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Hello, everyone!

I want to start the thread with my own (or lack thereof). Feel free to respond or ignore as you see fit since I care more for your reasons than my own. This question is really directed at anyone who cares to answer, but I wanted to see how fellow INFPs, the supposed dreamers of the world, reconcile their fantasies with reality.

Recently, I've been dwelling on the reason I live. My beliefs, aspirations, goals, and desires seem so ephemeral and meaningless as of late. No one cares for the stories in my head nor the perspective I offer on the issues that plague humanity. There is a way to "succeed" in the society I was born into, and I disagree with it. There is depravity everywhere I look, and I am disturbed by the thought of perpetuating it any further with my own life. The reason for my existence is disappearing. I once dreamed of finding love, creating a family, but I can't convince myself that is good for anyone but myself. Do not try to convince me that my reason is what I make of it because that quickly descends into hedonism, something I am strongly opposed to. If you take offense to that, then worry not for I believe just as strongly in the free-will and independence of all.

Thank you!
 

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My first and foremost goal is to go to Heaven and see God. Then tied into that my reason for living is for my loved ones. Also, I could have died a million times but haven’t so I believe there is still some reason for me to be on this earth, even if it isn’t super significant to the world itself.
 

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  • To explore stuff online.
  • To discover new ideas.
  • To play my games.
  • To have FUN!
  • To spend time w/people I love.
  • To download a bunch of reading material.
  • To view all the Beauty I can.
  • To experience Happiness as much as possible.

I’m so in love with Earth! I never want to leave. Earth offers SO MUCH!
 

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Hm. My reason for living:*trying to have a family.
It will be good mostly for myself, yes!*But I do think it's a worthwhile goal to pursue.
Plus: that's the absolute contrary to hedonism.
 

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The alternative is none too appetizing, so here we are. Every now and again, however, you experience a rare moment of beauty and this, rare as it may be, makes everything else slip back into the shadows and offers a glimpse into why we're here. The important thing is to savor those moments, make them count, and recall them when your world is dark.
 

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Right now I can see and hear my young daughter (6) outside the window playing in a field by our house. There is a neighborhood gang of kids, ranging from 4 to 8 years old. And once one of them goes outside to poke around the rest almost always follow suit. They just run around wildly together, really. Sometimes I literally see them running in circles over and over, screaming their heads off. Nothing else, no words or structure or purpose.. just run and scream, like psycho midgets. And they love it, more than anything else. More than toys, more than mom and dad, more than food. I've seen these kids smack their heads on concrete walls, grow a goose bump before my eyes, and while gasping and bawling insist "I'm fine! I'm fine! Don't make me come in, I still want to play!"

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.” Watts
 

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Video games.

That's not a joke. I live for video games. Bideo games are my water, my bread and my holy spirit. When I can't find good games to play life comes to a standstill and I just sit around all day waiting for more video games to appear.
 
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There's a level of existence on which the question of meaning does not manifest itself.
 

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As you get older, you stop judging the world so much.

My reason for living is simply the possibility of new wonderful experiences I may have in the future, and the good moments I am privileged to live through now.

Eudaimonia.

This exactly.

