Best ENTP quotes

Not all of these quotes are by ENTPs, but they’re definitely in the spirit of ENTPs.

Richard Feynman:

“Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”

“I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.”

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

“I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here. I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell.” – Richard Feynman

“There is no reality except the one contained within us. That is why so many people live such an unreal life. They take the images outside them for reality and never allow the world within to assert itself.” – Herman Hesse

“A successful person isn’t necessarily better than her less successful peers at solving problems; her pattern-recognition facilities have just learned what problems are worth solving.” – Ray Kurzweil

“There’s nothing worse than sitting down to write a novel and saying, ‘Well, okay, I’m going to do something of high artistic worth.” – Douglas Adams

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

“The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because its only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives. That’s the only lasting thing you can create.” – Chuck Pahlaniuk

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.” –Nietzsche

“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” – Voltaire

“To criticize a person for their race is manifestly irrational and ridiculous, but to criticize their religion, that is a right. That is a freedom. The freedom to criticize ideas, any ideas – even if they are sincerely held beliefs – is one of the fundamental freedoms of society. A law which attempts to say you can criticize and ridicule ideas as long as they are not religious ideas is a very peculiar law indeed. It all points to the promotion of the idea that there should be a right not to be offended. But in my view the right to offend is far more important than any right not to be offended. The right to ridicule is far more important to society than any right not to be ridiculed because one in my view represents openness – and the other represents oppression.” – Rowan Atkinson

ENTP Clichés

The following are just tired, overdone clichés for unimaginative ENTPs:

“I’m so random! Onion! Global warming! Corruption! Amoeba! Interstate highways! Metaphysics! Language!” – the mere act of flitting from thing to thing does not make you an interesting person.

“I have a habit of starting things without fini” – haha, this is funny because you didn’t finish the sentence, right? So original!

“Article on procrastination? I’ll read it later.”  Everybody has heard this joke. Put in a little more effort. Maybe try engaging with the subject matter?

“I’m an asshole, but I’m an honest, so it’s okay.” That’s a very low bar to set for yourself.


…found here.

On Argument, Discussion, and Disagreement

  • Being able to seriously consider points of view that you disagree with. /u/Canuck314159
  • “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” -Aristotle via /u/hellothereholly
  • When you have an opinion on something and once presented with new facts you are open to changing your opinion. /u/j-sap
  • Letting conversations go before they turn into arguments. /u/TedFartass
  • Being able to walk away when you should. Whether it be a confrontation, relationship, bad situation etc. /u/monsterr101
  • Walking away from everything is also immature. I know loads of people that break as soon as any pressure is applied to them. /u/Blitz_Dat_Anus
  • There’s a fine line between quitting and knowing nothing more can be gained. I thinking the maturity part comes in knowing and accepting the difference. /u/Scadilla [+1]
  • Being able to accept that you were wrong. /u/anirishman15
  • Similarly, being able to make a sincere apology. “I’m sorry you took it that way” is not a sincere apology. /u/senatorskeletor
  • Similarly, being able to swallow your ego and apologize even if you don’t necessarily think you’ve done anything wrong. “I completely understand your point and sincerely apologize for the lapse in communication,” instead of “can’t you read, I clearly said XYZ.” Especially when dealing with customers/clients. /u/nightstryker
  • When you know you’re right but don’t feel the need to correct someone on it. /u/LilyPomegranate
  • Also, knowing when to shut up even when you’re right. /u/recipriversexcluson
  • Sometimes it’s better for an argument to never happen than for you to win it. /u/jkennedy356
  • When someone is yelling, and the other one is calmly talking. /u/cockroachboy

On Relationships, Perception, and Self-Perception

  • You don’t get upset when you are not liked. /u/sunsurf23
  • Knowing when you’re hanging out with the wrong people and actively making a change. /u/TedFartass
  • Being able to recognize your own flaws, and then work on improving them. Accept people as they are and focus on yourself, overall just do everything in your power to be a better person./u/lookmomatree
  • Not making excuses for a failure, and owning it. /u/Hellkyte
  • Having the humility to avoid needlessly talking about your accomplishments simply because an opportunity to do so comes up in conversation. /u/JasonBoring
  • Being able to be relied on instead of relying on others. /u/xepherian
  • And also knowing when to stop letting someone rely on you and when to wean them to take care of themselves. If you don’t do that, you become an enabler and you now have a leech. /u/darkplane13
  • Also knowing when to rely on others. Swallowing your pride and allowing those that truly care for you to help. /u/noahboah
  • Being able to talk about something no matter how bad it could end; not avoiding them and hoping it’ll just go away. /u/xchimz

