Marc's INTJ Blog

Is a healthy INTJ more like an ESFP?

Saturday January 23, 2021

JD asks,

Would you say a happy, healthy INTJ is more like an ESFP?

In some ways, sure, maybe so. Maybe the healthy INTJ is more outgoing, upbeat, well-engaged with the sensory world, funny, that sort of thing. Jujimufu is a good example of these characteristics in an INTJ, in my opinion.

At the same time, there’s much more to it!

You can also say that a healthy INTJ looks more like just about any other happy and healthy person. And type is only one way of looking at that. For example…

Healthy ENFJ: The INTJ is more idealistic, diplomatic, and clever.

Healthy ISFP: The INTJ is more gentle, quietly radiant, and able to give attention to complex relationship dynamics.

Healthy ESTP: The INTJ is more impactful, improvisatory with in-situ logic, and genuinely interested in how you are doing.

Healthy ISTJ: The INTJ is more steadily progressive in their pursuits, open-minded, and attentive to the way quiet, simple convention can play a heroic role in life.

(Are we trying to cram 500,000% of things into one individual? No—keep in mind these are small, simple factors of preference and judgment that add up to create a whole experience of, and for, a person. This typically happens over long time spans. Don’t try picking this up over the summer.)

Outside of personality type, maybe you can say these other things about healthy people:

  • Their blood pressure is within the normal range.
  • Their budget is under control and not an overpowering concern.
  • They can give time and energy to the needs of other people.
  • They can set reasonable boundaries at work, home, and play.

There’s a lot to this “healthy” thing, and I hope that helps clarify my thinking a bit. I’m glad you asked.

The ESFP model is really helpful, I think, because that’s one of the INTJ’s first stops for relief. When I meet INTJs who struggle really badly—and I’ve been there too—ESFP stuff seems really helpful to them. ESFP perspectives, ESFP judgments. ESFP jokes and sometimes ESFP not giving a care about work anymore, because I’m just done.

So it seems that when we’ve been really hard on ourselves and our energy levels, we just have to head to that opposite.

The fact that there’s much more to healthy living than this single dichotomy has been a really enjoyable thing to me too, though. I didn’t really appreciate this when I was younger, but nowadays I really like that there are so many details to consider. They’re all interesting, and chewy, and you never know how things will turn out. Life’s more of an adventure.

Filed in: /62/ | /81/

A Business Communication Tip?

Wednesday January 20, 2021

Cesar writes,

What’s an important business communication tip for INTJs that you don’t see shared around much?

Maybe a big one is adapting your vocabulary. Putting your words aside for a bit and using others’ words for things.

We INTJs can get stuck on our “correct” words for things. Which is commendable, if you’re working with people who also appreciate that.

In such an environment, nobody wants to misunderstand, because that’s super inefficient. And if we have a shared understanding of a common bank of words that are used for this or that task—great. “Ooh, you just used a term which is specific, and has a load of meaning, and we both get it!” That’s a terrific feeling if you like efficiency and effectiveness.

In a lot of cases though, we have to work with people who don’t subscribe to the same word bank that we do. :-) In these cases, it helps to listen more closely for words people use that depart from this common word bank. It helps if you can try to treasure those words a bit, because they are important to the person who is using them.

And I’m not even talking about really specific, or technical words here! For example, let’s say you normally use these words a LOT at your job:

  • Teamwork
  • Authorize
  • Project

But this time, a client, colleague, or partner is heading up a big new discussion, and they describe what they want to do together. In their description of the work, they use these words instead of the words above:

  • Efforts
  • Release
  • Engagement

In context, those words mean the same thing. If you understand this correlation, you now have a kind of mental map to that person’s “yes” button. Why? Easy: Those are their words.

So while it’s tempting to send them over your usual email that says, “Project Authorization,” because that shows you know your job and your words, IMO it’s a better idea to use “Engagement Release” if that seems like it fits their word bank better.

As an introvert, somebody who brings their past more heavily into new conversations, you may tend to stick with your words because they give you a lot of subjective comfort, in this way or that. Maybe they help you feel more competent, or confident. However, sticking to one’s own preferred words can be a liability in teamwork.

You may also find that using your own word bank makes other people feel like their words are obsolete, or incorrect, or kinda dumb. If at all possible, it’s a good idea to avoid this scenario.

Personally I tend to write down others’ words for things. Then I briefly clarify how I’m using those words, and when I get the “yep, we’re right there with you, (BECAUSE THOSE ARE OUR WORDS AND WE LIKE THEM)” then I use those words to describe what I’d like to do next, or where I see the work going.

