Let's Assess Your Overall Energy Level
Thursday January 31, 2019
“I want to say, “I don’t have enough energy,” but I’ve also got a sense that that’s not exactly it. I bet you might have a helpful angle to consider it from?”
Mike—email me more about this when you can: We need more info to work with. But for now: Let’s start by assessing your overall personal energy level according to the Guide model I have developed for this purpose, seen below.
A. Energy-Reactives: Levels 1-3
Energy-Reactives are characterized by sharp “reactions” to questions surrounding the concept of energy. You might say that an Energy-Reactive is a black-and-white thinker with regard to energy, as a whole.
Energy-Reactives aren’t only characterized by negative feelings about energy. They might also completely overshoot the nuance of energy with a blunt sense of “want more”. For example, while “I don’t need more energy, I need more money and a peaceful cabin in the woods” might be something you’d hear from an Energy-Reactive, on the complete opposite pole, “I NEED MORE OF THIS ENERGY AHHH, GOOD LORD THIS FEELS AMAZING” could also be the sort of thing you hear from an Energy-Reactive.
One trap here for INTJs is to watch out for the intersection of extraverted feeling and the topic of energy. “This is ridiculous, some kind of crystal healer stuff” is an example of this kind of reactive-type statement from the INTJ psychology. Speaking broadly, every personality type will react in different ways.
At this level the individual is typically not aware that they need more energy. They suffer for a cure, but they probably do not know that the problem can be framed as an “energy problem.”
The ER1 mainly “reacts” to energy states and notices the follow-on consequences. They do not realize that their desperate need for attention to energy levels causes them to contribute less to relationships than is warranted. Others frequently see them as someone who is hurtful or harmful in relationships, a sort of relationship-energy vampire. Always making withdrawals; never really contributing back. Friendships don’t seem to work out. Family relationships are typically strained or seem far too limited.
At this level, attention to the need for energy is the goal. The cure is simple: Give the problem more attention. Pay attention to your energy levels and needs.
It is important to recognize that this type of person is full of potential energy. They are an inefficient energy system and do not seem to store energy.
An INTJ at this stage typically appears very “stock” in the sense that they do not seem to be converging toward a new level of development where some of the best characteristics of all personality types can be seen. This INTJ may have lots of knowledge, but cannot efficiently or effectively bring this knowledge to society’s benefit.
INTJs in this position will typically have some concern with or interest in areas related to energy, as their intuition sends them fascinating energy-related signals via metaphor. They have opinions on various sources of power—solar, wind, nuclear, etc. But they have not made the metaphorical connection and probably even resist it.
At Energy-Reactive 2, the individual is giving their energy levels low amounts of conscious attention, typically through some level of interest- or hobby-seeking behavior. This is really, really healthy and will benefit this individual the more the practice is expanded and protected.
For example, the ER2 may be attending classes, meeting up with friends in public places, keeping a blog, playing sports, or engaging in new social experiences. This stage is still marked by low energy compared to potential levels of energy, and relatively inefficient energy use, and yet the individual is motivated and pushing themselves to be open to new experiences.
Energy-related activities are not seen in helpful contexts like “investments” or “health regimen,” but are rather “shoulds” that have “helped others”.
INTJs at this level are engaged and yet seem detached more often than other participants would like. At this stage it is important for the INTJ to know that they are growing in a positive way. Reinforcement is crucial to prevent a backslide. Too much extraversion or attention to social progress can easily backfire and have drastic effects on energy levels.
While lacking a wider body of energy experience, this person has started recording their thoughts and feelings when energy is high, low, so-so, etc.
This person has begun to note a range of possible physical stimulant-experiences and is forming a nuanced plan to explore their effect. For example, if they haven’t ever had a ride in a convertible car on a warm summer day with the top down, they start by asking a friend if they can take a ride in their convertible sometime, rather than running out to buy a convertible.
An INTJ at this level is beginning to connect the concept of “interests” with the concept of “energy”. They understand that they need and want a certain amount of energy. They start to toy with the idea of turning down some experiences in favor of other experiences that bring them more of what they want.
This individual doggedly protects their energy and confidence, and is defensive regarding potential energy-depleting experiences. They have not yet learned to engage in social dialogue regarding energy, and thus may come off as “weird” to others when they put their foot down in this way.
Next steps: This individual should be actively engaging an externalized thought process with regard to energy. They should be writing, or discussing, or otherwise outwardly noting their status with regard to energy. They should be developing a nuanced plan to seek more energy.
B. Energy Seekers: Levels 1-3
Energy Seekers are characterized by the integration of the concept of energy. The concept itself has reached a point of clear consciousness. These individuals own their personal process of energy investment and prospecting.
An INTJ at the Seeker level will generally seem less critical or skeptical than the INTJ stereotype, though they have really just achieved a better sense of balance.
Energy Seeker 1
At this level the individual is beginning to compare their past energy levels to their present energy levels (and future, desired energy levels) more frequently. They are becoming very open-minded, though they may still be caught off guard by times of exhaustion. They seek a “feeling” they had in the past. If they can just get that feeling back, they reason, they’ll feel great all the time!
This individual makes constructive contributions to positive social efforts when they can. When they cannot, the are more likely to take a nuanced view of the situation and find constructive ways to withdraw for now or switch to a new or different energy context.
This individual typically feels like they struggle to make progress in expressing all of the energy that they have or want to have. They have not yet grasped the nature of the development of a body of energy systems, as opposed to a broad set of energy outputs and inputs.
