Marc's INTJ Blog

Predict THIS! Some Astrology Notes

Friday July 19, 2019

So last night I read this in the introduction to Astrology by Sandy Anastasi (emphasis mine):

“Today, unsurprisingly, most people associate astrology with the ability to tell the future, although in this sense, here in the Western world, it is no longer as accurate as it was during the Middle Ages. Experienced astrologers can still make the same kind of potentially accurate predictions, but individual consciousness has changed. Modern man is exerting more freedom of choice than ever before in the history of our planet. As a result, more often than not we are able to alter the circumstances of our lives, thereby averting potential disasters in them. For this reason, modern-day astrologers find themselves more and more often in the role of counselors as opposed to fortune tellers.”

I found it pretty fun to consider this model, in which modern man wakes up and decides, “That thing that’s coming to destroy me? I’m changing that.” Pretty weird and fantastic, in the sense that I’ve never heard anyone relate such an event (or evolutionary process along those lines) before.

Even though I definitely believe that circumstances matter, and sometimes despite best efforts your day might be more of a “Netflix day” than a “check off every to-do list item day,” I do wonder if there’s an astrologer’s timeline all drawn up somewhere, with a note like “1500 AD: Mankind Grows a Pair.”

OK But Still, What About Prediction?

Yesterday I was doing a search over at Archive.org which is a pretty amazing resource. One of the thumbnails that came up was this kind of interesting looking guy, I had to guess ENTP based on the video thumbnail, so that meant I had to actually watch the video.

And so I’m watching my horoscope for today (Update: The video seems to have disappeared?! Strange) and thinking, “I wonder if there will be anything accurate? That’d be such a trip.”

Sure enough, there was something interesting. He tells me tomorrow (I was watching this the night before) would be a good day to sell an old car or something!

And we had already decided to sell our car a few months ago. So I got kind of excited. And? TODAY it sold! To a really great guy! We didn’t do anything at all, the guy just met us and we transferred the title, and it was practically effortless.

Sometimes, man. IDK.

Are you into astrology? It’s a new sort of thing for me, and I’m mainly just entertaining it, as opposed to believe / don’t believe. Mostly what I hear from internet INTJs is “it ain’t scientific, oh and BTW MBTI is also a horoscope,” (I’ve discussed the science-related fears here on the blog before) but some other INTJs tell me they like kicking it around.

BTW I’m back from vacation, had a nice time getting out of the house and office. Also visited my ESFP mom. Confirmed that even at age 83 she still sleeps like 3 hours a night and believes she can pretty much take anybody.

Filed in: /25/

A Primer: Who Needs Your Energy, #1

Monday July 1, 2019

INTJs have access to a special sort of energy that I’ll call, “seeing what the hell is going on.” Maybe: SWTHIGO. (OK, I wrote that prospectively, just to see how it would look, and I think I like it!)

As we travel through life, we all need to feel that our energy is being put to constructive use. As you interact with others, your sense of your own values being cherished, reinforced, and nurtured is going to depend a lot on whether & how that energy is being used.

So, some questions:

  • Who around you needs your ability to see “what the hell is going on”?
    • Who were those people in your past, present, and future?
  • What did/do/will they need to see?
  • Why do they need to see it?
  • How do you end up finding yourself around those people?
  • How will you take care of yourself after the other party is “full” and you have lost their attention?

Now, a big one, an exercise for your intuition, if you’ve worked through the questions above:

  • Who do you see yourself helping to “see,” next? Under what conditions? What do they need from you?

This is all very prospective—let’s keep an open mind.

(I do worry a bit that by using the term “what the hell is going on” above, I may reinforce a tendency to be brutally direct. This is not my intention. People need gentle, positive feedback. Especially if you are not the one who will be doing the work to put the advice into action, it’s important to strike a balance between direct and indirect, between “heaven” and “hell” so to speak)

Filed in: /41/ | /23/ | /33/ | /20/ | /13/

Boring Diet Update, Late June 2019

Saturday June 29, 2019

So I woke up today and weighed myself. Again.

After three agonizing days wondering how I could possibly still weigh 203 lbs., my stars somehow aligned. Today the scale finally showed my magic milestone goal number of 201. Just to be sure, I stepped off, and on again, and same result. It’s happened before, this kind of illogical plateau thing, and it’s frustrating every time it happens.