I’ve had some hilariously good results with this. I would almost say the more specific I get with this, the better things go. And I wouldn’t call it outright manipulation, which a lot of INTJs are really sensitive about—it’s more like you’re looking things up in their own dictionary for them. A professional courtesy that goes a long way.

If you have ever become stuck while explaining your word bank to someone else, you may know that this is also a big risk. Particularly if the person on the other end is in an introverted mode, or if they’re just not being listened to. Maybe they don’t really appreciate your technical work, maybe they hate it, maybe their boss is making them work with you—whatever it is, the act of explaining your words tends to make all that stuff even worse.

(I’m reminded that I should also write about mansplaining, which was one of my favorite business topics to look into in 2020!)

Good luck Cesar! Hope that helps. —Marc

Filed in: /54/ | /62/ | /27/

My First Personality Type, & Doubling Down on Good Stuff

Wednesday January 20, 2021

Back in the early 2000s I had my first experience with personality type. Together with a group of my peers, I sorted out some cards, attempting to identify my True Colors.

Along with the colors were shown various visual props.

For example, on the Green card there was a microscope, a computer, maybe a math textbook. Those things absolutely called my name. Especially sitting there, in a social situation, staring at this amazing nerd’s bedroom, with a 1990s computer—I could just tell. Man I would have teleported into that room right at that moment, if I could.

On the Blue card, a painter’s canvas, a guitar, some other stuff like that. This also called my name.

On the Orange card, a kayak, a soccer ball. I got where they were going with this, and I wanted to claim it, but I looked around at my Orange friends and just couldn’t get there. They were probably like Neon Orange or something. A bit extreme—meanwhile I’m just over here daydreaming about my favorite MS-DOS GUI. Low key, right.

And finally, turning to the Gold card, there was a day planner, an alarm clock set to 4:30 a.m., a checklist, a bullwhip, a referee’s whistle, a stepladder, a portable loudspeaker…

(I am totally joking about all those Gold things. Pretty sure the day planner was there though.)

Anyway, our trainer had us pick out TWO cards, in priority order. One that’s most like us, and then the next one that’s next-most like us. OK, fine. I picked out Green and then Blue. And I went to sit with the Greens.

There were like five of us greens in a room of about 50 people. lol. (BTW this is still true for me when I train on temperament or four-letter type. The NTs are really rare unless the audience is literally engineers or something. There is also usually a moment when I want to turn to the NTs and say, “hey, wanna get out of here?”)

Then the trainer explained:

The FIRST card is you just being your normal self [or something like that, it was a pretty breezy presentation given to university kids].

The SECOND card you picked is probably what you become when you get stressed out, or tired.

Whaat….! You should have heard the gasps. This was really mind-expanding stuff, for a lot of us. For me it seemed immediately valid on its face. I was shocked that someone had figured this out.

Objective, Yep, That’s Us

As I was looking up the True Colors system while writing this post, I was amused to find the Wikipedia article basically having a debate with itself in the “Scientific basis” section.

First there’s one paragraph explaining some kind of roughly-correlating studies and stuff, hedge hedge hedge.

Then comes the following paragraph, which basically lights the first paragraph on fire and shoves it out the window:

However, the research was performed by an 11-year True Colors Certified Trainer, the research was not published in a peer-reviewed journal, and there are no published replications.

Well! I won’t be studying THIS system then, I thought.

But too late, I had already studied it years ago, and it was really neat!

This brings me back to subjectivity. Because objectivity…how to put this.

Objectivity is having a crisis these days. Not the replication crisis itself. But the idea of objectivity. It’s just having an awkward time. I’m not sure how this situation came about, but it’s like: Here comes objectivity walking down the runway, wearing a brand new set of designer clothes, but it looks as if objectivity’s sibling, subjectivity is the one who did all the clothes shopping. Something’s just off.

And it just feels strange to see objectivity on a runway, right? Runways are about individuals. Individuals are a subjectivity thing. What…is this? Could it be that what we’re looking for is quality, instead of dolled-up quantity?

And wow, subjectivity is absolutely at critically under-hyped levels these days, maybe even moreso if you’re a TJ personality type. Subjectivity probably gave way too much of their clothes allowance to the objective sibling so this runway thing could not be a disaster, maybe.

Related, here’s what I really wish I had done, back in the early 2000s:

I wish I had recognized a very subjectively-interesting thing and just kept taking it deeper.

I didn’t do that with personality type at the time, but I was fascinated, and it took me another 10 years or so before I really took it deeper, and the benefits were amazing.

