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So many INFPs seem to have a hard time fitting into the working world. I'm looking for role models of INFPs who have figured out how to make a living doing something that also feeds their souls. What struggles did you overcome, and do you have any practical advice beyond "follow your dream?" HOW does a person make this happen? Also, are any of you mid-lifers who have made successful mid-life career transitions?
 

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Daym, this thread needs luvin. C'mon peeps let's hear them!

Can't say, if my life is a success story in career terms, but I am very happy. I like trying different things in life and have been in various interesting jobs, including self-employment. Mostly in information technology; sounds very un-INFP, but it suits me, because I have the tendency of making my living in a very bohemian way: making enough of money what I need and that's it. Leftover time goes into introspection and self searching; art, music and studying. I have to say that this has made me very happy thus far. Perhaps there will be a change in the future, but I don't worry about it that much.

I think INFPs would love being in a changing working environment where there's no chance of getting bored. I love seeing different people and different places.

The biggest part of being a successful and happy INFP is to accept who you are and not trying to rebel against that. If you're a wandering artist at heart, don't go and get that job as an accountant in that bank; and if you do get that job, don't complain that you'd rather be a wandering artist. Go be that wandering artist!

(Yay for Lachesis history. The first time that I actually posted something relevant to a thread title.)
 

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To answer a thread of this magnitude would require a lifetime's worth of experience and knowledge. But here goes my rambling...

My definition of success changes every year, and as I get closer to my expiry date, I realize "success" in the traditional sense, doesn't matter to me, so much as finding myself.

I suppose, I would be the most happy if I were in a state of homeostasis, where external forces may change violently, but my inner world stays the same. So, in essence, any feelings of success or happiness comes from within.

To that end, I liken my life to the metaphor of a pilgrim on a journey. I feel like my life is one long, perhaps short, test which will end, not with a bang, but with a whimper. I will quietly exit this plane of existence, and be resurrected as a new man. In a sense, there is nothing new under the sun, you live and you die, the bookends of this thing we call life.

Sorry to get all metaphysical on you there...

I think for INFP's, there has to be a sense of freedom to pursue their passions with minimal interference. There are so many late-bloomers among INFP's, such as myself, that would love an opportunity to grow without any restraints. Also, what I do now, is use the enneagram to discover the deeper hidden passions, needs, and spiritual dimensions that may be lurking underneath.

As an INFP, I want to create a niche for my services and be rewarded for it. I want to provide something unique, that would be useful in some way, to help others find their niche areas. This is why so many INFP's go into counseling, because they can help others find their hidden talents and desires.

But, the practical steps that you need to take to find yourself, that is going to require some restraints.

Watching this video, gave me some new ideas that I'm playing around with now. One of those ideas is the notion that restraints can actually be more freeing (His J.K. Rowling/Harry Potter metaphor is amazing). He says that if you have too much, it's almost like having nothing. It's like you can play around with many things temporarily, but you'll never find that singular focus which may be developed and deepened. You can have your fun with many iPhone photo apps, but you'll never find that single storyline which can offer true, lasting, and revolutionary value to the world. In other words, your unique focus and deeply personal perspective on life.



FIND YOUR NICHE!

 

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Wow, I really like what both Refugee and Lachesis are saying! Both are so full of wisdom! Lachesis doesn't know if she's 'successful' but this is one way of doing it that works for a lot of people. Get a day job to pay the bills that doesn't zap your creative energy. One of the best poets, T.S. Eliott, was a bank teller by day. Then Refugee actually quotes T.S. Eliott (...not with a bang, but a whimper...)--but that's beside the point. I love the photog. metaphor--usability and focus. Actually, both of these words define the creative process perfectly. Welcome the restraints, and apply yourself to something that you can actually put out there in the world, that others can interact with--that is "usable" in the broad sense of the word. Even a comedian produces creative work that is "usable." And in my own experience, having loads of unrestrained time and no specific constrained task to apply myself to just leads to airy wandering. I never actually apply my craft or my creative juices. I feel lost and then get really disappointed with myself for squandering the opportunity. But a restraint of some sort stimulates the creative process, for ex. right now NPR is asking for "3-minute fiction." Write a story that can be read in 3 minutes. Now, a writer can actually apply themselves to that and produce something. Some of us INFPs need deadlines to actually produce something.

Both of these comments speak to me. I still haven't decided if I should continue to pursue a job/career that taps into my creative desires (I have tried this for 25 years and it only partially worked for me), or if I should go the route of Lachesis and do a 360 and take all the career pressure OFF.
 

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My definition of success changes every year, and as I get closer to my expiry date, I realize "success" in the traditional sense, doesn't matter to me, so much as finding myself.

... So, in essence, any feelings of success or happiness comes from within.
This is very useful.
 

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Well, this isn't my success personally, but I know an INFP guy who's been very successful just going out into the world and doing his own thing. He plays guitar and travels all across the U.S. to play shows and so far has been having a very nice life. Although he's not rich he proclaims often that "it's not about the money, but the happiness". I wish I could be more like him, it's really inspiring. And it just goes to show that even if you aren't some famous somebody you can still accomplish things just by chasing after your dreams.
 

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I also came to realise this too. It is not just about finding your own niche, but it is about either finding your own sense of self and pursuing it til you get old. Or you can find yourself throughout your life time by first experiencing things that you dont want and to eliminate.

I also now realised that, when you do not find a partner, then your focus is more on your self and it takes so much longer to get there ? Yet, so many people "suffer" or experience life and cruise it between being with someone in order to find themselves and also finding themselves in the process. This happens over the course of their lifetime too. Sometimes, it is not just finding a job which finds ourselves, it is being with someone, in order to understand both ourselves and of others and also be of service to other people too.

Being there for someone as well as letting others be there for you, is what life is about. Priorities.
 
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