On Decisions and Taking Action

  • To be able to make to make decisions, taking into account the effects on others and such effects in the future. /u/thrownkitchensink
  • Being able to delay gratification and do something you really don’t want to do. /u/table_fireplace
  • Doing things that terrify you because you have to do them out of responsibility. /u/LLment
  • Doing a tedious chore, like taking out the trash or doing the dishes, now instead of later. Not because you’re “in a cleaning mood” but because you know if you put it off, it’s only going to be worse. /u/dallashigh
  • Not getting embarrassed about necessary purchases. /u/smushy_face
  • Making room when someone is trying to move into your lane in traffic. /u/blackcatsmatter
  • Not letting the dishes “soak” over night. /u/wideawakefordays
  • Not talking in class when the professor walks in. /u/datsundere
  • Booking your own dentist appointment. /u/jo3ly
  • Gas in the tank and cash in the bank. /u/cptsasuke

On Empathy and Your Place in The World

  • Empathy. Realizing that every person is there own individual with their own experiences. Those experiences lead them to have certain beliefs and traits. Just because those differ from yours doesn’t make you or them right or wrong. [INVAH CAVEAT: This depends on if those beliefs or traits harm others.] We can all still get along. /u/cooze08
  • When you realize you’re not the center of the world and start doing things for others. Immature people have no concept of anything post their own noses. /u/budgiebum
  • I was always told “character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you” which to me sounds like a good standard for maturity. /u/yoh97
  • Recognizing that people are not one dimensional, and that a label they apply to themselves is neither the sum of who they are nor a good indicator of what they actually believe. /u/Chronoblivion

On Parents

  • Starting to doubt your parents’ decisions because you come to the realization that, just like any other person, they’re human and have flaws. /u/inmapjs
  • You become an adolescent when you realize your parents are human beings just like everyone else. You become an adult when you forgive them for it. /u/senatorskeletor [INVAH CAVEAT: Does not apply to abuse. You never have to forgive an abuser for abusing you.]

On Maturity

  • The best sign of maturity is when you realize that it has its place. Being too mature (or trying to be) is a sign of immaturity. /u/ttdpaco

Book notes: How To Win Friends And Influence People

  1. Be Proactive
  2. Begin With The End In Mind
  3. First Things First
  4. Seek first to understand, before being understood
  5. Win-Win
  6. Synergy
  7. Sharpen the Saw

1 – be proactive

Be Proactive – this is about setting aside time to do things before bad things are happening. This means giving up on some idle time. This means going above and beyond. It means thinking ahead.

2 – begin with the end in mind

if you don’t know where you want to go, you’re never going to get there.

3 – first things first

This is about prioritizing. Some things are always more important or critical than others. Just as there’s always one weakest link, there’s always one tightest bottleneck. Work on that thing first.

4 – seek first to understand, before being understood

Don’t try to impose your reality on others. You have to find out what people want. HTWFAIP is all about this.

5 –Win-Win


6 – Synergy

It’s turned into a buzzword, but it’s basically about trying for outcomes that are MORE than win-win.

7 – Sharpen the saw

Set aside time to review and get better at the whole process.

Also see: GTD, HTWF



  • 5 stages of mastering workflow:
    • collection
    • processing
    • organizing
    • reviewing
    • doing
  • inputs, processing/thinking, and outputs (actions and action lists)
  • To be your most productive self, you must be able to think clearly.
  • To think clearly, you must have completely downloaded from your short-term memory or RAM all the “open loops” — unfulfilled commitments you’ve made to yourself.
  • This frees your mind to do naturally what it does best — think about things rather than of things.
  • Once you has everything off your mind and written down, in paper or electronically, you have to decide, “What’s the next action?” This is THE critical question.
  • Once this is decided, the action must be completed or tracked in a trusted system, such as a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA).
  • Two-minute rule: Any next action that can be completed in two minutes or less should be completed immediately. Touch most items once then clear them forever from “psychic RAM.”
  • Allen outlines a process for getting RAM cleared in the first place and then for keeping it clear on a daily basis, as new things come into one’s “in” box.
  • The “What’s the next action?” question must be asked on the front-end, when the item from the “in” box is first reviewed.
  • Getting Things Done is part tools and techniques, part psychology. Allen says that mastering your time enables you to live in the present moment. This may be the true gift of this book.