Speaking of fascination, currently on my radar, apart from some of the more “objective” stuff, we find these ZANY things:

  • Astrology (turns out I had my sign wrong for YEARS. WTF, big three)
  • Numerology
  • Yoga
  • Martial Arts

Now, if you’re thinking, “whoa there, Yoga and Martial Arts are NOT ZANY,” then I guess I have to say “EXACTLY,” because people usually think of their subjective-favorite-part of those things as the non-zany part. And they derive some concrete benefit from it.

But Yoga and Martial Arts actually kind of are objectively zany in lots of other ways, and the subjective factor often makes the difference! So my theory is that this is definitely true of Astrology and Numerology. Something weird is up, but also the subject can probably handle the weird stuff just fine, and filter it out, or whatever.

Moving forward then, here’s the thing: I am excited to find new ways to design a tolerance for good-but-unscientific stuff. Sure. But I’m even more excited to take more risks and dive deep into new things that seem interesting. It may save me a lot of time down the road.

Not that I have that much time today…

Anyway, a bit of a walk down memory lane with this post. How did you first learn about your personality characteristics? What was your first “wow” moment? Email’s in the sidebar.

Filed in: /77/ | /37/

The Vacation Transition & Boundary Recovery

Friday January 15, 2021

I was surprised to discover that it took me a full week to fully transition into my winter vacation at the end of 2020. A full week!

I felt great, once the real vacation effect finally hit me. Vacation! Wonderful! So fun.

But before that? Lots of winding-down talk, some journaling about it, some worrying. Ugh.

Prior to the vacation, I had really over-extended myself on some boundaries. So I needed recovery time before I could even get to the vacation enjoyment time!

It was nice to be conscious of that, but not nice to have to do it.

Speaking of which, I just posted an article called Using FACTS and TESTS to Set Healthy Boundaries. It’s published over at my coaching site. Which is still me, but it’s more of a general-audience me. Maybe a more professional me. Not even sure!

If you ever suffer from boundary compromises, I hope you’ll take a look. Learning to set boundaries has been a huge changing point in my life, even though I still stumble at times!

Filed in: /116/ | /94/ | /52/

Q&A: Sloppy Work and Dissatisfaction

Friday January 15, 2021

Holly asks,

I always catch myself being sloppy, but then I don’t have the energy to fix the sloppy parts of my work. So there is always some stubborn, neglected slop in my projects. Also, I’m never really satisfied with my work. Is this a thing for INTJs?

It’s not easy to admit or share that kind of thing, Holly. A lot of people would much sooner project a detail-conscious, perfectly-satisfied persona, than admit they are sloppy or less-than-satisfied. But the slop factor is so real sometimes!

People of any type can be sloppy, but I find that when INTJs feel too sloppy, they’re usually worn out, tired, exhausted somehow.

If that’s you, please take care of yourself. Get some rest, take some time off, and let your energy renew itself.

You also mentioned that you sometimes can’t fix that, even though you’re aware of it. Sometimes this “can’t fix it” energy comes from resentment, for example if you’re working for an employer that is always demanding things, and you are tired of their sh*t. That may be a good time to push back, or at least explore your feelings. Maybe do some howling or venting.

Regarding work satisfaction, it can help to consider your work a reflection of your fears about yourself. For example, “I fear that new things will always be a letdown.”

What I’d do then is create a “letdown” scale, 1-10. How much of a letdown is each project or time slot, overall? This is a little bit more objective, and hopefully effective, than feeling unsatisfied. It can help you generate ideas for making things less of a letdown, over time.

But yeah—please take a look into the energetic and emotional factors first. Those are always big ones for us INTJs. They come out of nowhere, out of the dark shadow of our personality, and it’s better to give those things attention as soon as possible.

Good luck Holly, and hang in there.

Filed in: /94/ | /116/ | /81/ | /52/ | /94/

By the way...

Wednesday January 13, 2021

Thanks to everyone who sent kind messages and other stuff lately. Like, whoever sent me the silver Reddit award thingy, thanks much, and thanks to Erik for buyin’ me a coffee, and thanks to the others who sent kind comments about the blog.

Some of you visitors are basically filtering out the “INTJ” part and consuming the blog content for the sake of general interest, which is totally cool with me too.

I haven’t shared any music lately, so just to spread a bit of the joy, here are some new-to-me favorites:

(That was a great film)

OK fine, and an old one that I was singing today.

Take care everybody!