The possibilities for growth. I live for new knowledge, new experiences, connection(s), first and foremost to and with myself. To experience things through myself, and I sit back often to reflect and think "Wow, I DID that, wow THAT happened, wow and I managed to navigate that and now I'm better than yesterday"
Growth is everything to me, that's why I wake up excited every morning. And growth happens when you expose yourself to life and experience good and bad and see what you're made of.
Even when in a relationship, the reason I get into one is because I can see that it helps me grow and become more of what I already am. I avoid relationships that drag me backwards in my evolution. Same with jobs and friendships. I need forward movement and to feel that everyday I'm growing a bit. And I absolutely need that experience where I look back a year and think "wow look how much more I've become since last year!" That's what I live for, uuugghhh I get excited just thinking about it!! Growth is fun! Connection is fun! Like every time on my walks in the fields or the forest and I see the vast sky and fields in front of me and I am humbled by the universe and my privilege to witness this grandiosity, I literally cry and think Thank you thank you. And when someone is driving me somewhere and I look at the landscape and I'm in awe of the world. Or when I look into the eyes of someone, doesn't matter if it's a coworker I don't particularly love, I look into their eyes and think "we're both children of the universe, wooowwww you are so beautiful, woooow you are me and i am you.." and I get lost in their face. And when women at work tie up their ponytails, I stare at their hair and their cute clips and think "Wow your hair is rays of sunshine, you are so magnificent" and I get lost in thoughts like these that provoke delicious feelings in my solar plexus and I could easily cry. All of this and more are the reasons I'm always excited to expose myself to life and risk getting hurt. I'm not too afraid of getting hurt because I accept it's part of life and hurt will teach me something about myself that I can improve -again, growth.
 

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Do not try to convince me that my reason is what I make of it because that quickly descends into hedonism, something I am strongly opposed to. If you take offense to that, then worry not for I believe just as strongly in the free-will and independence of all.

Thank you!
Ha, good for you? More like good to a society than you, especially if you believe in independence and free-will. Relationships (especially legally enforced ones such as marriage) are pretty much death of independence and free-will putting massive restrictions on your life. Provide for your family, take care of your family and obey various other restrictions on you behavior such as fidelity costing you massive amount of money, time and effort even when it goes right and if it doesn't and it often doesn't, those will be wasted resources. It's mainly useful to a society that needs offspring to function in the future.

I sort of live for myself and practicing somewhat lazy version of rational egoism, although not necessarily hedonism as maximizing pleasure isn't necessarily goal, at least now in way hedonism is negatively depicted in society associated with recklessness and mindless pursue of pleasure. Either way, it's when I stopped living to satisfy others I found greater satisfaction, as such approach will only lead to being taken advantage of by others.
 

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Hi! First post! You made me come out of lurking!

I consider myself a healthy, happy, middle-aged (I'm 37), stereotypical INFP.

Here's 4 reasons I live (not in order of importance)

#1
I've gone through my share of anxieties and existential crises but what have always kept me together is my curiosity and wonder for the world and the universe. I love learning new stuff. Especially about the nature of the universe, the Earth and my own relationship to it. The overarching reason for me to live is to learn more about everything and to teach. Since my early 20s I've been an amateur astronomer. We are, as far as we know, the only eyes and ears in the universe. To me, it's our duty to learn more about it and ourselves and to teach others. To progress civilization. To prevent man-made apocalypse. That, to me, is the most important thing in the world and more than enough reason to be alive.

#2
My job. You say there's no way of succeeding in this society while living in accordance with your ideals but I'm sure there is. It all depends what you mean by "success", I suppose. After taking various university courses (I'm Swedish so Uni is free) I eventually ended up teaching introductory science, geography and English and I loved it. Today I'm working with something a little different. I work with young people who refuse to go to school in a small Swedish town. My students are mostly introverts with anxiety and I help them manage their anxiety, help them in their studies and get them back to school. I feel as though I'm a valuable member of society and contributes in some way. I don’t make a huge amount of money but that has never been what “success” means to me. I make enough, and my work is very much in harmony with my ideals, which is more important. I realize not everyone can be as lucky with their work though, but I think even if my work was meaningless to me, I could still escape in my fantasies, books and my pursuit of knowledge.

#3
My family and children. I once thought as you do. Having a family IS an entirely egotistical endeavor and while I still believe this I've stopped beating myself up about it. My ideal life would be living in a hut in the woods somewhere, making as little of an environmental imprint on the world as possible. I ended up, however, being snared by an ENFJ (something I would never have imagined in my youth), buying a big house, a car and all those things I told myself I'd never have. This troubles me BUT, at the end of the day I love my wife and my children and would do anything for them. As someone else wrote, when you get older you stop being so hard on yourself and the world.

