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Things I'm Changing in Order to Change Myself

Thursday April 20, 2017

OK, this is some more Ti fun with some definite extraversion thrown in. So be warned, your built in, INTJ “is that really a good idea?” perceiver alarms might go off.

Me, I’m just over here trying stuff.

But here are some things I have altered lately:

  • The way I name things
  • The accessories I wear
  • My handwriting
  • My voice
  • My worlds

The way I name things
When I have fun new ideas for things, I now get way more into them and give them project names. My new weight loss plan for the summer? “Astronaut Camp.” The name was originally 90% fun and 10% a reminder to keep a formal chart of how I’m doing. I’m two weeks into it, and now I find myself looking further into the astronaut archetype for guidance. For example, I might ask myself, “how would a healthy astronaut deal with this situation at work?” And of course I’m suddenly interested in watching more Star Trek. This is funny. And good. My past self was far too emotional and simply not astronaut enough.

Also this kind of subjective naming process gets me into Dymaxion territory, which is perfect. I hope to be inventing some Dymaxion-like names soon, because A) that is a seriously cool name and B) Buckminster Fuller is a very INTJ-attractive historical figure.

The accessories I wear
I find myself looking for ways to remind myself to be more of a chart-and-spreadsheet guy, I think because I get so much benefit from that. So as a sort of reminder of that, I bought a new calculator watch (non-affiliate link). I still have my old calculator watch (I have a small watch collection), but this one is better. And it’s got a data bank built in, which is officially meant for phone numbers, but I put it into use for tracking my calories and hydration levels. I mean, if you get 8 full alphanumeric characters and a ton of digits, and you know how to write shorthand, there is no limit. I’m looking forward to using this watch more, and it definitely works as a reminder to be more head-focused and maybe a bit less heart-focused for now.

Anybody else using the data bank watch this way? Let me know, email’s in the sidebar. Or just let me know what watch you like for nerd purposes, and why.

My handwriting
It sucks to have to tell you this, but I am almost done with my handwriting analyst certification. Why does it suck to have to tell you this? Well, to many INTJs, this is pseudoscience at best. But let me just say that if you feel that way, I used to too, and after actually going through the experience, I think that pseudo-scientific perception (remember, INTJ perception is a very subjective cognitive function) deserves some extraversion. Handwriting analysis definitely seems to be intractable to science, but I don’t really care about that, at least not any more than I care about personality typology being intractable to science. (I do have my own qualitative framework for experiencing and then gauging this stuff, and I think you should too.)

Anyway one of the “reminder” things you can do via handwriting (similar to my calculator watch) is to change aspects of your handwriting to more closely align with the person you want to become.

Now, as a graphic designer: This makes total sense. Graphology doesn’t even figure into that assessment.

So I have started modifying my handwriting to be a bit more aggressive and angular, large, and I’m modifying that darn capital M which has always bugged me. Turns out it was a very low-confidence M. So we’ll see how this goes.

Maybe this is mad science, which has always been more fair to the subjective world, methinks.

Oh and I’m kind of thinking I might go full graphologist. Not sure yet. I joined AHAF and if it seems interesting to you, I have to say it’s a very well-run organization with gobs of resources and interesting meet-ups.

To balance that out, I also joined NSS and am SO pumped to get involved with “space stuff”.

(Can you see how all of this interest-chasing is helping me conquer depression? Seriously, it works. At the end of even the worst day I always have my interests to catch up on.)

My Voice
I once received a life-changing compliment on a conference call with a group in Ireland. The US rep who was working there chuckled a bit and said, “everybody here thinks your voice is very soothing and pleasant.” You never forget stuff like that.

Just recently, I had noticed that my voice pitch shot through the roof under stress. So, if I’m changing my handwriting…why not aim for a low voice as a way of possibly controlling my mental game on phone calls?

I’m trying it.

BTW this stuff is not going to change overnight, so please don’t misunderstand me as a guy who’s about to leap off a tall building wearing a self-improvement cape. I’m mainly excited about the ideas at this point, really, but I expect to give them some time and see how they go.

And finally…

My Worlds
In my introvert retraining process, in which I intentionally realigned myself with the healthy INTJ model, I kept reading that introverts have a “rich inner world.” This bugged me, because what was that supposed to mean? I had no idea. I feel like my inner world was mostly just other peoples’ ideas floating around.

But now I think I’m starting to get it. But only after I started world-building. And then exploring those worlds.

Well, you can only do that in your head.

And to make a long story short, one of those worlds has a rather advanced medical science institute with amazing staff. And whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, a bit depressed, or whatever, I intentionally make a little visit to that place and get some ideas on how I should be recuperating. And every time, it makes me feel better, faster.

Now just in the last couple of weeks, my subconscious has kind of latched onto this place. I know this because it suddenly brought the institute building to the forefront of my mind one afternoon, and I thought, “why would that place come to mind? Am I feeling kind of down and out?” And I was! My subconscious told me what needed to happen via mental imagery before I consciously figured out how I was feeling. Pretending I was in a medical bed, I watched some interesting Youtube videos and took a nap in a hammock, which are, confidentially, steps 1 & 2 of my personal anti-depression framework.

That was a pretty neat experience. I’ll keep developing the rich inner world, and I highly recommend world-building as at least one aspect of it. (I have at least a descriptive text file and maybe a digitally-drawn map of each of these worlds on file.)

I should also mention that the subjective inner world-building really spurs some more objective research as well. I find myself establishing space stations, asking myself what science is carried out within, and then learning new things about e.g. exobiology.

Some Final Words
Why do I feel the need to change myself? There is a bit of a cultural stigma about that, I think. Why not just be OK with who I am, and accept myself?

I think broad wording like “change myself” can cause trouble. Because I think there’s a sort of culturally-obvious, intuitive answer, which is “I must therefore be hating who I am right now,” but is really not as accurate as it needs to be. In fact what I’m doing is aligning myself more closely with my natural gifts, instead of trying to be more “normal” or spending lots of energy to fit some less-comfortable cultural norm.

So maybe my best answer for now is, “I already tried changing myself, I found a healthy direction in which to change, it worked wonders, and now I want to do more of it.”

Filed in: Ti /29/ | Openness /49/ | Interests /111/

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