But hey, goal reached! I celebrated by laughing at life and just picking at food today. Practically tickling, teasing my food. Ahahaha. I barely even need you! OK, I do need you. Just less than I thought I did.

That’s 11 lbs. lost so far.

I’m feeling like I’m finally getting in the groove with my weight loss here. The periodic mood swings from can to can’t and from awesome to oops are closing in tighter. This is what happens before I lose lots of weight; I remember this from years past.

Regardless though, my next goal is a conservative 199. I’m setting this one out about three weeks to July 20, because I’ll be vacationing. But sometimes the threat of vacation, or being on vacation and thinking “nah, I’ll probably just eat a lot and gain it back,” weirdly helps me lose weight, so I guess we’ll see how it goes.

Cardio

I’ve been doing a ton of hiking. I’m averaging about 6 miles of hiking every day. This feels great and seems to support my diet goals well.

Other Exercise Plans

Exercise-wise, I’m also going to set a man-boob improvement goal of 40 push-ups a day this coming week (I can tell my bicep tendon which was injured in the past is still sensitive, so I’m not hitting the chest very hard lately), and a waist-helper goal of 25 leg lifts and 2×40-second planks. I got really good results from doing very slow negative-push-ups in the past, so I’ll try those again this time.

I’m also evaluating gym options with my wife, just to throw something new into the mix. I used to work out in gyms a lot but got out of the habit when I got into bodyweight exercise.

More of what’s helping

Blogging about this, even though I’m a rather severe introvert by nature, is really helpful. I can still feel the benign pressure to meet these goals and share my results. It’s good stuff.

Also, the short-run goals do seem to help: 2-3 pounds at a time, and over time it works out great.

Phew! Relieved to be able to post this today. More soon.

Filed in: /15/ | /7/ | /21/

Just launched: New Marc Carson Coaching Facebook Page

Thursday June 27, 2019

Well, my planets finally aligned and a Facebook Page for my coaching business is operational. ;-)

Here’s the link: Marc Carson Coaching on Facebook

If you’re on Facebook and can spare the humilation of yet more of your stalker friends speculating as to what business you have with a life coach, please like the page. We really appreciate your support.

The chances of being spammed by this page are pretty low I’d say, judging by the not-exactly-torrential activity on my Marc Carson Web Design page which has been up for years and years.

Thanks to my blog audience for your continued support and as always, I hope you’ll get in touch if you’re interested in:

  • A coaching email exchange for a quick dose of accountability and tips specifically calibrated to your life or career situation
  • A coaching MP3 sent to your inbox
  • A video-chat coaching session
  • A phone-based coaching session

A quick note also that my book for INTJs is still available, with hundreds of exercises and a discount code you can use on your purchase.

Have a great weekend! —Marc

Filed in: /12/ | /11/

Recently Updated Personal Notes and Frameworks

Wednesday June 26, 2019

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I really enjoy & encourage the practice of keeping notes and building one’s own subjective frameworks related to areas of concern or interest.

Pretty much anything that I learn about, and that I may revisit in the future, or which may affect me in the future, I’m keeping a file on. So far this has been incredibly helpful in terms of efficiency, memory, and overall effectiveness across a wide number of tasks and problem areas.

So today I thought I’d run a little command (find . -type f -mtime -10) and see how many personal framework text files I’ve modified in the last 10 days. Here’s that list:

  • Framework for understanding Socionics models: Updated with new resources; reorganized the framework
  • Framework for Stoller model on estimating IQ via handwriting analysis: Created new framework, a compilation of my notes and experiences with this model in the past. Added notes from my recent experience with a volunteer who wanted to try it.
  • Framework for keeping server backups: Updated with new practices and methods that will be easy to reference next time I’m setting up a server. Added a log to record experiences / problems / etc. for future reference.
  • General Server Administration Framework and Notes: Updated with new practices and methods learned recently. Added a log to record experiences / problems / lessons learned.
  • Home Office Framework: Added lessons learned about maintaining Clarence Oddbody, my cat palm ;-)
  • Type Examples Framework: New framework with dozens of personalities typed via their Youtube channels.
  • Coaching Session Framework: Updated with new post-session procedures.
  • Oh-F-List: New Framework
  • Frameworks for relationships with my children: Minor updates to these with new activities to try and other suggestions.
  • New Productivity and Note-taking Method Framework: Established new method for note-taking. Some similarities to mind mapping, with some big departures.
  • Forgetting a New Model Framework: Ideas and procedures to assist with times when notes or information on a new model has gone missing. It happens.
  • Hidden Treasure Framework: Creating and distributing hidden treasure. New framework.
  • Resting Framework: New framework; notes on various stages of rest. (As opposed to getting good sleep, in the Sleep Framework)
  • SD and TF Card Notes: Added various procedures on formatting and maintaining these sometimes-finicky cards.
  • Mysterious Black MP3 Player with Opaque Instructions Framework: Added observations on the use of a mysterious black pocket MP3 player which I purchased online for a suspiciously low amount of cash. (Turns out to be a great FM radio and reasonably good MP3 player…with crossfade?!)
  • Amazfit Bip Notes: Notes on using this Father’s Day gift. Liking it so far…
  • Movie Enjoyment Framework: Notes on various ways in which to enjoy movies
  • GMRS Radio Framework: New framework; added information on GMRS regulations, costs, etc.
  • Ham Radio Logbook: Refined organization of my digital ham radio logbook
  • Handheld Ham Radio Notes: Added at-a-glance notes and tips covering various handheld radios, in one file for convenience. Deeper notes are available separately
  • Swan Astro 102 BX Transceiver Notes: Updated with results from using Swan ST-3 antenna tuner with random wire antenna
  • RadioShack Pro 23 Scanner Framework: Added new instructions for additional scanner features.
  • Clothing and Hat Care Framework: Added new results from hand-washing hats, making T-shirts with a paint marker, etc.
  • Walking Framework: Added new suggested experiments to try in order to increase overall satisfaction with comfort level while walking and hiking.
  • Diet Framework: Added new thoughts on exercising while on a heavy cut.
  • Movies I Like: New file created to review favorite films.

Phew! It’s a lot. I am gradually, slowly, publishing these online when I can, and when it makes sense to do so.

In the meantime: If you see something here that you like, start a file on it! Take the Ted Nelson lesson to heart. Dive in and take notes on what you learn. You can use my Unified Experiencing Template for this or any other note-taking system that you like.

Filed in: /41/ | /45/ | /25/ | /24/ | /33/ | /31/ | /21/

A Quick Productivity Tip: Talk to Yourself

Tuesday June 25, 2019

Here’s a productivity experiment to try: Lift up your phone and talk to yourself as if you’re taking a phone call. Talk about things you need to do. You’ll probably become a Temporary Te-dom (personality type) or at least a more extraverted person, and productivity should become a little easier.

I’ve written a little bit about this before, but this time I thought it deserved its own article.

If you need to do this while around other people, use third-person voice: “She told me she was having a hard time getting started today, so why don’t you have her fill out her journaling template when she gets back home, and see if that gives her some momentum?” See? That’s you talking about you.

This is an extraverted method, so it can be kind of hard to use when you’re locked up in The Silence due to information overload or other circumstances which cause a thick introversion to encroach like a fog. For this reason I like to pair it with a simple walk or a drive in the car. Some excuse to engage the senses in an extraverted manner. Seclusion is not always the INTJ’s friend, not by a long shot.

Thank goodness the appearance of talking to oneself is becoming so common these days. :-)

By the way, one thing I never expected as a coach is that a lot of people readily admit they get GREAT results from talking to themselves, but are afraid to continue the practice. They worry that A) it will make them crazy, or that B) it means they are crazy.

If you think you are experiencing concerning psychological problems, IMO it’s best to seek professional help, rather than discontinuing a helpful practice AND doing nothing to address the psychological issue that made you uncomfortable in the first place!

Filed in: /45/ | /25/ | /41/ | /22/ | /30/

Thank You for Sharing

Tuesday June 25, 2019

I’d like to take a moment to thank everybody who has so far shared articles from this blog. When I remember to check my server stats here, I see the referrals from other sites and it’s always kind of exciting. Sometimes in that “oh my god I’m such a fraud” sort of way, but mostly it’s a good thing.