Part 1 – The Art of Getting Things Done

Chapter 1 – A New Practice for a New Reality

  • Objectives:
    • 1: Capture all one needs to accomplish somewhere outside the brain
    • 2: discipline oneself to make decisions about these items as they are added to one’s workload.
  • A person is the most productive when the mind is clear, free of “open loops” — the things people commit to do which remain undone and become a drag on the unconscious mind. The conscious mind is a focusing tool, not a storage place.
  • Write down the outcomes you wish to achieve.
    • For every outcome, determine the “next physical action” required to move the situation forward.
    • This next physical action must be organized in a system one reviews regularly.
    • Doing these things is the equivalent of what Allen calls “horizontal” focus.

Chapter 2 — Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Stages of Mastering Workflow

  • Five stages of mastering workflow: to collect, process, organize, review and do.
  • In the Collection stage, the idea is to gather all the items that remain to be completed. Collection tools include the physical in-basket, paper-based and electronic note-taking devices, voice-recording devices and email.
  • There are three “collection success factors”:
    • Every open loop must be in your collection system and out of your head.
    • You must have as few collection buckets as you can get by with.
    • You must empty them regularly.
  • In the Process stage, the bucket is emptied. Allen describes this as perhaps the most critical improvement for almost all the people he’s worked with. He outlines this process in great detail, complete with a flowchart.
    • It asks:
      • What is it? Is it actionable?
      • If not, trash it, put it in a tickler file or put it in a reference file.
      • If so, what’s the next action? The next action is defined as the next physical, visible activity that needs to be engaged in, in order to move the current reality toward completion.
      • Will next action take less than 2 minutes?
        • If yes, do it.
        • If no, delegate it or defer it.
        • If it will take longer than 2 minutes, consider it a project (defined as requiring more than one action step) and put it in your project plans which will be reviewed for actions.
  • In the Organize stage, Allen describes eight categories of reminders and materials:
    • trash
    • incubation tools
    • reference storage
    • list of projects
    • storage or files for project plans and materials
    • a calendar
    • a list of reminders of next actions
    • a list of reminders of things you’re waiting for
  • A review of all one’s lists, preferably weekly, is critical for success.

Chapter 3 – Getting Projects Creatively Under Way: The Five Phases of Project Planning

  • “Vertical” focus: the thought process behind successful project planning.
  • The brain goes through five steps to accomplish most any task and that this Natural Planning Model is also the most effective for project planning. These steps are:
    • Defining purpose.
      • Asks “why?” Answering this question provides the following benefits:
        • it defines success,
        • creates decision-making criteria,
        • aligns resources,
        • motivates, clarifies focus and expands options.
    • Defining principles create the boundaries of the plan and define the criteria for excellence of behaviour.
    • Outcome visioning
      • A vision provides a picture of the final result. Allen discusses the Reticular Activating System within the brain and how it acts like a search engine. In defining the desired outcome, this filter in the brain brings to one’s attention those things that match the vision. In addition, Allen states that you won’t see how to do it until you see yourself doing it, and his advice is to view the project from beyond the completion date, envision “WILD SUCCESS”, and capture features, aspects, qualities you imagine in place.
    • Brainstorming — Brainstorming identifies how one gets from here to there through the generation of lots of ideas.
      • Write down these ideas to help generate many new ones that might not have occurred had the brain not been emptied by writing down the original ideas.
      • Writing ideas down also provides an anchor to keep one focused on the topic at hand. This idea of writing to spur thinking has been labeled as “distributed cognition”.
      • Keys to effective brainstorming are:
        • don’t judge, challenge, evaluate, or criticise;
        • go for quantity, not quality;
        • put analysis and organization in the background.
    • Organizing — Allen describes the key steps to include:
      • identify the significant pieces;
      • sort by components,
      • sequences and/or priorities;
      • detail to the required degree.
  • Identifying next actions — Allen states that a project is sufficiently planned when every Next Action has been decided on every front that can actually be moved on without some other components having to be completed first.