Filed in: /52/

Reflections on Five Years of Active Investing and Trading

Tuesday January 12, 2021

Some of you in the blog audience have asked me to share advice about investing and trading. Let me just share a couple of meta-advice bits right up front, and then I’ll get into more details:

  • If you want to do this kind of investing or trading stuff, but haven’t dived in yet, calendar a deadline for yourself, by which deadline you will:
    • Have an investing account, app(s), and your notes/framework files ready to go
    • Make your first asset purchase
    • Begin tracking and measuring your results (in a spreadsheet, for example).
  • If you don’t start by that deadline, tell yourself what you’ll do—don’t give up. Take at least some little step.
  • As for me, I’m a dummy. I’m not a veteran investor or trader.
  • Being a dummy helps me to get a little smarter over time. Being a smarty generally makes me dumber over time. If you have been reading the blog, you know this theme: Dumb, Dumb, Dumb.

Enter The Loop

One of the most helpful practices I’ve brought along on my investing voyage is the A2i Loop. It has helped me to maintain a generally comfortable grip on projects and outcomes, while keeping actions and perceptions open and loose.

The loop also went meta, generating three sub-projects, with fun code names:

  1. BOOMER
  2. FALKONLAZER
  3. PLATFORM FALCON

BOOMER was the code name for my first serious foray into investing. It was meant as an investing-only framework, not trading. This project evolved until I finished reading How to Make Money in Stocks. After I finished the book, I realized I wanted to try a more active asset trading approach.

Working on BOOMER, I doubled my small investments within 4 years, and realized that I had enough experience with math, money, business, and psychology to leverage toward good results.

BOOMER felt entrancing. Exciting. I had experienced so much devastation in my life prior to BOOMER that I hesitated at times to think it could really turn into something positive. Still, I wanted to make extra sure that was the case. I wanted to look into things and measure things.

FALKONLAZER was the code name for my next project, which was my first active trading project. FALKONLAZER had the following components:

  • Actively Updated and Refined Frameworks and Notes
  • Ongoing Education Plans
  • Research Frameworks
  • Experimental Frameworks
    • Experiments in Leverage
    • Time Scope Experiments
    • Asset Class Experiments
  • Active Measurement
  • Specific, Outcome-based Forecasting

FALKONLAZER resulted in another doubling over the span of about five months. The results were exciting, the experiments frequently fun but also sometimes terrifying. I experienced radical emotional swings at first, and frequently found myself coaching myself through those. I tried to be my own best coaching client.

Overall I am really, really glad to be done with that first big foray into active trading, just like I’m really, really glad to be done with 2020.

FALKONLAZER ended on December 31, 2020, with some of the more productive components retained moving forward.

Though there were a lot of wins, some of the biggest mistakes I made during FALKONLAZER were:

  • Ignoring sector setups
  • Ignoring sector rotation
  • Ignoring indices
  • Ignoring market caps
  • Buying based on individual stocks and tight (usually daily & weekly) charts

Does that sound dumb to you? GOOD! I agree. That’s the plan.

I didn’t know how important this stuff was until the end of FALKONLAZER. I realized that what I needed was something more like a fundamentally solid technical platform on which to base my positions. Enter…

PLATFORM FALCON. I needed a new project to assist in the rapid maturing of the FALKONLAZER energy being brought forward. This new project marked the generation of a mature platform, hence the name. So I also replaced the K in FALKON with a C, which is the marc of a really mature, upright name, in my opinion. ;-)

To use an airplane metaphor, PLATFORM FALCON is less about individual airplanes (individual assets or stocks), and more about the squadron (groups of assets), squadron management, and the area of activity.

PLATFORM FALCON is about injecting more security and risk management into every trade, while also increasing the upside by leveraging the verification of factors like institutional support.

PLATFORM FALCON has produced a couple of simple models so far:

Model 1: SISSY

SISSY stands for “Sector, Index, and Security; Sweep to Year.” In further detail:

  • Sector: The Sector in question (finance, energy, whatever it may be) should be at oversold levels, or on the upswing. It should show signs of initial waves of institutional interest.
  • Index: The Index in question should be doing the same. However at this level, I look closer at charts and technical analysis of an index to determine entry and exit points.
  • Security: The Security in question should be well-discussed by groups, OR it should be qualitatively well-regarded by well-regarded folks / models. There should be some clear support from big buyers. Volume support should be obvious, for one. The Security should show a solid history and ideally does not look sketchy at all when deeper research is completed.
  • Sweep to Year: Charts from a scope of one year down to one minute are browsed for technical patterns. (A previous trap was only looking at the week, or day, or hour chart) This includes sticks like the bull hammer, three green soldiers, H&S, cup with handle, bull flag and pennant, gaps, golden crosses, etc. Even if one of these indicators doesn’t seem to work in isolation, recognized patterns of all of them definitely help.