Among other hurdles, I know that sharing informational resources with others may require you to break out of the “jealous knowledge-hoarder” role a bit and for that you have my admiration; it ain’t easy to read something new and potentially helpful, and then share it around, knowing that others may read it and catch up with you and then take over your niche, or whatever the feared result may be. ;-)

I’m working on a number of concurrent projects that will be of interest to readers, and while they move forward slowly, they do so across a broad front. During these in-between times, it’s been fun for me to share experiences and favorite lessons here, knowing based on feedback that they are well received.

So: Arigatou, obrigado, muchas gracias & danke. May we continue forward on this journey together and maybe even get to know each other a little bit over time.

Now hold my drink and check out this latest batch of music videos.

Filed in: /9/ | /4/ | /9/

Reading Reviews vs. Knowing the Thing

Tuesday June 25, 2019

One of the big risks taken by INTJs while embarking on a knowledge journey is relying on reviews to pick a product. We tend to really love reading reviews and we love for this activity to work with extra-high leverage in our favor.

If there’s something in our Amazon wish list, or if there’s some online course we’ve got sitting in the cart, or if there’s some higher-ed program we’re looking at, it’s likely due in large part to an inquiry into an external batch of perceptions.

This is why INTJs are some of the first people you’ll hear complaining about things like Amazon reviewers receiving products for free. The INTJ (as a type; individuals may vary) wants the review process to be pure, ethical, untainted. Writing a review is practically a sacred practice for us! We know this because we metabolize review content very easily and generally with high expectations.

And that’s one of our key cognitive shortcuts in action, our “hard science” of gaining “knowledge.” Quotes intentional.

You may recall that this can also open us up to manipulation, ridicule, and other revelations regarding one of our painful blind spots.

I mean I haven’t READ it, I just skimmed some reviews online, but from what I recall…

Reading a lot of reviews about a thing, or having general, abstract knowledge of a thing, can also trick us into believing that we have actually experienced the thing.

You’re probably already aware of the amazing aspects of this. The movie Flight of the Phoenix is a good example of the way this can work, if you’re familiar with the engineer character’s background (if not, watch it, both old & new versions are pretty good). Sometimes it’s enough to know the general theory. Especially when no one else has a clue. In these cases, information was efficiently gained and efficiently applied, and this is kind of an INTJ ideal. Too bad it can’t happen every time.

On the other side of that, there’s nothing like having some sense beat into you by reality when you go to apply knowledge that you gleaned from a bunch of reviews, or from skimming a bunch of books, or from watching a Youtube documentary at 1.5x speed. And on top of that, when you realize you are standing in company of experts. People who have probed depths of the thing. Perhaps even the very people you forgot that you watched in a video, with their words spitting out of your screen and sounding intensely intellectual. “Gee, you sounded a bit daft in real life; I didn’t even know it was you!”

(Is this hurting yet? Geez, it hurts me to write it!)

A Summary of Summaries

A while back I subscribed to a book summary service for executives, which in my mind’s eye unlocked potentially massive amounts of knowledge. Going into this, I remember thinking that I could acquire an incredible diversity of knowledge in a very efficient way, and thereby…

…meet some kind of goal? Never be unprepared? Be the best, like no one ever could? Hmm, something like that!

Anyway, I used the service for a while and then, like many other services and udemy accounts before it, it sat unused for a long time.

As it turns out, I didn’t need it. I’m glad I thought critically about the experience, but having such immediate access to such broad (and correspondingly shallow) reviews turned out to be a waste.

While the summaries were helpful and well-written, I think that kind of thing would be most useful for someone who’s always being tested on the latest trendy business or self-improvement books. Socially tested, probably. Maybe that person works in an NT organization. (This makes me weep a bit out of pity, because like any organization, NT organizations can have their own really cringy and even destructive customs, and I’ve experienced many of them. Every organization needs some flex and balance.)

How it Feels to know a thing

This brings me to something of which it’s helpful to be aware: This broad knowledge-seeking trait, the review-seeking, breezy knowledge buffet-seeking behavior, feeds into one of the INTJ’s core fears:

I can’t be caught dead not knowing about something.”

This, by itself, is frequently enough to prevent an INTJ from deepening their knowledge about things that are important to them. Being more analytical. Really getting into analysis and feeling proud of the accomplishment of creating or designing a unique framework or method.

