Don't rush to answer and make excuses, I know. I know you don't always. I know you're gnawing at yourself.
"I don't plan well, everyone gets a lot more done than I do."
"I lack consistency."
"I have problems with motivation."
"I need to work on my willpower."
What if I told you that hard goals aren't the only life strategy at all? And certainly not mandatory and far from always the most effective?
One in two people on earth develops optimally, becomes happy and successful... ...when he doesn't get in the way of his goals!
Wait, what?! And what about the ingrained from school notebooks, "You've done the job - walk bravely"? If you start reading a book, finish it. Go to music class? Finish it. Started to learn a language? Learn it. Your profession, job, sports, hobbies, lifestyle - set goals and show the results. So what if you've had enough of it, changed your mind, or don't want to - it's not serious, get it together! Only by following step by step the once set goal can you at least represent something of yourself. This sounds so loud and logical from everywhere, that it's easy to start evaluating ourselves through the finished product.
But let's look at the whole story in a much bigger and deeper way than we are used to. To do this, we have to get out from under the power of the myth that we are all built the same way and just have to try harder.
By nature we are organically built into the tasks of this world. Two absolutely natural and equally important needs coexist in it at all times.
Let's call the first one, for example, the word "stability”.
We need to preserve what we have accumulated (knowledge, experience, traditions, technology, culture, etc.). It is reasonable and much more economical not to reinvent the wheel every time.
It is this tendency that is realized in life by those people whose goals are "city-forming" (we in socionics call this tendency rationality). Notice - they do it absolutely naturally, without "working on themselves”. Of course, simply by virtue of the received type of psyche, they tend to carefully choose a path and move systematically along it. The goal here, in the language of psychologists, works like an unclosed gestalt. Satisfaction from the fact that everything is according to plan is much more powerful for such people than temporary difficulties. We change methods, we wait, we find new inspiration, but we get to the end.
"That's how they breathe," I usually say.
These are the same people for whom planning is like the bridges that connect one day to another. One year to another. One process to another. These are the people who tend to accumulate results, to consider experience, to look back, to take the best from the past and carry it forward. These are the people of purpose, the traditional approach we tend to focus on as the "right" ones.
Perfect approach to life, isn't it?
Except for the fact that the most ideal cart is a cart after all. Centuries of accumulated experience will tell us the most stable wheel diameter, the optimum thickness of the shaft, and the material for the body. But no amount of proven improvements will turn a cart into a Tesla.
This is where the second, and no less important, need of the world comes into play - we need to move forward. And this very "moving forward" has absolute ambiguity - it has zero understandable actions that could be planned. How can I know exactly what steps and in what direction I need to take in order to arrive where no one has gone before me?
Irrationals in general find it extremely difficult to look back and evaluate what they have accumulated. These are the same people who go to college at some point may realize that they have chosen the wrong direction, or they have had enough and do not want to continue. In their first year, or third year, or six months before their diploma. And they easily say, "Basta, I quit."
But someone from the rationality side prompts them: "Come on! Finish it! Let you get your degree, we'll see!" "But why? - The irrationals are perplexed, "I'm not interested anymore! I don't want to waste time on something that has no value anymore." Maybe he's already fired up about something new and would like to change everything for the sake of it right now.
This is how very unpredictable and extremely uncomfortable rational people appear. "Forever" is a word that paralyzes them. Even the most beautiful things in the world have to change. These are people who easily change jobs and even professions, cities and even countries. Who in the moment of change knows how to "shift in flight". Who has everything at the last moment and seven Fridays a week. They don't even buy theater or plane tickets in advance - who knows how it will go? Where will you be in a year? Life will tell...
So there are people who find it much more interesting and organic to live without a plan. There are a lot of people, for a moment - half of humanity. Those who (also by nature, by virtue of natural inclinations) are much more focused on the actual situation than on the planned.
The strong side, the powerful talent of these people is to try new things, to seek unexplored paths, to get tired and bored in the known, and to easily experience the chaos of instability. Their psyche is quite naturally oriented towards the current situation, the needs of the moment, new opportunities. They are sharper "sharpened" on the process than on the long-term result. The non-standard way gives them energy, and the flexibility of these people to adjust to the changing situation is enviable.
"I don't plan anything, I see how it goes," they often say. If, of course, they allow themselves such a "wrong" strategy”. Which, by the way, also always brings results. This is just a non-linear path, and the results are unpredictable in advance. When something doesn't go according to plan - that's the most interesting thing, the irrational will tell you.
The problem, as usual, begins at the point where we abandon ourselves in favor of tactics to be more convenient and understandable to others.
The rational's attempt to be "spontaneous" and "live in the flow" takes away the ground beneath his feet. Abandoning what he has begun, being flexible, jumping from fifth to tenth, fitting in without preparation, changing plans without end in response to new circumstances - this is torture, not a tool for self-development.
And quite different for the irrational. Make him sit on plans, prepare for a long time, stick to traditions, live in a routine, finish things from which inspiration has gone or relevance is lost. Criticize him more often for endlessly plotting something, trying it out, overplaying it on the fly - and he'll feel like he's living in a prison.
Harmony is always at the junction of chaos and stability. Some must maintain tradition and maintain a vision of goals, while others must rock the boat, consider the "here and now" moment, and create a developmental perspective. Each has its own task.
Renowned authenticity researcher Stephen Joseph perhaps ends this conversation better than I do. "The more opportunity we have to be ourselves, the happier we become."
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