Model 2: “You Left a Tip, Now Buy the Dip”

This is a simple quote that reminds me to build on profits by buying low, rather than piling more profits onto last-gasp maneuvers by assets that recently exploded in value.

“You Left a Tip” means you got cocky, added risk on risk, and just handed some of your profits back to the market on the way out the door (implies additional loss). Like leaving a tip for the market—and sometimes a huge tip!

“Now Buy the Dip” means—hey dummy, look for a nice oversold position and put the rest of the profits there.

I try to develop little personal quotes and memes like this, because sometimes you don’t need a list or a formal framework structure. Sometimes it’s more like a fun quote, hopefully a bit catchy, and that’s helpful too.

PLATFORM FALCON has been a success so far, but it hasn’t even been a month yet. I’m up 20% for the month as of January 12 (Edit: Actually I just double-checked and realized it’s more like 50%).

January is generally a good month for stocks though, so I do hesitate to even guess what February through April will bring. I might even lose it all! Doubtful, but I just want to drive home the ever-present need for risk management: Always set stops, always protect your capital.

Being an INTJ in This

Working on being “some kind of Jungian superhuman,” as I’ve heard some mockingly call it, can feel like a liability sometimes, when you interact with people in the finance community. This can happen in any community.

In finance there are lots of awesome people. But there are also a lot of INTJs, ESFPs, and many other types who are just…well, they can be far too easily described by the assets and liabilities of their personality type. This is the “personality type” factor that made Jung cringe.

This is not my favorite thing to witness; I find that I want to evangelize, just like anybody else who has tasted the fruit and enjoyed it, but I try to be patient even when it’s hard. For example, I’m not perfect, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let somebody who was practically born with business acumen tell me that politics are counterproductive, or that we should let business freedom and business transactions determine politics. That’s a classic INTJ-ESFP argument born out of Te-Fi valuing psychology. It’s a traditional setup for an AM radio talk show, but it has a lot of leaky holes in it, again to the degree that it over-values a sub-type of group psychology.

To put it directly, there are some really amazing people who can put the finance world into perspective, and then there are some really good people who are open and flexible and fun to chat with, and then there are…the rest. (People are different online than in person though, as always. Maybe more tormented while communicating online, for example, getting out some of the negative energy from a hard day at work)

Rant over!

Anyway, these qualitative observations are why I have tried to make sure my personal goals in finance are backed up by other supporting and co-creative goals in areas like:

  • Charitable giving and donations; supporting important causes
  • Charitable work—giving time to organizations and people who need it
  • Giving back to the community by sharing what I’ve learned (i.e. this article and others like it)

I have code names for those projects, too, and I build on them over time…

Conclusion

2020 was an eye-opening year. The world desperately needs more education, more patience, more giving, more sharing, more openness, more creativity. An ultimate fail for me would be gathering a bunch of new assets all around me, and then sitting on my pile of assets without using it to further those constructive ends so that others can benefit.

I continue to believe that it’s possible to create things that haven’t been created before, and to do things that haven’t been done before. I’m a big fan of the “expanding the pie” approach and have seen it work amazingly well. Some of my coaching clients have taught me impressive lessons about this, too.

Moving into 2021, I’m excited and optimistic, but I’m also feeling more grounded and ready to integrate the extra practicality these plans need in order to work.

Good luck with your goals in 2021 everybody! —Marc

Filed in: /37/ | /20/ | /47/ | /16/ | /43/

Personality Type in Trading and Investing: Examples of Unhealthy Extroversion and Introversion

Friday January 8, 2021

An understanding of personality type goes a long way. This applies in just about any field, career, or hobby you can name. And not only does understanding one’s own individual type help, but it also helps to be able to understand and interpret others’ personality types.

If you know your own type, you can use this knowledge to avoid repeating past mistakes that were caused by “you being you.” We all protect ourselves in various helpful ways by retreating into “who we are.” But that protection can also coddle us, and prevent us from making breakthroughs. This includes financial breakthroughs. With personality knowledge, you can also learn how to look for “wins” where you never knew to look before. These items are huge assets for investors or traders.

If you know others’ personality types, you can use this knowledge to interpret the information they are sharing, and even assign the information a weighting factor along a personal scale if you like. As an investor or trader, you will come across a lot of people with varying opinions, and this ability to weigh and develop a sense of scale (among others) is also a huge asset.

Some Background on Personality & Me

For a little background, I’ve been actively working with personality type for over a decade, and I’ve been professionally tested and certified in interpreting others’ personality type.