Going a step beyond that subjective-analysis gift, I’d like to assert that to really know about something is akin to experiencing it via every single one of the Jungian functions.

To get hands-on. To get down and dirty. To imagine the thing. To feel it clashing with one’s own values, and to even watch those values shift as you gain experience with a personal system of values! To estimate the way it fits with societal standards. To visualize the way it will probably help you.

Such a standard is, among other things, appropriately humbling. You can master some things, but you probably can’t master all. Well, deal with it! Awareness is more empowering than an unsustainable goal of knowledge-perfection.

If we can’t be caught dead not knowing a thing,

(and I don’t recommend trying to run hard and fast away from that core fear,)

let us at least know what it is, or is not,

to really know a thing.

Suggested Exercises

  • Develop a standard for establishing the quality of a product as compared to your needs. This standard should work well in the absence of third-party reviews.
  • Think about products you purchased in the past, and about which you read reviews. Products which you would not purchase if you could go back in time. (the “reading reviews is my secret superpower” ego may get in the way, so try to keep a humble viewpoint)
  • Write a review on a thing. Keep the review to a “normal” length, say 250 to 500 words. As you write, think about the kind of people to whom the main points of your review wouldn’t really matter. Think about those to whom you would definitely recommend and the people to whom you would not recommend that thing.
  • Next time you buy something, establish subjective criteria on your own before you read any reviews. As you buy more of that type of thing, update your list of personal criteria with things you’ve learned from your subjective experience of that product or service.
  • When writing your next review, read and gauge the emotional or feeling-qualities of your critical voice. Professional critics usually develop a nuanced and even friendly tone. How could your voice be altered to convey a more educated or deeply-familiar tone? There are often members of a reviewer’s audience who will naturally come to an opposite appraisal, as their subjective experience or psychology differs.

Filed in: /22/ | /9/ | /30/ | /18/ | /5/

I think I might have an INTJ doctor, and what that means

Monday June 17, 2019

So I met with a new doctor last week and I have the sneaking suspicion that he’s an INTJ. I don’t know for sure, and I haven’t talked to him about MBTI or anything, but at this point my intuition is pretty strong.

(By the way, we’re a rare type but we’re not that rare. Our rarity varies depending on vocation, for one)

Here’s what I already really like about this prospect:

Similar Experiences

I can tell we’ve struggled with some of the same tendencies, health-wise. I brought in all of my supplements and showed them to him, and he immediately honed in on the sleep-related supplements and shared his experiences with insomnia.

Similar Approaches

He likes to learn new stuff, and teach other people about it, as a way of learning. That part is pretty clear. He had a white board and gave me a lesson about insomnia and sleep cycles.

He also uses a lot of metaphor in explaining things.

He’s also pretty open to approaches that are irrational. We INTJs like that stuff. It’s counter-intuitive? GREAT! Fantastic! We’ll remember it better that way and it excites us.

What ELSE an INTJ doctor means

Here’s where the idea of an INTJ doctor gives me pause. After our appointment I found that I was asking myself these concerning questions:

  • Is he the kind of INTJ who will shoot down new ideas that don’t fit his existing mental models, before really understanding them?
    • This is explained pretty well by Jung’s “introversion” model; introverts are generally de-energized by new stuff that comes at them, and it can make them grumpy, negative, etc.
  • Will he need to teach too much, preferring to teach from his past experience rather than listening?
    • Again, will this prevent him or me from making important progress, or finding out new stuff that might be new to us both?
  • If I teach him anything due to my measurements and experiences (I’m an INTJ, there’s ALWAYS a chance of this), how will he take that? Will it hurt his pride?
  • If I learn something from a different source, or take a different course of action based on different feedback from other professionals, will this make him retreat emotionally and become aloof?

…those are just some of the concerns. So you can see: I’m not super excited to have an INTJ doctor or anything like that, except in the sense of having access to his past and things he’s learned. That part is awesome. But if he’s not open to new information, or if his ego is defensive regarding how much he knows/doesn’t know, that could really suck.

What you want in a doctor is someone who’s an awesome human being. Well-rounded, healthy, and willing to listen & help. Type is only part of the picture.

