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Thread: Question for ESIs-ISFjs about long-term planning and foresight

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    Default Question for ESIs-ISFjs about long-term planning and foresight

    There don't seem to be many ISFjs on this forum but if you are one (or aren't but have an answer), I was wondering how ISFjs plan... are they likely to plan ahead for the long-term? How would the way they plan and their use of foresight differ from LIEs and ILIs? Are there (or rather 'what are') notable patterns or distinctions between the planning tactics of Gammas with in the ego block and Gammas with in the super id block? I'd appreciate any thoughts you have.

    My question is mainly just prompted by someone I know in RL who I think is an ISFj... there's not much to it other than simple curiosity.

    Part of this is also prompted by thinking about foresight and the relevance it could have to type. I mean, everyone needs to be able to plan ahead to some extent... so I don't see why foresight would be isolated to the realm of or -valuing quadras... Another way to put it would be to ask what is unique about the "farsightedness" of an ego as compared to other types?

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    While ISFjs and ENTjs (as couples, or business partners, w/e) will have the same goals and values, the ISFj is much better at dealing with present concerns, and the ENTj is far, far better at dealing with future matters.

    I am apparently ISFj, and I deal with a future goal worrying and vastly overcompensating for anything that could go wrong, OR by not worrying at all and dismissing important factors, which can lead to disaster. And it's hard for me to grasp why I succeed at times, and why I fail at times, so I chalk it up to a matter of "willpower" and I itemize important Ni information into Se information that I can more easily comprehend (The Art of War is a good example of turning Ni into Se for ISTjs and ISFjs to understand, lol).

    Addressing what you said about forethought, you're right that forethought isn't limited to , but foresight is, if that makes sense. I have plenty of forethought, but when it comes to foresight I have to deal with it by setting up Se "barricades" against future dangers, whereas an ENTj would be more likely to be able to avoid the danger all-together (and explain their reasoning in a way that makes sense to the ISFj, who can then relax and have fun with their 8th function with no worries).

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    I agree with what Peter (discojoe) said. I'd like to add that in order to understand a type's hidden agenda, you also have to understand their PoLR.

    Without a Ni type there to provide direction, ESI's tend to have a hard time forming long term plans and goals. They are very uncomfortable without some type of long term plan, but they're not confident in making those plans for themselves. When they try, they just think of all of this stuff that could go wrong with every idea they come up with, and it's not easy for them to sort through which scenarios are most likely to develop and what can be done to deal with problems that may arise. When they try to think of how to deal potential problems, they just end up thinking of the many ways that could go wrong, too. It's easy for them to let their imaginations get the best of them.

    To avoid this extremely stressful experience, some ESI's deal with the perceived ambiguity of the future by making rash decisions without giving it much thought (for a more detailed description of this, see the wiki), and some deal with it by not doing anything. If it's possible to do so, they may end up putting big/life decisions off indefinitely because they don't want have to think about it. I have known a few of ESI's who have, for lack of any better ideas, lived at their parents' house and went from one job to the next, none of which served any type of long term benefit. They went to school on and off as well, but their classes may or may not have provided any long term value. One of them has finally picked a program (network administration) and stuck with it, and last I heard he'll be done with school soon. He's 29 now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe
    I am apparently ISFj, and I deal with a future goal worrying and vastly overcompensating for anything that could go wrong, OR by not worrying at all and dismissing important factors, which can lead to disaster. And it's hard for me to grasp why I succeed at times, and why I fail at times, so I chalk it up to a matter of "willpower" and I itemize important Ni information into Se information that I can more easily comprehend (The Art of War is a good example of turning Ni into Se for ISTjs and ISFjs to understand, lol).
    That sounds perfect, especially the willpower bit, but can you give examples of this "Ni into Se" conversion? Also from the Art of War, if you can think of any?