#4
Hobbies! As with most INFPs, alone time is important to me. I need to play my guitar and piano alone. I need to play video-games. Read books. Work on my own projects. Even if I had nothing else, all these things would provide me with more than enough reasons to live. With children, you also get to include them in these things. To read the Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter with your children and experience the books once again is amazing. Plus you get to do all the voices! More than anything, this is the most fun I have with my kids at the moment :)

So basically, don't worry. Everything will probably end up well. Be curious about everything! Even though INFPs like us tends to be fantasy-prone, make truth your number one ideal! Curiosity and the pursuit of truth makes you knowledgeable and society needs (and values) knowledgeable people. But also, never forget that the universe is awesome and even if all else fails you’re lucky to just be alive and experience it!
 

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No one cares for the stories in my head nor the perspective I offer on the issues that plague humanity. There is a way to "succeed" in the society I was born into, and I disagree with it. There is depravity everywhere I look, and I am disturbed by the thought of perpetuating it any further with my own life. The reason for my existence is disappearing. I once dreamed of finding love, creating a family, but I can't convince myself that is good for anyone but myself.
Well, seems like you are talking here a little about the end of innocence. The period of time in your life when you realize society is not designed that well, that high ideals are not valued as they should be, and that others keep wanting to muss up the storybook of your life that you are trying to write. I've been there, i promise you.

I like @Sweet but Psycho believe in God, and was given this bit of advice. "The world you live in may be fallen, but you don't have to be." I'll leave my direct reference to God at that.

So, accepting that the world is messed up, that does not mean you can't dig out your own little protected niche in it. Sure, it means that there will be stuff you'll have to see, have to deal with that is not what you want in this life, but you can experience many great things. If your thought was to help people, you can still do that, just may have to modify your plans a little. If you want to tell stories, then nobody is stopping you. The core of your dreams can still exist and thrive. It may be a bit different than what you pictured, but it's still available.

What I live for is what I love. I have a family I love to spend time with and care for. I love to be out in nature, on the trails, seeing the real beauty of this world. I love to write, to create stories, and have begun having some success with that. I love to learn about so many different little interesting things in the world.

In some ways I even love the struggle in this life. I can relate to it with others I'm connected to and in my writing. In many ways, how we make it out of the struggle defines us as much as anything else.

Sorry, got carried away like I was posting in my journal, but yeah, that's mine.
 

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Hi! First post! You made me come out of lurking!

I consider myself a healthy, happy, middle-aged (I'm 37), stereotypical INFP.

Here's 4 reasons I live (not in order of importance)

#1
I've gone through my share of anxieties and existential crises but what have always kept me together is my curiosity and wonder for the world and the universe. I love learning new stuff. Especially about the nature of the universe, the Earth and my own relationship to it. The overarching reason for me to live is to learn more about everything and to teach. Since my early 20s I've been an amateur astronomer. We are, as far as we know, the only eyes and ears in the universe. To me, it's our duty to learn more about it and ourselves and to teach others. To progress civilization. To prevent man-made apocalypse. That, to me, is the most important thing in the world and more than enough reason to be alive.

#2
My job. You say there's no way of succeeding in this society while living in accordance with your ideals but I'm sure there is. It all depends what you mean by "success", I suppose. After taking various university courses (I'm Swedish so Uni is free) I eventually ended up teaching introductory science, geography and English and I loved it. Today I'm working with something a little different. I work with young people who refuse to go to school in a small Swedish town. My students are mostly introverts with anxiety and I help them manage their anxiety, help them in their studies and get them back to school. I feel as though I'm a valuable member of society and contributes in some way. I don’t make a huge amount of money but that has never been what “success” means to me. I make enough, and my work is very much in harmony with my ideals, which is more important. I realize not everyone can be as lucky with their work though, but I think even if my work was meaningless to me, I could still escape in my fantasies, books and my pursuit of knowledge.