It’s nice, though, to be able to hear about his experiences and metaphors and kind of immediately understand what he’s saying, and on top of that to see how I can immediately put it into practice. He’s already shared with me some sleep tricks that I’m trying out.

He does want me to get off the sleep supplements:

  • Melatonin: let’s let your body produce that naturally.
  • Doxylamine: If you wake up too early, put on a boring podcast or lecture or audio book. Listen to it.
  • Overall: Ramp down before your sleep. Bananas, nuts, and milk all have tryptophan in them. Don’t watch stressful movies or TV shows. Go to bed at a good time.

I tried this for a couple of nights and promptly f’ed up my mood something severe. It was not cool. So for now I’m kind of doing a mix of all that stuff and planning on a slow ramp-down toward better natural sleep.

For example, I can write 700 to 2000 words before bed and sleep pretty well, usually. It’s annoying, but it helps.

Going to bed early helps me out, too.

So I’m still going to play with his ideas, adding in some of my own. Even if he didn’t tell me why he wants me off doxylamine (I’m a grump about this because I read the literature too, and IDK what the big deal is based on what I saw), he did give me some new general ideas to pursue.

Filed in: /23/

Weight Loss Milestone Reached; Reflections

Monday June 17, 2019

So, just as planned, and still with much difficulty, I managed to hit 203 lbs. on Saturday for a total of 8 lbs. lost so far.

Spreadsheet screenshot showing weight loss progress and chart

“Just as planned.” Sheesh.

This has been much harder than I thought it would be. Which is funny, given that I’ve lost 100 lbs. before. However, I’m a stress eater and my stress levels have been high lately. Also it’s been a few years now. I readily admit that I forgot some of those weight loss tools I used before.

Why so much stress?

Lately I’ve been pressing a lot of life’s buttons all at once. Let’s change this thing over here, that one over there, and why not do all of that at the same time.

However, I love change when I see some leverage in it. When I catch the vision of a possibility for some positive change that will give me superior results, I need to chase it!

Of course, if you’ve ever done that thing where you press all the buttons on a device with buttons, you know it can wear down the battery. The battery then requires a charge, and this particular battery is known to accept food in place of electricity.

In fact I’d like to claim that I resemble Mr. Fusion a bit. Put some junk in me, that’s fine! Boom, OK, that was a good quick fix. Emotionally, anyway. It’s comforting.

I do have some tools to work on the stress, however I’m making an exchange of stress for growth. So I’m not terribly worried about the stress for now. I have lots of tools for dealing with stress on a day to day basis, I’m healthy overall, I’m told my blood pressure is great, etc.

Reflecting on lessons learned

Here’s what I’ve learned since the last diet update:

  • I am virtually hopeless in the presence of donuts. I will mentally shift any and all caloric-intake plans to accommodate donuts. After eating a couple of donuts, I’m thinking, “wow, suddenly I have only 200 calories left for dinner.”
  • However, I’m glad I can do that and still hit my weight loss goals. That’s something worth acknowledging, I think. Persistence is paying off.
  • Measurement is still hard. It’s not easy to just jump on the scale, when you have every reason to believe you’ll weigh the same—or more!!! See graph above—than you did the day before. But it’s still important.
  • Exercise still helps a lot. Even though I can lose weight without moving around much, just by dropping calories from my meal plans, I feel good when I exercise and it helps motivate me to stay on track.
  • I do tend to celebrate a little early. This can slow down my progress.
  • I did receive some archetypal help when I took a phone call from several inner archetypes recently. They told me:
    • You need to be mind-mapping more (I’ve developed some extensions for this, and it does help)
    • Turn on some relaxing music during the day
    • Overall things are OK and I’m doing well
  • I also met with some new-to-me figures of the subconscious and I am really enjoying learning what they stand for. One of them in particular…a long-distance hiker and walker with a wooden walking stick, an older gentleman who is very well conditioned. This one was inspiring and I’m still unpacking that.
    • Overall these new figures seem to represent the figures which are useful to someone who is succeeding at their goals and making good progress. This realization made me very happy inside.

So, my next milestone is going to be 201 lbs. I will aim to hit this milestone by Saturday, June 29.

That’s a big step down, mentally. I can feel the stress and mental resistance already.

Filed in: /20/ | /20/ | /25/ | /21/ | /7/ | /15/

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