    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe
    Addressing what you said about forethought, you're right that forethought isn't limited to , but foresight is, if that makes sense. I have plenty of forethought, but when it comes to foresight I have to deal with it by setting up Se "barricades" against future dangers, whereas an ENTj would be more likely to be able to avoid the danger all-together (and explain their reasoning in a way that makes sense to the ISFj, who can then relax and have fun with their 8th function with no worries).
    Again perfect, but can you give examples of what you call "Se barricades"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Expat
    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe
    I am apparently ISFj, and I deal with a future goal worrying and vastly overcompensating for anything that could go wrong, OR by not worrying at all and dismissing important factors, which can lead to disaster. And it's hard for me to grasp why I succeed at times, and why I fail at times, so I chalk it up to a matter of "willpower" and I itemize important Ni information into Se information that I can more easily comprehend (The Art of War is a good example of turning Ni into Se for ISTjs and ISFjs to understand, lol).
    That sounds perfect, especially the willpower bit, but can you give examples of this "Ni into Se" conversion? Also from the Art of War, if you can think of any?
    Like writing literally everything in a personal agenda?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Expat
    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe
    I am apparently ISFj, and I deal with a future goal worrying and vastly overcompensating for anything that could go wrong, OR by not worrying at all and dismissing important factors, which can lead to disaster. And it's hard for me to grasp why I succeed at times, and why I fail at times, so I chalk it up to a matter of "willpower" and I itemize important Ni information into Se information that I can more easily comprehend (The Art of War is a good example of turning Ni into Se for ISTjs and ISFjs to understand, lol).
    That sounds perfect, especially the willpower bit, but can you give examples of this "Ni into Se" conversion? Also from the Art of War, if you can think of any?

    Well, The Art of War is one big book of foresight, and the advice offered is done through the "rl" analogy of ground warfare. Se will tend to default to a direct course of action and need Ni to circumvent disasters. TAoW advises things like make sure all military operations last a short time to minimize resource expenditure, and to hire guides in alien lands so you can be closest to resources and least vulnerable.


    Quote Originally Posted by Expat
    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe
    Addressing what you said about forethought, you're right that forethought isn't limited to , but foresight is, if that makes sense. I have plenty of forethought, but when it comes to foresight I have to deal with it by setting up Se "barricades" against future dangers, whereas an ENTj would be more likely to be able to avoid the danger all-together (and explain their reasoning in a way that makes sense to the ISFj, who can then relax and have fun with their 8th function with no worries).
    Again perfect, but can you give examples of what you call "Se barricades"?
    Se barricades are what I do to prepare for every worst case scenario. This is why I have trouble in RTS games.

    I see any kind of "strategizing" as being too deeply buried in chaos theory to help me, so instead of trying to find out the most likely threats in a situation I just sit in my base and build a giant wall around all my units and buildings and amass a huge army (and I actually find this more fun, though I never win).

    Books like TAoW help me make sense of these chaotic situations so I have some sense of what to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe

    Se barricades are what I do to prepare for every worst case scenario. This is why I have trouble in RTS games.

    I see any kind of "strategizing" as being too deeply buried in chaos theory to help me, so instead of trying to find out the most likely threats in a situation I just sit in my base and build a giant wall around all my units and buildings and amass a huge army (and I actually find this more fun, though I never win).

    Books like TAoW help me make sense of these chaotic situations so I have some sense of what to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe
    Se barricades are what I do to prepare for every worst case scenario. This is why I have trouble in RTS games.

    I see any kind of "strategizing" as being too deeply buried in chaos theory to help me, so instead of trying to find out the most likely threats in a situation I just sit in my base and build a giant wall around all my units and buildings and amass a huge army (and I actually find this more fun, though I never win).

    Books like TAoW help me make sense of these chaotic situations so I have some sense of what to do.
    Right, I see. And it's consistent with what we've discussed earlier: either prepare for every worst case scenario, or not to prepare at all, thinking that everything will be ok.

    And that's perhaps the explanation for the sometimes perceived so-called "bipolarity" of ISFjs: they are assuming that everything is under control and fine, so they have no barriers at all; then something happens to show that no, it's more "chaotic" than they thought, so they so an U-turn and erect those Se barricades for worst-case scenario. For an outside observer, those U-turns may look bipolar.
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    Would it also be like an ISFj to find a tried and true method, process, or something of the like that they feel best ensures that it will cover every potential problem that could arise when there are too many loose variables?

    Are ISFjs likely to make lists or tables of what to do when? It seems that (when planning) making out a table, and thinking through it, might convert what's in the realm of Ni (or even Ne) into something more concrete.

    You could prepare for how to cover eventualities, translating the abstract possibilities into concrete Se things to do to make sure each eventuality doesn't happen (or does in the way you want it to)... then having made a list of these things to do, you can then think about when to do them and add times onto the list. Then it's concrete (rather than abstract), is a process that can be followed for similar situations, and if it works out in planning (with some tinkering) can become a tried and true method.