Part 2 – Practicing Stress-Free Productivity

Chapter 4 – Getting Started: Setting Up the Time, Space and Tools

  • Sett aside two whole days, back to back, to get started.
  • To set up a space, one needs a minimum of a writing surface and room for an in-basket.
  • A work space is needed for work and home for everyone, including students, homemakers and retirees.
  • Don’t skimp on the home work space and don’t share work space with someone else.
  • Allen is not a proponent of the “hoteling” concept that many companies have employed in recent years.
  • The basic processing tools include:
    • paper-holding trays,
    • plain paper,
    • post-its,
    • clips,
    • stapler,
    • a labeler all to oneself,
    • letter size file folders (don’t bother with color-coding),
    • a calendar,
    • wastebasket/recycling bins, and possibly
    • an organizer to “manage your triggers externally” (such as papers, planners or a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)).
  • A good general-reference filing system is key to the success of a personal management system. If it takes one more than a minute to get something out of the in-basket, decide it needs no action but should be kept for future reference, and filed, one has a significant improvement opportunity.
  • Key filing success factors include:
    • keep files at hand’s reach,
    • use one A to Z alphabetical filing system,
    • have lots of fresh folders,
    • keep the drawers less than three-quarters full,
    • label folders with an Auto Labeler,
    • buy high-quality file cabinets,
    • get rid of hanging files if you can, and
    • purge your files at least once a year.

Chapter 5 – Collection: Corralling Your “Stuff”

  • It usually takes between one and six hours to gather everything that needs to be gathered into one’s “in” basket.
  • It’s important to complete all the gathering before the “processing” and “organizing” begins.
  • Although one will be tempted to start the processing while gathering, it’s important not to do so.
    • You get a sense of just how much stuff there is.
    • You identify the “end of the tunnel”.
    • You can’t process as effectively with the distraction of knowing there is still more stuff to gather.
  • The gathering process should cover one’s physical space, such as desk drawers, countertops, and cabinets. It also includes a “mind sweep” to uncover anything that may be residing in one’s mental space, what Allen calls “psychic RAM”.
  • You may feel anxious as all this stuff is made conscious. Focus on quantity.
  • Once the collection phase is complete, move on to the next step, since leaving items in the “in” box for too long will cause things to creep back into one’s psyche.

Chapter 6 – Processing: Getting “In” to Empty

  • Processing doesn’t mean getting all actions completed; it means deciding what to do with each of the items in the “in” box.
  • When this phase is complete, one will have:
    • trashed unneeded items,
    • completed any less-than-two-minute actions,
    • delegated,
    • put reminders in one’s organizer of actions one must complete, and
    • identified any projects.
  • Allen provides guidelines for effective processing:
    • Process the top item first. Resist the urge to pull out the most urgent, fun or interesting item first.
    • Process one item at a time. This focus forces the attention and decision-making needed to get through everything.
    • Never put anything back into “in.”
  • As each item is reviewed, the key question is, “what’s the next action?” If none, the item is trashed, incubated to a “Someday/Maybe” list or “tickler” file, or put in reference material. If there is an action, make it specific. Then do it (if it takes less than two minutes), delegate it (and add it to the “Waiting For” list) or defer it.

Chapter 7 — Organizing: Setting Up the Right Buckets

  • Once processing is complete, one needs a way to organize the output.
  • 7 primary places to keep output and tips and tricks on making these places work. These areas include:
    • A “Projects” list,
    • project support material,
    • calendared actions and information,
    • “Next Actions” lists,
    • a “Waiting For” list,
    • reference material, and a
    • “Someday/Maybe” list.
  • These categories should be kept distinct from each other. These lists are all that you need to stay organised. Don’t  try to prioritize among these lists. Prioritization is more of an intuitive process that occurs as you review your lists.
  • Actions that should go on the calendar are ones that must be done on a specific day or time. They may also include triggers for activating projects, events one might want to participate in and decision catalysts.
  • “Next Actions” should be organized by context, such as “Calls”, “Errands”, and “At Home.”
  • The “Waiting For” list should be reviewed often enough to determine if one needs to take any action. Items in one’s “Read and Review” pile and emails that require action are reminders themselves, and Allen recommends pulling emails requiring action to a separate folder in one’s email system.
  • The “Projects” list provides a single place to review all projects for needed actions. One may subdivide projects by categories such as Personal/Professional, and one also may identify sub projects.
  • There is no perfect way to track projects; one just needs to know what projects they have and how to find any associated reminders. Allen discusses Project Support Materials and warns against using them as a reminder. He also shares ideas for organizing ad hoc project thinking, where ideas are triggered and one needs to capture the ideas.
  • It is as important to organize nonactionable data — which includes reference material and “Someday/Maybes” — as it is to manage action and project reminders. Reference systems include general-reference filing, large-category filing, rolodexes and contact managers, and libraries and archives. Most people have 200 to 400 paper-based general-reference files and 30 to 100 email reference folders.
  • For ideas that are not ready for action, one can keep them on a Someday/Maybe list, trigger them on one’s calendar or put them in a “tickler” system. Allen states that it is important not to call the “Hold and Review” pile one’s Someday/Maybe list.

