Extraverted Intuition

Extraverted Intuition is always seeing possibilities. They always want to know “what could be”. They are adept at understanding the external environment, but they always want to take it one step further. They wonder, “if I change this, what will happen?”

The Ne user is always striving for growth or improvement. Extraverted Intuition can give them a sense of idealism and the desire to want to impact the world.

Extraverted Intuition also has the ability to make obscure connections. The Ne user can take two seemingly unrelated topics and bring them together. This can also cause the user to have an off-beat sense of humor.

Extraverted Intuition is a right brained function. The Ne user tends to have a very creative mind. The world and workplaces tend to favor left brained activities, so it would be wise for the Ne user to develop a creative outlet for this function, whether it’s through writing, music, art, or any other activity that allows self expression.

Extraverted Intuitives also have a very entrepreneurial mindset. Ne users see possibilities of what could be all around them. They have a desire to make things happen and “put a dent in the world.” Extraverted Intuitives can get very excited about these possibilities, making them naturally charismatic. Ne users can be inspiring leaders that are catalysts for change.

People with Extraverted Intuition should seek to find a position or niche in the world where they can lead a team to promote change. This would be very fulfilling for them and help them to grow as a person.

Extraverted Intuition can also cause some problems. People with heavy use of Ne always have a desire for things to change. This can cause problems in relationships. They can have a tendency to become bored and want to move on once they have figured everything out.

The desire for change can also cause health and other problems. The Ne user’s desire for novel experiences may cause them to neglect daily needs. They may ignore resting when they are sick, or eating a proper diet. They also can be bad with money management, performing daily routines, and paying bills. If these issues are neglected for too long, they can become a point of stress.

One area that an Extraverted Intuition user should be careful to pay attention to is seeking too much external output. If the user is only focusing on new experiences without taking the time for personal reflection, they may just be spinning their wheels are not learning anything.

The ENFP and INFP should focus on developing their Introverted Feeling Function to compliment their Ne. They should take in experiences and compare them to their own personal value system. This will help them learn more about themselves and what they believe.

The ENTP and INTP should use Introverted Thinking to analyze the experiences they have. They can use this new information to form new theories and new understandings of how the world works.

Source: PersonalityGrowth.com

ENTP Careers


Popular careers for ENTPs:

  • Executive
  • Entrepreneur
  • HR Recruiter
  • Management Consultant
  • Marketing Manager
  • Sales Manager
  • Corporate Trainer
  • Property Manager
  • Venture Capitalist
  • Ad Account Executive
  • Creative Director
  • Financial Planner
  • Stockbroker
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Cost Estimator
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Reporter
  • Copywriter
  • Art Director
  • Producer or Director
  • Journalist
  • Market Researcher
  • Internet Architect
  • Photographer
  • Actor
  • School Psychologist
  • Organizational Psychologist
  • Chiropractor
  • Political Scientist
  • Attorney
  • Architect
  • Industrial Designer
  • Urban Planner
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Drafter
  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Geologist
  • Detective
  • Criminalist
  • Public Administrator
  • Politician
  • Social Scientist
  • Health Care Administrator
  • Education Director

Least popular careers for ENTPs:

  • Medical Records Technician
  • Dentist
  • Nurse’s Aide
  • Optometrist
  • Family Physician
  • Medical Assistant
  • Dietitian
  • Preschool Teacher
  • Elementary Teacher
  • Clergy
  • Library Assistant
  • Recreation Worker
  • Receptionist
  • Factory Supervisor
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Bank Teller
  • Machinist
  • Airline Pilot

Advice for Underachievers


Why am I feeling so frustrated all the time? I’m smarter and more informed than 90% of the people around me, and yet I am average in my achievements. I’m not sure why that bothers me when I’m aware that in the end we will all end up in a coffin.

There are several parts to this.

> I am smarter and more informed than 90% of the surrounding me people

First of all this is is probably unlikely. There’s probably selection bias at play here. You notice whenever people around you do dumb things, but you don’t notice when you’re the dumb one.

Second – even if this is true, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you will achieve great things. Achieving great things doesn’t actually require you to be in the top 10% of smartest and best-informed people. About top 30% is probably good enough. The difference between people who accomplish things and people who don’t is (mostly) grit.

> The problem is that i am not sure why that bothers me when i am awear that in the end we will all end up in a coffin

The main factor here is usually social conditioning. You probably wouldn’t care if you were the only person alive. You most likely care precisely because you hold on to the hypothesis that you’re an underachieving smart guy wasting his potential.

You could let go of the hypothesis and start over, but you’re likely attached to it because it makes you feel good about yourself in some way.