#3
My family and children. I once thought as you do. Having a family IS an entirely egotistical endeavor and while I still believe this I've stopped beating myself up about it. My ideal life would be living in a hut in the woods somewhere, making as little of an environmental imprint on the world as possible. I ended up, however, being snared by an ENFJ (something I would never have imagined in my youth), buying a big house, a car and all those things I told myself I'd never have. This troubles me BUT, at the end of the day I love my wife and my children and would do anything for them. As someone else wrote, when you get older you stop being so hard on yourself and the world.

#4
Hobbies! As with most INFPs, alone time is important to me. I need to play my guitar and piano alone. I need to play video-games. Read books. Work on my own projects. Even if I had nothing else, all these things would provide me with more than enough reasons to live. With children, you also get to include them in these things. To read the Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter with your children and experience the books once again is amazing. Plus you get to do all the voices! More than anything, this is the most fun I have with my kids at the moment :)

So basically, don't worry. Everything will probably end up well. Be curious about everything! Even though INFPs like us tends to be fantasy-prone, make truth your number one ideal! Curiosity and the pursuit of truth makes you knowledgeable and society needs (and values) knowledgeable people. But also, never forget that the universe is awesome and even if all else fails you’re lucky to just be alive and experience it!
One question: do the children suffering anxiety have a reason to be fearful of school? For example, does bullying play a part?
 

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Can't leave until I'm done with what I was put here to do. I'm not gone yet so....I still have some tasks queued up.
 

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Got a handful of important people who would be sad if I offed myself. So I linger.

In all seriousness, life is not that bad overall. I've overcome a lot, and though it leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth, there's also the sense that you've been victorious. Persevered. That's gotta count for something.
 

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I've never thought about that question... I don't seem to have a reason for living, and I'm content with not needing one for myself. I just live in spite of the odds against me living. No, I don't have some mortal condition—I'm talking about the mortal condition in general. We are so fragile and delicate, as is life. We really shouldn't be here, and none of this should exist, but it does anyway. I like to ponder that and how I can be kind and good. I do believe I was intended to be here by someone far more powerful than myself.
 
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Sometimes it’s warm and sunny and the breeze blows and the clouds scud across the sky and their shadows chase them over the mountains, and it’s so beautiful I want to fly.

Sometimes I wake up really early, and my cat curls up next to me and purrs, and I think “this is the definition of contentment” as I drift of back to sleep.

Sometimes my husband and I trade quips back and forth that make me understand what it’s like to share a wavelength with someone else and I just smile and smile and smile.

Sometimes the wild geese fly across the moon at night and I can hear them singing and I think what a marvelous thing it is that instinct makes them do something so incredibly spectacular.

Sometimes the phosphorescent little creatures of the sea make the tide glow at night in a way that seems unearthly.

Sometimes I look up at the stars and one of them shoots across the sky and I can’t breathe for the wonder of it (yes I know it’s really not a star).

Sometimes I read a book and the story is so achingly beautiful that I just cry and cry for people who never actually existed.

Sometimes I have ice cream on my deck and it’s delicious.

Sometimes I think back on the boy I loved when I was 22 and how lovely I thought he was and how sadly sweet it is that we lost touch but I never stopped loving him.

That.

That is what I live for.
 

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One question: do the children suffering anxiety have a reason to be fearful of school? For example, does bullying play a part?
Bullying plays a part sometimes. Increasingly, social media bullying and/or ostracisation is a thing; especially in younger grades. Bullying today is very rarely physical or even face-to-face.

I'd say that most of my students aren't bullied, though. Most just can't handle the environment or the pressure of school. Social anxiety and performance anxiety is very prevalent among my students. More often than not, the students I meet are really good at school-work but are really bad in the school environment. Some are also addicted to computer-games or use gaming as a coping mechanism to not think about school.
 
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