Chapter 8 – Reviewing: Keeping Your System Functional

  • To keep the system working, it is key that one continues to trust the system. Trust is maintained by keeping the system up-to-date. One needs to decide what to look at and when.
  • The most frequent review will probably be of one’s daily calendar and daily tickler folder. After these, the next actions lists should be reviewed.
  • The key to sustaining the system is the Weekly Review. This process includes whatever is needed to empty one’s head and includes going through the five phases of workflow management. Allen recommends blocking out a couple of hours early every Friday afternoon.

Chapter 9 – Doing: Making the Best Action Choices

  • Allen gives three models for deciding what to do at a point in time, beyond his simple answer to trust one’s intuition.
  • The Four-Criteria Model for Choosing Actions in the Moment uses the criteria of context, time available, energy available, and priority to make decisions.
  • The Threefold Model for Evaluating Daily Work presents Allen’s idea that during a workday, one engages in one of three activities:
    • doing predefined work,
    • doing work as it shows up, or
    • defining one’s work.
  • Allen asserts that the sacrifice of not doing the work you have defined on your lists, because something else came up, can be tolerated only if one knows what he’s not doing. People may blame their stress and lowered effectiveness on surprises when it’s really their lack of defining their work. He calls one’s ability to deal with surprise a competitive edge.
  • The Six-Level Model for Reviewing Your Own Work is presented in terms of altitude:
    • 50,000 + feet: Life
    • 40,000 feet: Three- to five-year visions
    • 30,000 feet: One-to two-year goals
    • 20,000 feet: Areas of responsibility
    • 10,000 feet: Current projects
    • Runway: Current actions
  • Each of these levels should enhance and align with the levels above it. Priorities are driven from the top. However, without a sense of control over current projects and actions, trying to manage oneself from the top down can create frustration. Start at the bottom level. First ensure all action lists are complete, then work up the model.

Chapter 10 – Getting Projects Under Control

  • Allen digs into the “vertical” project level again. He indicates that formal planning tools and techniques might be overrated and favors creative, proactive thinking.
  • He suggests projects that may need more planning are first, those that still have one’s attention even after defining next actions, and second, those for which ideas just show up. The first require a revisit to the Natural Planning Model. The second require tools and structures to capture those random ideas.
  • These may include a good writing instrument, paper, easels and whiteboards, and the computer. The very act of writing ideas down facilitates a constructive thinking process like nothing else.

Part 3 – The Power of the Key Principles

Chapter 11 – The Power of the Collection Habit

  • In this chapter, Allen gets into the psychological aspects of his methodology, which in essence explain why his process works so well.
  • He also discusses the benefits he has observed his clients realize over the years, including an increased level of trust with others and with oneself. He states that people feel badly about their unprocessed “in” boxes because the incomplete items in them represent broken agreements with themselves.
  • To remedy this, he advises three choices:
    • don’t make the agreement,
    • complete the agreement or
    • renegotiate the agreement.
  • He states that anything held only in “psychic RAM” (not conscious) will carry equal weight and many small things will create more mental stress than they deserve. He says that one should use the mind to think about things, rather than of things. He considers his methodology real knowledge work, at a more sophisticated level.

Chapter 12 – The Power of the Next-Action Decision

  • Allen proposes that twenty minutes before the end of a meeting, one should ask, “So what’s the next action here?” to increase clarity. This is radical common sense, yet it is easy to avoid this more relevant level of thinking.
  • He points out the dark side of a “collaborative culture” where people are too polite to hold others accountable, but says it is impolite to allow people to walk away from discussions unclear. Asking this question is key for knowledge workers to increase their productivity through “operational responsiveness.”
  • Finally, this question presupposes there is the possibility of change and that one can do something to make it happen, which is empowering.