This is how people get trapped on ‘local minimas’ – if you want to achieve great things, you’re going to have to do some difficult and uncomfortable things .Things that make you look and feel pretty dumb. You’re probably not comfortable with that, and so you (statistically speaking) are most probably going to lead a mediocre life to the coffin.

It doesn’t really matter, anyway. We’re all welcome to our illusions.


I have at times attacked & criticized education. Why? because we weren’t good together. It’s tempting to say that the education system failed me. In reaction to the idea that I was a failure- which was something my parents, teachers, peers, all…

I’ve come to realize that… you can’t always blame one party or the other when something doesn’t work out. Two agents can try their respective bests and still fail. Assigning blame. I spent a lot of time oscillating between blaming myself and the system. I didn’t really understand either. Today I realize that the system isn’t malicious, it’s just struggling to do what it can with what it has. I’ve come to realize that I’m atypical. I used to want this to mean that I was somehow special, important, above everything. This was the narrative I was fed, and it was pleasant while it lasted.

As a working adult with bills and a mortgage and responsibilities I’ve discovered that my problems are deep-rooted. I probably have clinical ADHD. I never did my homework, even for the teachers I liked. I never practiced guitar even when I had gigs coming up. I was phenomenally flaky. I’d wake up every morning nervous and sick because I hadn’t done my homework. This was a problem for me in primary school, secondary school, JC, and I can guarantee that it would’ve been a problem if I had gone to university. It’s a problem at work, and I absolutely LOVE my work!

I just get distracted in a way that’s bizarre to most people, the way chronic alcoholics must be bizarre to people who are able to enjoy a glass of wine every now and then. It’s a problem in my social life when I miss appointments. I have ruined friendships with my ego, arrogance, small-mindedness, even my marriage can get strained when I’m not careful. I go home late from work- and it’s not like I’m staggeringly productive, I spend a lot of time staring into space or otherwise procrastinating. it’s in the brain.

I’m an unromantic person. I don’t plan dates. I’m also really, really bad at sticking to the task at hand. If I’m on the way to do something, and my wife asks me to do something else, one of the two tasks will be left undone. A drawer open here, a plastic bag half-filled there, a pen uncapped…

I’m hesitant to call this a mental illness or disorder. I think a better way to think of it is… there’s a part of my brain that’s horribly underdeveloped. And that’s an idea that can seem silly or absurd, so I play around with it and then put it out of mind. I’ve been able to get through life so far without worrying too much about it… though it’s also the primary cause of stress, anxiety and pain in my life. Not just me, but the people in my life that I care about, too. My dad calls asking me why I never call. I don’t think they appreciate ADHD as an excuse.

No single self-help book or listicle can fix this. I read a story about a guy who violently took control of his parents’ lives… maybe I need something like that. This is the single biggest impediment to peace and happiness and joy in my life. It has to do with the way my brain currently works, and I need to change it.

What I’ve learnt about change… it requires precision. It requires that you start small and deep. Trying to effect big change with limited resources/power leads to certain failure and is a quick way to get demoralized + give up. I think I’ve made about 20-30 “Okay, this is it, I’m going to turn my life around now” assertions in the past. While it can be interesting and deceptively exciting… what I really need are small victories.


Nicotine and Blood Sugar

I’ve been wanting to write about the relationship between cigarettes and blood sugar for some time, but it’s challenging because I’m busy with work. Also I’m not a scientist and I don’t have a lot of background.

So I’m gonna copy-paste a conversation I’ve been having with with people, invite feedback, and edit it as I go along.


“Are you aware of the relationship between cigarettes and blood sugar?
let me give you the thug notes.


I can’t remember the precise details, but basically but basically the human meatbag experiences the equivalent of a blood sugar rise with a cigarette. Something about nicotine, glucose and receptors.

That’s why cigarettes are appetite suppressants and keep you skinny, and that’s also why people who quit smoking suddenly want to eat so much more, especially sugar. Cigarettes fool your body into thinking you have more blood sugar than you actually do.



The worst smokers are typically the people with the worst diets.
They don’t eat breakfast. maybe they’re stressed and anxious and nauseous.
They wake up in the morning, coffee and cigarette. reduces nausea. induces shitting. it’s all “controlled”.

But they don’t have a hearty / heavy breakfast.
So now their blood sugar level is volatile throughout the day, And whenever it goes really low, the brain (prefrontal cortex?) starts shutting down. You just feel like you can’t function, like you’re not there. It’s a bit like sleep deprivation, it’s a bit like ‘feeling faint’.

Fastest way to address this? Smoke a cigarette. And then you kind of get some power back.