    I realize this is vague, but does that resonate with any ISFjs here (Discojoe or Diana), or seem like something an ISFj might do?

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    If it's seen as beneficial I might do something like that. Otherwise I tend to just wing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Expat
    And that's perhaps the explanation for the sometimes perceived so-called "bipolarity" of ISFjs: they are assuming that everything is under control and fine, so they have no barriers at all; then something happens to show that no, it's more "chaotic" than they thought, so they so an U-turn and erect those Se barricades for worst-case scenario. For an outside observer, those U-turns may look bipolar.
    This might explain a large part of my personality.

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    Default ISFjs: making long-term plans and sticking to them

    Hello, I am an ISFj and need advice. I am horrible at making longterm plans, and need to find a way to overcome this. I had set some goals for myself last year, but now I can't fulfill them - AGAIN.

    How do gamma NT's make plans and stick to them?

    Also, do you think ISFjs have any unique strengths and weaknesses to offer the working world? Especially any potentially lucrative ones? :wink:
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    i make plans by not restricting myself to them.

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    if there is something I need done, what I do is I imagine the events unfolding before me. I imagine in time, me doing them. Then I have somewhere to go, I know what to do. Doing becomes easier. If you don't know where you're going, how do you expect to get there? you'll be lost daydreaming, you won't know where to start.... and you'll never start.
    When you imagine the events unfolding, it has to be specific. Step by step, to the detail, what you would do if... theoretically, you were to get off your lazy ass and do these things
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazedrat
    if there is something I need done, what I do is I imagine the events unfolding before me. I imagine in time, me doing them. Then I have somewhere to go, I know what to do. Doing becomes easier. If you don't know where you're going, how do you expect to get there? you'll be lost daydreaming, you won't know where to start.... and you'll never start.
    When you imagine the events unfolding, it has to be specific. Step by step, to the detail, what you would do if... theoretically, you were to get off your lazy ass and do these things
    Thanks. I find it helpful to imagine myself doing those things in advance, too. It helps me decide if I want to commit to the goal or not. It also helps with achieving high performance.

    I work hard at the things I decide to do. But it seems like relational priorities and pragmatic concerns always crop up after launching toward longterm goals. Then I have to change goal posts because I can't ignore those concerns, and then I don't get very far. My main problem has been setting and achieving satisfactory academic and career goals (with enough time, money, manageable scheduling, travel, etc. vs. balancing relationships and what I believe would be truly helpful and satisfying work).
    ISFj-Fi

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    In what way are you bad at making long term plans?

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe
    It what way are you bad at making long term plans?
    I feel cosmically hexed or something. Whenever I try working towards something long range, at some point my plans must change and I hate that. Fi dominant sucks 'cause I must stay true to my personal priorities - yet, at times it can feel like sifting sand as relationships come and go, career/hobby interests come and go, etc. A lack of resources to continue toward my goal is also an ongoing theme.

    All I know is that there is something very wrong with me that is not also wrong with most people who are able to set long term goals and follow through. There's always "something" that gets in the way. I just wonder how other people do it.
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    by imagine i didnt mean think. I meant literally imagine.. like have a daydream about you doing what you want to do. it programs you
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    If you think relationships are more important than academic and career success, you're right. So it's perfectly normal that you can't cut them off in order to become a super achieving robot. Basically, you need to incorporate what you deem as worthy in your plans, otherwise they're bound to fail (rightfully). I've never failed anything at things I really liked, enjoyed and was good at. When it's like that, you won't need to write down anything simply because you'll like what you're doing.

    Personally, I don't make any set-in-stone long-term plan. It's useless, you never know what life might throw at you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spritz
    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe
    It what way are you bad at making long term plans?
    I feel cosmically hexed or something. Whenever I try working towards something long range, at some point my plans must change and I hate that. Fi dominant sucks 'cause I must stay true to my personal priorities - yet, at times it can feel like sifting sand as relationships come and go, career/hobby interests come and go, etc. A lack of resources to continue toward my goal is also an ongoing theme.

    All I know is that there is something very wrong with me that is not also wrong with most people who are able to set long term goals and follow through. There's always "something" that gets in the way. I just wonder how other people do it.
    I might know what you mean. With me, I am unhappy unless there is an ambitious longterm goal to word toward. I have to feel like I'm pushing myself somehow or there is no satisfaction in anything.