(That’s right, I took a personality type profiling test, and it was damn hard, and I’m proud that I passed it! I even profiled the test-designer’s personality type in order to interpret the design and likely answers to the test questions…a story for another time. Anyway, for the purposes of this article: I can usually read stuff people wrote, or hear things they said, and develop an idea of their personality type pretty quickly.)

Some Notes on Specific Experiences & Sources

I’ve been slowly compiling my experiences with others’ personality type in trading. So far, my main inputs are Facebook trading and investing groups, Reddit, and #fintwit, which is basically finance Twitter. I’ve also read books, taken courses, and discussed trading and investing in person with a lot of folks. This includes some of my coaching clients, who are also active traders and investors.

Please note that I won’t be recommending any specific social media profiles or accounts to follow. You can get absolutely screwed by inadvertently following and taking the advice of someone with a day-trading options account, when you meant to dip your toes into swing trading. So please be careful if you’re looking to invest, or trade crypto, or whatever.

Without further delay, below I’ve listed various examples of unhealthy extroversion and introversion. Since the point of this article is raising awareness, and since I have a lot of contingency-thinkers in the blog audience, I won’t be going into depth about the healthy side in this article. I’ve written about that quite a bit before, in various books and articles.

Quick I/E note: The examples below are based around the neo-Jungian concept of extroversion and introversion. This article is not really about the more common interpretation of those words, e.g. “enjoying/dreading time spent with others.”

E: Examples of Unhealthy Extroversion in Trading and Investing

  • “See it, buy it” behavior in general (Extroverted-objective perception)
  • Considering only what’s hot now, or what’s going on right now (this is in fact the dark side of “being in the moment” or what I’d call hyperbolic mindfulness)
  • Wild projections about results to be gained: “$BTC to $150M by February 2022” (much more energy spent on possibilities than probabilities)
  • Flashy living / talking / perceiving (live it up, demonstrate your prowess, knowledge, power; keep up with, or measure up to other folks)
  • Buying or selling an asset without using a decision-making framework
  • Hyperbolic emotionality. For example, I’ve seen individual traders reach out to the community, looking to find a therapist to help dampen the emotional swings from day trading. I’m glad they are reaching out, but this act by itself is screaming for a turn toward introversion and framework-design.
  • Dumping on Voodoo: Criticizing others’ highly-subjective / qualitative trading frameworks, especially when they depart from group-averaged knowledge
  • Too much reliance on what others think (bookmarking favorite thinkers and their frameworks, making moves that those others make)
  • Too much reliance on what others feel (from individual sentiment all the way up to market sentiment)

I: Examples of Unhealthy Introversion in Trading and Investing

  • Making grumpy, intuitive predictions about things that will fail. If pressed, no details or counterarguments are given. (Introverted-subjective intuitive perception)
  • Engaging in criticism of newcomers, predicting what they’re doing and that it’ll fail
  • Criticizing various ideas based on one’s own past experiences or relations: “Just wait, $BTC to $1,000 USD max by 2022. My friend lost all of his money trading $BTC and it was painful to watch.”
  • Inadvertently following, consulting, and echoing other traders who happen to match one’s own personality type, and therefore create a subjective echo chamber feedback effect, especially with regard to type-constrained liabilities (i.e., the rest of the items on this list. Risky and happens a lot)
  • Constant repetition of past maxims, many of which are now horribly broken mental models
    • “You’re chasing climbers!”
    • “You’re trying to catch a falling knife!”
    • (See how those two oppose one another along a dichotomy, but fail to offer depth, insight, or action cues? This is not educational)
    • “You can never beat the S&P 500! Should have just parked your money there.”
      • (This is based on misunderstanding and over-generalization; the S&P 500 has a CAGR of something like 10%)
  • Hyperactively looking for, and calling, market bubbles and market crashes (personally, knowing about this tendency helped me manage risk and trade straight through 2020 while preserving capital)
  • Dogmatizing Voodoo: Insisting that one’s own framework is the best, and must be obeyed for best results
  • Criticizing new-to-me things without having studied them, let alone mastered them
  • Diving into investing without really diving in (stubbornly remaining who you were when you started)
  • Looking for pseudo-science everywhere (For example, taking the position that technical analysis and chart patterns are like voodoo, without having really studied or applied them)
  • Obsession with long-term value investing, to the exclusion of other types of investing or trading. (A Warren Buffett infatuation, for example, could illustrate this)

Reconciliation: Is it really about finding a middle ground?