Chapter 13 – The Power of Outcome Focusing

  • Allen says even the slightest increase in the use of natural planning can bring significant improvement
  • He lauds the ability to envision success when how to achieve it is still unclear.
  • Being able to generate lots of ideas, both good and bad, is a critical piece of creative intelligence.
  • Honing and organizing ideas is a necessary mental discipline.
  • Finally, choosing and taking next actions are the essence of productivity. Effectively applying these techniques is described as perhaps the major component of professional competence for the new millennium.


slideshare – 26 time management hacks I wish I had known at 20

complex change: vision/skills/incentives/resources/action plan

  • #GTD Scheduling. Cal Newport.
  • #procrastination #GTD
  • #GTD
  • #GTD
  • /


  • #GTD
  • #GTD
  • #GTD
  • (wait but why 2.0) #GTD
  • (wait but why 2.0) #GTD
  • #gtd
  • ADHD:
    • Modafinil




Books for ENTPs

  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams has a delightful sense of humor and uses the most amusing metaphors.
  • Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! – Richard Feynman is a delightful shining star of what a high-functioning, highly-accomplished, loved and respected ENTP is like.
  • The 48 Laws of Power – this one is particularly good not because it’ll turn you into some sort of amoral Machiavellian power player, but because it’ll reveal to you how some of your behaviors (thought you might’ve thought of as charming quirks) are actually abrasive and hurtful to others, and ultimately lead to suboptimal outcomes for you.
  • How To Win Friends And Influence People – There’s really no point losing friends and influence just because of the way you operate.
  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. If you haven’t read it, just go through it. I have some notes here.

Where to start?

It’s a funny comic about a real problem that people have. Where do you start? You could start by trying to figure out where to start.

Start where you are. Start in the middle. Start by getting one tiny thing done, even if it isn’t the most elegant choice or the most perfect move. You want to get yourself out of your overthinking headspace and into your getting-things-done mode. Once you’ve done one little thing, you can go on to do something else.

Admiral McRaven is a man I admire for this – he’s probably not an ENTP, but he has a simple suggestion that all ENTPs could use – which is to start by making your bed every morning. Why? Because it becomes the first thing you’ve accomplished that day – a simple, mundane task. But it’ll give you a small sense of pride. You can do the second thing, and the third thing.

At worst, if you don’t accomplish anything, you’ll come home to a bed that is made – that YOU made.

Of course, you don’t want to then fall into the trap of spending your every day just doing endless cleaning of everything in your home or workspace – there’s a funny Onion article about a procrastinating surgeon who ends up cleaning the entire hospital.

Once you get your first couple of tasks done, you do want to reprioritize and figure out what your top priority is. Then do that.

Preference is not Competence

Here’s a thing that trips up a lot of people about MBTI.

Preference is not competence.

The two are often correlated, yes. We tend to prefer things that we are good at. And we tend to get good at the things we prefer.

Consider this simple statement:

It is possible for an introvert to be better at socializing than an extrovert. It is possible for the introvert to be a better listener, a better host, a better conversationalist, and even more entertaining in terms of crazy antics.

It’s possible for a ‘feeler’ to be better at mathematics or science than a ‘thinker’.

It’s also possible for a ‘thinker’ to have more emotional intelligence than a ‘feeler’.

This sounds unintuitive, but it’s possible simply because there are lots of people in the world, and we all develop in incredibly different ways.

It’s possible for an “intuitive” to be more in touch with her body and the world around her than a “sensor”.

A person’s preference for something is not definitive proof of their competence at it.

A person can like singing but suck at it. Another person can be shy or uncomfortable about singing, but be signficantly better at it.

When we go to the extremes, this phenomenon begins to evaporate. The best of the best in the world get so good because they love what they do AND they’re good at it. A virtuous cycle. Similarly, the worst of the worst at something tend to hate what they do AND be bad at it.

But there are all sorts of people in between, and making assumptions about individuals is not nearly as helpful as you might think.

Famous ENTPs

I don’t agree with many lists of famous ENTPs. Here’s my own.

Almost definitely:

  • Benjamin Franklin
  • George Carlin
  • Walt Disney
  • Richard Feynman
  • Weird Al Yankovic
  • Voltaire
  • Jon Stewart
  • Leonardo Da Vinci

Probably, I’d place a light bet on it but accept I might be wrong:

  • Sacha Baron Cohen
  • Tina Fey
  • Will Arnnett
  • Lewis Carroll
  • Douglas Adams
  • Nikola Tesla
  • Louis CK
  • Bo Burnham
  • Stephen Colbert

Definitely mis-typed (ie NOT ENTP):

  • Barack Obama (probably INTJ)