Energy Seeker 2
This person is beginning recognize the “middle ground” as something that can be reflected upon, massaged, and worked with to further their body of motivational experience. They periodically reflect and capitalize on past energy-experiences.
The ES2 is actively making plans for experiments and learning experiences that can greatly enhance their long-term access to energy. They typically fear missing out on some point of knowledge.
This person has learned to analyze and can easily hold their thoughts and mood up for examination. They have achieved a high qualitative standard for analytical thought. Others typically comment on their “wisdom” and may say things like, “I wish I could be more like you.”
Energy Seeker 3
With a comfortable body of experience, the ES3 is frequently rating their energy and assigning it levels in outward, if abstract, ways. For example, rather than rating it on a scale of 1-10, they may assign it a color, or a list of words.
The ES3 has access to a deep pool of rich and varied experience. They have a sense for their own level of energy within any given context, and can easily call out and begin to analyze new or different types of energy experiences. Their response to changing energy levels is automatic and intuitive.
By this level the individual has typically reached several large and important milestones. For example, maybe it has been 2 years since their last point of true exhaustion, or they haven’t been sick in 6 months even though they suffer from an autoimmune condition. This doesn’t mean they can’t get sick, just that their pattern has changed dramatically. They cannot think about it without knowing they are in a different place now.
C. Energy Sources: Levels 1-3
Why Energy Sources? We’re actually all energy sources at some level, but Energy Sources see themselves as energy “inputs” that are able to provide energy back into a system, want to do so as much as possible, and have the energy resources at hand to do so. This last point is very important in differentiating the ES level.
INTJs at this level may seem daunting to approach in the hallway, or difficult to engage in skeptical discussion. They are generally calm and open and more intrigued by things like group energy.
They are also still introverts! I hope to make it clear for the Energy-Reactives that the point is not to become a superhuman or anything like that. Calm, patient progress should show clearly superior results, however.
Energy Source 1
This person is the new beneficiary of a rich “farm” of energy investments. Seeing the world as exciting and interesting is the norm, even if there are occasional low points.
This person is beginning to teach people about energy in ways that anyone can understand and adapt. As they teach, they are able to recognize and adapt to the kinds of energy that their audience needs.
Even so, one of the biggest missteps the ES1 can make is to attempt to be someone who can provide energy for anyone. They may find themselves feeling depressed and hypocritical after attempting to do so. They may feel like a fool or a fraud and wonder what to do about it.
The ES1 is very analytical and observational. They have an intuitive sense for “the best” in those with whom they relate. They see things worth emulating in just about anyone.
Energy Source 2
Having learned some very difficult life lessons, this person is ready to contribute to society at large. They are forming and organizing their own energy or energy-related models. They are a patient teacher, happy to refer students to the energy sources that seem best, even if not their own.
Abstracting and applying these lessons forward to other areas of life, this person is beginning a careful deconstruction of long-cherished contexts. They may suffer through reexaminations of some set of their core beliefs. They seek new ways of quickly and effectively lifting others to high energy levels without causing a harsh reaction.
This individual has frequently built up a body of secret work. They clearly understand society’s harsh reaction to some of the energy expressions of which they are capable.
Energy Source 3
The ES3 is making investments in their physical appearance, if they haven’t already. For example, an INTJ at this level will have converged upon a sort of palette of appearance-modifiers which affect their personal energy, rather than just a favorite type of clothing.
The ES3 often fears falling backward, as they ponder the more existential aspects of life. They realize they are not going to be flying around in a cape anytime soon, but they feel they have much to give, and others frequently tell them so. Their first steps into the Energy Guide level are promising though typically very frustrating.
In truth, each level of growth represents an exchange of energy. The concept of sacrifice is deeply understood by the individual at this point. They know more about trust and social support than they ever have before.
An INTJ at this level has in many cases almost no outward resemblance to the type-identified INTJ. They are effectively and intuitively switching between types with fluency and may be mistaken for the ENTP, ESFP, even ESFJ, etc. Others frequently misinterpret their type—these are type-identifiers who lack a mental model for type development.
D. Energy Guides: Levels 1-3
Energy Guides are generally the most effective teachers of the sustainability and energy-production aspects of the human race. Regardless of their philosophy, creed, or style of teaching, they help humanity in the prospective-intuitive sense of discovering new energy, and in the directive-intuitive sense of converging upon humanity’s possible (and even likely) best future.
Energy Guides in the human race are rare, but it is my belief that this status is changing over time as we come to better understand ourselves in the context of energy.
Energy Guide 1
This individual is becoming a symbol for others. They are learning that their being imparts energy to others in obvious ways, and they are taking a more nuanced view of this effect than the standard stratified-society view.
This individual sees that they may be responsible for or capable of sparking greater movements in society. Their opinions are sought out and often unconsciously polarized, making them spread more effectively. They see how far others need to travel to get where they want to be with their own energy levels. For this reason they are filled with compassion for others.
This individual may have prominent enemies and yet probably feels that their greatest enemy is time.
[To be continued as time allows]
Energy: I’m out of energy myself, after committing this to a blog post. More later!
Dr. Terry Wahls and INTJ Life Magic →
By the way: Vlad Tenev, Roaring Kitty (Same Person?) →
"You gotta blow peoples' minds" -- Justin Willman →
A Basic Creative Anchor: Hope →
What You Been Up To? March 2021 →
Things I Made for You
Own your procrastination with Whole Productivity, a new system → Get my free INTJ COVID-19 Guide → Explore your gifts with my INTJ Workbook → Other Publications → ...and the fake word of the hour: "Naerfing." I think this is related to a feeling of a loss of control.