For people with bad blood sugar levels, it’s an intense problem. The symptoms are startlingly similar to altitude sickness.

(Which is why it’s sort of poetic that smokers joke “i’m going out for some oxygen”. to their body, it’s the same thing.)


Tobacco companies don’t talk about this.
They talk about cancer.
Lung disease.
Which every smoker knows they’re probably going to get.
But in the short run they’re suffering from chronic, volatile blood sugar.
Cancer is 10, 20 years away.
You have altitude sickness, what do you do?
You smoke.


And right after you smoke, how do you feel? guilty.
or maybe angry.
What happens when you’re guilty and/or angry?
Limbic system lights up. [citation needed]

///// CORRECTION by Junhong Yu:

“limbic system does not ‘light up’ . The ‘lighting up’ simply reflects statistical maps in group studies, but not actual neurobiological mechanisms

and there are inhibitory connections between the limbic system and the prefrontal cortex that make affect your decision making when you are feeling stressed or anxious.

the other thing to consider is that smoking messes up your dominergic system (i.e. reward system), you are less able weigh risks properly, you are less able delay present gratification for bigger future rewards”


What happens when those neurons fire?
They use up resources.
What is the resource?
What happens when the glucose levels are depleted?
Low blood sugar.
Altitude sickness.
What do you do?
Smoke again.

The entire system is designed to screw you over and over again.
(it’s eerily similar for overeating– I haven’t done as much reading about that, but it seems to be fundamentally about insulin levels, tolerance, etc)

Also. Say you have low blood sugar.
You can’t function.
You can’t do your work.
You can’t focus.

What happens?
You miss deadlines.
Never study.
What happens?
You get stressed. (cortisol bla bla… haven’t done enough reading here)
No appetite. (some people stress-eat… I haven’t read up about the distinction)
Can’t eat.
Low blood sugar.

But wait, there’s more!


What happens when you have chronic low blood sugar throughout the day?
Your brain worries that it won’t have enough fuel, so it doesn’t let you sleep.
It’s literally afraid you’ll go into a coma.

But you have no appetite.
You can’t eat.

What do you do? Smoke some more.

Quality of sleep? Horrible.

Wake up in the morning? Tired, stressed.

No appetite. No energy. Brain needs sugar to function.

Smoke some more.



“What happens when you’re guilty and/or angry?
Limbic system lights up. [citation needed]
What happens when those neurons fire?”

limbic system does not ‘light up’ . The ‘lighting up’ simply reflects statistical maps in group studies, but not actual neurobiological mechanisms

and there are inhibitory connections between the limbic system and the prefrontal cortex that make affect your decision making when you are feeling stressed or anxious.

the other thing to consider is that smoking messes up your dominergic system (i.e. reward system), you are less able weigh risks properly, you are less able delay present gratification for bigger future rewards


“I think he is linking this too much to mood and stress, which can be subjective.

Here’s the more direct causative factor and relationship between smoking and blood glucose levels:

Nicotine causes the release of adrenaline (one of the many other hormones it triggers). Adrenaline prepares the body for fight or flight, so heart rate and blood pressure goes up and the body converts it’s stored glucose (stored as inactive glycogen mainly in the liver) back into glucose, that is then dumped into the blood stream.

This glucose spike is bad in a few ways:

1. The smoker is not actually using it up, causing it to remain in the blood stream for extended time. This is linked to development of insulin resistance and eventually diabetes type 2.

2. Appetite is suppressed as the high blood glucose level triggers a feedback loop that normally triggers when food digestion dumps sugar into the blood stream.

3. If the smoker does not eat because appetite is poor, the body actually goes into starvation mode as the stored glucose are depleted and no food is coming in. This causes heavy eating later and even if this does not happen, the body starts to develop the “feast and famine” response, which causes it to excessively store fat (which are burnt after glucose is depleted) in times when food are available. i.e, some smokers may look skinny, but they may have high lipid/fat ratios and other related issues.

4. The constant heart rate stimulation as well as the accompanied blood pressure spikes also creates a problem when combined with a glucose spike. When there’s more glucose in the blood, it changes the osmotic gradient and fluid actually moves into the blood stream to dilute it from surrounding tissues. Coupled this sudden blood volume increase with the pounding heart and the already artificially elevated blood pressure, and one can imagine how much strain this puts on the heart walls and blood vessels. Long term, this increases the chance of heart diseases and strokes from burst vessels.

And all these are just the tip of the ice burg and only from just the adrenaline + glucose route. We are not even looking at the rest of nicotine’s effects and the tar and other crap.”


Is Obama ENTP?