    It sounds like you may just be making goals and taking on new hobbies just for the sake of doing it, but since they're not really things you want to be doing, you perhaps unconsciously sabotage your own efforts, which could be the "cosmic hex" you referred to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diana
    Why do you feel like you have to set goals?
    Immediate, serious financial need as well as achieving longterm sustainability.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diana
    The things that are important to you won't go away. If they're important, they'll continue to be important, even if they have to be put on the back burner for awhile. Have you felt like you've had to give some things up to be where you are now? How valuable were those things? What I've found happening in my life is that I've put things aside to focus on other things, but if what I put aside meant something to me - it'll crop up again at a later time. As an example: I was saving up money for flight lessons back when I was 19, and I gave up all of those savings for something else. Eight years later I was able to pick up and start flying, and then again something happened and I had to stop, this time for 2 years, but I started again. If it's not important and doesn't add to your life, it'll fade away, you won't remember it or hold onto it.
    OK, that helps to remember.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diana
    I would recommend trying something scary - Don't take a systematic approach. Don't create long-term goals. What you're doing today might just be a passing fancy- like you said hobbies and interests shift, career goals change. Try to focus just a step or two ahead. It can be uncomfortable and frustrating to know that you don't know where the path leads - like you're walking blind, and you desparately want to see where you're going so you can make a beeline there. But the thing is - you are walking on "shifting sands" and a path that is leading north might be leading south sometime later down the road.
    That IS scary - the only scary thing I could think of doing, because it sounds like doing nothing. Unfortunately I do not have that luxury. I'm in a deep hole and must do something drastic and longterm to climb out. And I need to be responsible to my accumulated debts for the first path thrown off course. Plus, this is the best time in my life to make a serious change, as it will impact the rest of my life in terms of work, finances and subsequent lifestyle.

    One of the biggest things on my mind now is how to develop new skills in order to find a new profession to generate sufficient income. (Yes, I've already cutback on lifestyle budgeting to a bare minimum. Can't raise a family on this someday. Can't even support myself now!) So basically, all this leads to a need for a new educational goal and commitment to follow through. The last one didn't work out and I keep kicking myself for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diana
    The thing that gets to me though, is what if I miss out on something, what if I don't make plans and so end up going nowhere? I think however, that if you're always moving forward always advancing and growing and listening to what you really want you'll move and grow towards where you want to be, rather than chasing the shadow you drew in your plans that may have ceased to reflect you, the person.
    I loved the way you wrote that, Diana. Yes, that is my fear - going nowhere, etc. But you're right - there may not necessarily be any virtue in following an old plan formulated by an old me. But that makes me feel ... unreliable as a person. So maybe part of the problem is this deep guilt I'm realizing I have over some recent changes in my life. Thanks for sharing. You're helping unearth some of this inside so I can figure out what's going on!

    Quote Originally Posted by Diana
    BTW, this is the exact opposite that most self-help type people will tell you - everyone is encouraged to not only create plans, but to write them down and commit them to memory, and so on. The problem I see with this is that say you do this and diligently follow your plan and achieve the goal, what if it's the goal the you of five years ago wanted, and you've given up things you learned that you wanted more just to "stick to the plan"? The important things will stay with you, and if obstacles come up, you'll find that you work around them eventually to get back to those things. You might feel like you've given them up, but anything that's meant to be a part of your life (yes I realize that sounds hokey) you'll be drawn to again in some other way or later time.
    I believe there is truth to that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diana
    One day I was driving alone in my car and asked myself out loud, and out of the blue "What is it that you want? What do you really want?" And then answered myself, honestly. And I think that keeping in touch with your wants is a better way to achieve what you do want than keeping track of your fleeting ideas and goals that change and trying to work towards them.
    Thank you for taking the time to respond and offering your helpful ideas and insights, Diana.
    ISFj-Fi

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazedrat
    by imagine i didnt mean think. I meant literally imagine.. like have a daydream about you doing what you want to do. it programs you
    Yes, it sure does.

