd totally convince everyone to follow my plan anyway, but the overall concept completely applies; working with people that you can relate to will increase productivity through agreement via empathy. It's all about in-group vs. out-group dynamics and the tendency to empathize with one's in-group... I think. I'm listening to a YouTube video while reading - and typing - so I apologize if I'm missing something and for the typo in my other post.

I'm actually fairly impressed by your citations and concepts.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
so I apologize if I'm missing something
Well, as long as you understood that it is a practical, rather than solely theoretical guide... you should be ready to take over the world!

Would you like to join my schemes, hmmm? :3
 

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Well, as long as you understood that it is a practical, rather than solely theoretical guide... you should be ready to take over the world!
I think I need to finish reading all of Robert Greene's work before I can do that. Maybe your guide can help me do that!.. and learn Spanish... and continue developing my moral system... and apply to this trip to Puerto Rico... and schedule an appointment with my adviser... and...

Would you like to join my schemes, hmmm? :3
What schemes do you have in mind?
 

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Oh, well I think perhaps I can teach you some spanish, since it's my native tongue and I love to teach. :3
Rock on! Not yet though... I need to get my speaking a little bit straight first. I'm currently using a combination of Duolingo and Memrise to learn vocab, and soon I'll start consuming more media: written, spoken, etc. Once I do that, I might want to do some conversations via Skype or something. I'll PM ya.
 

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Here, let me help you out.

Goal: Read productivity guide.
Step 1: Turn on computer.
Step 2: Open Browser.
Step 3: Enter personalitycafe.com
Step 4: Enter the visionaries forum.
Step 5: Click the link to this guide.
Step 6: Read the first chapter.
Step 7: Finish the productivity guide.
Step 8: Comment and tell OP how much you liked it.

There, that should do it! :D
Solid instructions!
 
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