As an ENTP who loves Obama deeply and has read both of his books + lots of his interviews, I don’t see it. He’s likelier to be xNTJ, maybe even xNFJ. He’s charismatic but actually a very private individual and a solitary thinker, definitely more Ni than Ne. His bias for action is more Te than Ti. Also highly improbable that his inferior function is Si – in fact I’d say he’s pretty close to an Si dominant (probably Ni dominant).

ENTPs don’t write books with titles like Dreams From My Father. Obama very strongly focuses on deep, ‘sacred’ stories. He’s not a tinkerer like say, Ben Franklin (founding father and obvious ENTP)

I actually can’t really think of any ENTPs in American politics (though to be fair I’m not American and I don’t follow it that closely). Deciding to be President is a gruelling journey that requires immense, monomaniacal focus. I doubt there are many ENTP senators and congresspeople, let alone POTUSes. Most ENTPs would get bored and stifled halfway along the road to POTUS.

There maybe some amongst the founding fathers because that was a better environment for mavericks – but to play politics professionally for decades? Kryptonite for most ENTPs. You’ll find us hosting talkshows, doing standup, starting businesses… not running for President of a massive bureaucracy like the USA.

Jon Stewart might be an ENTP. George Carlin definitely was. Russell Brand, most likely. Douglas Adams. Louis CK, maybe.

Barack Obama doesn’t quite fit in that camp. He was a “values man” long before he got into politics, grappling with deep concerns about identity and belonging. ENTPs care about that too, but with more of a trickster/joker approach.

Obama was never a class clown or court jester. He always knew he wanted to be King, in the best sense of the word. Definitely a J. Closer to Gandhi and Hitler, who were INFJs.

Also another interesting fact about Obama – he’s known to have a very tight, closely guarded inner circle with very strong filters for what information gets in. Most ENTPs I know are a lot more flexible about listening to everybody and hanging out with people after work.


Manage your meatbag. Keep eating hearty breakfasts, drink lots of water, stay away from cigarettes, work in scheduled blocks, plan my fun in advance, take lots of deep breaths. Eliminate noise and clutter. Prioritize.

Wake up. Be here nowSleep early. Explore your curiosities. Face your fears. Let go of the past. Let go of your old self. Address recurring concerns. Get the basic 101s right. Dismantle your guilt. Work on your fitness. Do squats [1]. Figure out howto do things.

Clarify your wants. Identify your desired end-states. Travel. Relax.

Apply force violently – strike hard while the iron is hot. Utilize decisive bursts. Do the thing.

Eliminate obligation debt. Owing people stuff sucks psychologically and physiologically. We’re just not wired to be able to do that and be happy at the same time. Start by saying no more, making fewer promises. Only promise what you can deliver. Beyond that, identify what your existing obligation debt is. Again, eliminate whatever you can, and focus on whatever you can’t. Prioritize the most urgent/critical, get that out of the way. Move on to the next thing. Then when you have a chance to breathe, plan ahead and see how you can get the next bunch of stuff out of the way, ideally ahead of time. Teach yourself to act and move faster.

Improve your rate-of-learning. Are you still doing the same things you did 3 months ago? Then you’re not learning fast enough. Learn to focus. Read.

Work backwards from desired end-states. If you don’t know where you’re headed, then your energy is going to be wasted, misdirected.

Break things down into smaller sub-steps. You like to think you can just improvise your way through things, but that doesn’t work for anything that isn’t trivial. You can’t do long division in your head. Your work is more complex than long division. Stop trying to do it in your head. Appreciate the utility of articulating and externalizing your thinking.

Take the first actionable step. Don’t talk so much about all sorts of things and then not do anything. Do something.

Identify and eliminate limiting beliefs. Often these beliefs are legitimate, eg. I don’t think I can do something because I’ve never done it before. The trick to cracking that is to do something simpler that you’ve never done before. Boom, now you know that you are capable of doing new things. Now start doing progressively harder new things.

Climb up, don’t preach down. Help people up when you can, but not at the expense of climbing further up yourself. Pioneers are more valuable than bridge-builders.

Identify when you’re down. Recognize when your thought patterns are particularly pessimistic. Don’t deny them, allow them through, but send them on their way.

Refuse to give in to darkness. When you’re tired, frustrated, bored, overwhelmed, troubled, burdened – realize that this is nothing new. This is what beats down idealistic youth and yields cynical old bastards. You’re better than that. You’re too young to be world-weary or suicidal. Interesting things will still happen, be a part of it.

Do not pace the threshold. If something needs doing, jump in, face it head on, do it. Apply force violently.