    I need to start practicing this again. Thanks for the reminder!
    ISFj-Fi

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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG
    If you think relationships are more important than academic and career success, you're right. So it's perfectly normal that you can't cut them off in order to become a super achieving robot. Basically, you need to incorporate what you deem as worthy in your plans, otherwise they're bound to fail (rightfully). I've never failed anything at things I really liked, enjoyed and was good at. When it's like that, you won't need to write down anything simply because you'll like what you're doing.

    Personally, I don't make any set-in-stone long-term plan. It's useless, you never know what life might throw at you.
    What a relief to hear this from an ENTj. I do feel the need to make some longterm plans, but now I don't feel so guilty about staying true to my heart's priorities so far ... Thank you for your encouragement, FDG.
    ISFj-Fi

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe
    I might know what you mean. With me, I am unhappy unless there is an ambitious longterm goal to word toward. I have to feel like I'm pushing myself somehow or there is no satisfaction in anything.

    It sounds like you may just be making goals and taking on new hobbies just for the sake of doing it, but since they're not really things you want to be doing, you perhaps unconsciously sabotage your own efforts, which could be the "cosmic hex" you referred to.
    I do need to be pushing myself. But maybe you're right: maybe sometimes it is an unconscious self-sabatoge. I'm realizing how my whole heart must be involved in all I do, working toward some ideal or purpose, and that maybe it's no so wrong to be this way. Rather than shirking responsibilities, maybe this is how I am faithful to my responsibilities after all and I must accept this.

    Thanks, discojoe.
    ISFj-Fi

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    FDG isn't LIE.

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    Default Re: Advice for an ISFj ??

    Quote Originally Posted by spritz
    Hello, I am an ISFj and need advice. I am horrible at making longterm plans, and need to find a way to overcome this. I had set some goals for myself last year, but now I can't fulfill them - AGAIN.

    How do gamma NT's make plans and stick to them?

    Also, do you think ISFjs have any unique strengths and weaknesses to offer the working world? Especially any potentially lucrative ones? :wink:
    I don't think Gamme NTs make plans to stick to. One of the qualities of blocked with it creates abstract plan concepts that can deal with changing information and a dynamic environment. INTps will instinctively have general goals and desires, but they lack to create any resolute goals- they just try to move in the general direction of their interest. However, their instinct un-resolve can be overcome. ENTj's do tend to make long-term plans, but usually they are more algorythms than plans. Its important to remember that desires and environment will change, so don't try to resolve exact long-term plans. First thing, just setting a goal is not the same as setting a plan. A plan must encompase a way of getting to the goal. There is no set methodology in developing a plan. I recommend trying to find desires that probably won't change, seeing what parts of life are bound to become more difficult, what is certainly going to change in your environment, and try to imagine your situation along a path. But try make plans that allow some flexibility to adapt to surprises and new elements.

    Quote Originally Posted by ifmd95
    almost everyone here has offered some good advice i think, but some of it might be more applicable to more Fe or Ne-valuing types, or to irrationals.

    it is probably a good idea not to pay too much attention to anyone's self-type when considering their advice. they may have typed themselves wrongly (and so might have you.)

    FWIW, discojoe's reply strikes me as the most gamma rational-like so far. but don't take my word for it because i'm still pretty unsure of my own type.
    If Socionics has merit, then spritz will respond to information he or she finds more useful, which in this case should be Gamma NTisms. However, we cannot know how useful he or she finds the advice or supposed Gammas. Thus, you are correct, it is important to pay attention to the content of the advice rather than who is actually saying it. A problem is that it takes more than just a few posts to fulfill an hidden agenda.


    Not to de-rail the topic ifmd95, but your writing style does remind me of me. You strike me as type.
    PoLR
    Suggestive Function

    Regular Double-shot Espresso Subtype

    Just because I'm a thinking type doesn't mean I'm not an idiot.

  29. #29
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    What people have to understand is that plans are useless if they entail complete lifestyle changes that don't ecompass things we actually like doing. Unhappiness accumulates, the less happy a person is the more his performance suffers, the worse a person does things the less his self esteem, and boom the plan fails.
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    Good points, I agree with everything.
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    i realize that i'm not one who should be giving advice to anyone but im giving my 2 cents as controversial as it may be... i plan everything out what i need to accomplish, when, and prioritize and guesstimate how much time i need for each one. Because I'm p, and maybe , I save everything till the last minute and then pull 2 or 3 all-nighters in a row to get it done. I know that's not good advice but it's a realistic way to look at things.
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