It’s easy to look at this dichotomy, “I vs. E,” and conclude that it’s best to “find a balance” or to “find a middle ground.” In some cases, this is a good idea. However, I generally disagree with this takeaway as a final answer to the problem.

In my experience, it’s very helpful to watch for periods during which it would be best to employ strong introversion as a tool, even hyperbolic introversion, and the same goes for extroversion. Those periods could be extroverted in some ways, or introverted in other ways.

For example, it could be that unhealthy introversion (for example, repeating past maxims) leads to a healthy extroverted moment (an invitation from someone else to learn new stuff, which leads to learning new models), which in turn leads to healthy introversion (deepening one’s framework design). In this case you could say that doubling down on introversion is helpful. Often that’s the case, for introverts who are learning to leverage their core gifts.

Overall, these attitudes are best employed in a tool chain: Identify a problem, design a solution, deploy tools, and observe results. The A2i Loop, my answer to the OODA Loop, has really helped me with this.

Conclusion

This topic is hardly discussed in the world at all, so I hope my experiences can be helpful for others.

Keep in mind that every one of us is a combination of both I and E parts. So you may have experienced some, or all of these, yourself. I find it can be really helpful to identify them in others though. This seems especially true, the more emphatic the person is about a thing—be that emphatically optimistic, or emphatically grumpy.

Please don’t take any of this as specific trading advice, and remember to always protect your capital and manage risk when trading. Good luck out there!

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Designing a Better World

Monday January 4, 2021

Happy New Year everybody! I’m excited to be moving into this new set of days, and away from the previous set of days.

The end of 2020 brought a lot of reflection for me. As I reviewed my recorded milestones and resolutions, I realized that 2020 was an absolutely pivotal year for me in lots of aspects.

The Subject Made a Promise

I also realized that I’ve made a lot of personal promises to the world. “I’ll change this way, I’ll support these people, or do this thing.”

And that’s kind of the introvert’s thing, or the thing that introverts always find themselves doing: I’ll respond, I’ll change. The subject eclipses the object. (This is a huge positive in some ways, but a catastrophic blind spot in others)

No sooner does a problem come up, than the introvert looks within themselves for a solution. We INTJs have just the right inner vision, or plan, or suggestion, or book, or whatever it is.

In return for this energy, I then ask specific things of the world at large: Help me to become a healthier, more fulfilled person, help me to reach these goals I have, help me to…etc.

This back-and-forth seems to help me build various inner contracts. Covert contracts, maybe. “I deserve better,” or “that was a lucky week,” or whatever it is—it’s all based on a subjective estimation of my inputs vs. my “profits”.

But I can’t deny this urge I now feel, looking outward.

The world needs to change. That group, “out there”. Not me, not you, not even us! Well, maybe us, in part, or as a component. But definitely that, too. That other thing.

The Object is Pressed Upon, in Turn

Maybe I shouldn’t even call it “the world.”

“The universe.” Everything needs to change.

And not only that, everything will change. Reflecting on this certainty of change is where my perspective seemed to shift from “terribly subjective” to “possibly wonderfully objective”.

Since change will come, and since we can measure change and have some inputs on its energy, this means we will likely have significant inputs on the design of the future, if we wish to use them. (Which design? Well, there are many different scopes here, so no satisfactory example can be given right now)

Can the future be designed?

I admit that my belief has changed radically in this area. I firmly believe that we can, and should, work to design the future. I have a lot of regrets, looking back on a past in which I thought things were already figured out for us.

And I’ve mentioned elsewhere that this is a trap for INTJs: Resting on our dominant Ni, perceiving, watching, telling, warning—but not acting, not creating, not doing as much as we could, or maybe should. After all, Ni is good at making us believe that nothing truely can be done. You just watch—those forces are already in motion!

(This is pure bullsh**, in part, and especially to the degree that it hyperbolically celebrates, strokes, our subjective perceptive gift of future-intuition)

Nowadays, part of my work here on this blog, and everywhere I work, is to design a better world. I believe I’ve discovered, used, and even created, some good tools for this. These tools act. They change things. They yield more control.

Control over the future, that is. This thought became the key to shifting my mindset. That future stuff wasn’t, and isn’t, inevitable!

The Tools, The Methods, The Outcomes

I will start building more of those tools, and sharing more of them. No tool will be too small, but a lot of larger-scope tools will be designed as well. Some of them will seem laughably vague, or grandiose. That’s OK, because of the “I’m not done yet” rule.

A lot of you out there, INTJ or not, are more than capable of designing a better world with me. I want to invite you to do so.

It’s a new year, and this is a big deal: Let’s design a better world. We’ll conceptualize awesome outcomes, watch some of our plans fail, watch some succeed, and learn and grow some more. We will do things that have never been done before.

It’ll be fun! It’ll be creative. Open-ended, and hopefully rather wild.

(Do you want to start today? As a simple exercise: Think of a scope, and pick some design parameters. That ought to be open enough to allow just about any change you’d like to see…)

Well—more soon. Let’s have an awesome 2021!

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Well Hello There: Various Things. Feelings, Music, Fidelity, INTJ Musicians

Tuesday December 22, 2020

I’m watching my kids for a while this afternoon, so I thought I’d blog about some stuff that’s been new here, while I’m otherwise just sitting on the couch.

Feels First, man I cannot believe how much venting, processing, and boundary-setting I’ve been doing lately. PHEW. Every little bit has helped. I mention this mostly because I never did this before, and then I tried it and it was new, and weird, and annoying, and then gradually it just started to work.

You ever feel burdened by that nasty trick with Fi where you meet somebody, even or especially if they’re nice, and you’re thinking deep down inside, “they bug me, I don’t like them?” Come on, I know you do. (If not, kindly play along)

What I find is that it helps if I can vent about it ASAP. Write it down, shout it, sing it, whatever works.

And instead of reinforcing the problem, what this does is, it helps me get back to business (sometimes you gotta work with people and you don’t know them yet, and those feelings can be troublesome) and stop being such a grump. It works well.

What else? Let’s see, I almost randomly started a Youtube channel, but then…while there’s a lot I really love about Youtube, there’s also a lot I don’t like about Youtube for creators, so I started to look around. Do you guys have any alternative video sharing platforms you like? Content type would be: Randomness, but maybe fun or informational randomness. Or interdimensional randomness. Let me know, email’s in the sidebar.

Music has been fun recently too. I have been playing the keys on breaks. It feels really good. I suck, but it feels good.

My little hobby collection of keyboards continues to grow, and while I didn’t anticipate this, it’s not been half bad. Due to a crazy-low auction bid that was accepted (followed by my shipping + “handling fee” shock), I think I’m at six keyboards now? Seven maybe? lmao. Nothing fancy. It’s a lot of fun to take care of my little collection though. Last week I brought out a couple of keyboards and my son brought out his drumming gear, and we had a little improv concert.

Variety

If you have read or watched me talking about my interests, maybe you could say I’m more about quantity. Or variety. Occasional blog-peruser A brought this up—fidelity or variety, Quality or quantity, that kind of thing. And I have to say that variety is a bigger deal to me in a lot of cases. I don’t need a huge collection of things, but variety is fun. Trying different items, gadgets, whatever.

Fidelity…eh, these days it’s kinda meh for me. Fidelity of audio used to be a big deal to me but I think that was more about metaphorically hearing all the frequencies, that sort of thing. Maybe I’ll go back to that someday before my hearing goes away entirely. But for now maybe I hear too many frequencies and the frequencies are like, back the F off, your INTJ fidelity interests are creeping us out. Or something. Not sure.

(BTW do you ever shop for hearing enhancers? Not necessarily hearing aids, but little EQ things, like—hear the world on your terms. Sometimes I notice I do this when I’m fidelity-interested. I personally have no hearing loss, knock on wood, but sometimes those things are just so appealing, not wanting to miss anything, wanting to tune in and customize the perceptions, and so on)

The other night I was improvising a reggae version of The Little Drummer Boy with some synthesized steel drums and a) I totally suck, I don’t even know what I’m doing but b) it felt amazing. So if you’re just on the edge, not sure if you should do some more INTJ spreadsheeting about your musical goals, or just go full on Dario Nardi on drums (I’d guess he’s OK with me linking this, or it wouldn’t be a public post) …either way I hope some of you INTJs who haven’t yet, will enter the suck zone with me.

(And if you don’t suck at music, maybe change instruments until you do? IDK. Stop being so great, it’s damn annoying and you know that if you read this blog ;-) winky winky )

Ah, and musicians. Did I mention that Marc Rebillet gives me INTJ vibes?

Certainly not stereotypical INTJ vibes, but I feel like I know this guy’s style. Kinda fun.

I also see some INTJ in artists like Mike Pensini:

It’s less of a sensory “looks-like” thing for me, but come to think of it, watching that video does feel a bit like watching Edward Snowden jam on the keys…

And who else…oh, I was thinking maybe Rosemary Minkler gave me the same INTJ vibe:

U never know tho. Will have to watch more, these are really neat performances to watch.

Finally, I guess I’ll mention that …darn, I forgot. Later. Happy Holidays everybody!

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