Motivate yourself. Regularly. Constantly. Every day. You’re made of stars, your bones are stronger than steel, your brain is the most complex parallel processor in the known universe. In an instant you can change your mental model of everything. The last chapter to your life has not been written yet and it doesn’t matter what happened yesterday. It doesn’t matter what happened to you; what matters is, what are you going to do about it?

Make a list of personal KPIsMeasure them closely.

Examine your revealed beliefs.

Give away everything you know. Stop hoarding shit, it’ll tire you out.

Beware dumb people. You can’t undumb the dumb. It’s a full time job trying to undumb yourself.

Accept the hand you’re dealt. Stop denying or refusing to reckon with reality.

Pay attention to internal rhythms.

Pay attention to others. It’s not all about you.

Get out of Boringville – hunting down what you find interesting is practically a moral imperative.

Contemplate the passage of time.

Beware the trappings of civilization, ie supernormal stimuli. 

Tame your mind.

Journal regularly. Every morning, ideally. Think about your goals, your values, your best opportunities. Start from the beginning. Be grateful. Gratitude is very powerful, it might sounds soft, but billionaires practice it. It’s not genetic, they work at it. While everyone is worried about turmoil and crisis, the best one say what am I grateful for, what are the opportunities here, what’s good? Celebrate their team, their own talents, stay focused.


know yourself, be aware of yourself


support yourself

regulate your emotions / psyche

manage yourself

motivate yourself



be proactive?

0374 – contemplate what’s changed and prepare for future change

be precise


design solutions to your problems

dealing with failure, mistakes, plateaus, setbacks

avoid failure / fix mental bugs



This is a long list of random things that I had accumulated in my Evernote. Will tidy up and process when I next feel like it.

I want to witness more sunrises and sunsets.  I find them to be appropriately awe-inspiring and humbling. They remind me that I’m just a little human in the grander scheme of things, and they remind me that great, beautiful things are possible. It’s like a mini-version of the Overview Effect, which I have often said I’d like to witness.

todo: sleep and wake earlier

I want to meet more people

“I met an acquaintance for dinner yesterday– we talked about our lives over McDonald’s. I enjoyed it. I should meet more of such people on a regular basis. I enjoy eating lunch with my colleagues every day– it can be a slightly different mix of people each time, and there’s usually some good conversation to be had. There’s no reason why I can’t do the same for dinner on a more regular basis.” (0385)

I currently don’t feel like I have time to meet people. This is because I’m not managing my time well. I need to manage my time better so I can fulfil my obligations AND have time for myself and the things I want.

I want to learn to draw.

I don’t need to draw photorealistic things, I just want to be able to communicate and express myself visually through doodles and sketches, comic style. I need to accept that the initial stuff is going to look terrible, and I need to be okay with that. It’s totally possible to learn to draw at 26 years of age. Skills can be trained.

I want to earn real friendship. (VAGUE)

Sometimes it feels like I’m spending my whole life in search of a true friend, in the most idealistic sense of friendship. As I get older it becomes clearer that it’s probably not possible. I’m already very lucky to have married someone who loves me, and to work with colleagues who accept and appreciate me, and in both cases I’m trying (perhaps not smartly enough, never smartly enough) to become more worthy of such kinship.

I’ve realized that adulthood is about parenting yourself, and I suppose in life you also have to be your own best friend. I’ve met a couple of good people in recent weeks and it’s been energizing, so from a meatbag management perspective I should keep doing that. But it becomes clearer and clearer that in the end that still won’t be sufficient. Friends can give you validation and support, and really good friends can give you valuable negative feedback. But do we even really need that? If I really sit down with myself and be honest with myself I know what my flaws are and I know what needs to be done to fix it.

todo: figure out who my “best” friends are (define this more clearly for myself– will do this personally) and invest more in those relationships, and in becoming a person that such people / more such people would want to befriend

to be debt free / financially independent

The debt that weighs on my mind right now is my house– the fact that I’ll take 27 more years to completely pay it off. I don’t know how I’m thinking about that or how I ought to think about that. Technically I need to know that I could sell my house if I had to. I can’t sell it for a couple of more years, but I should be able to withstand that long.

Living expenses– I could live more cheaply if I had to. I’m hesitant to do this I guess because it feels like it would take forever anyway. I should quantify this stuff and clarify.

Whatever the case, there is anxiety here that could be reduced. I should figure it out and chat about it with my wife.

I want to learn to cook.

This means learning to prepare specific meals with specific ingredients. I should learn to reliably make a particular dish. I can make eggs and a protein shake. I think I should learn to make tuna pasta next, since it’s relatively simple/predictable.

I want to spend less time and energy paying attention to stupid bullshit that will never bother me.

particularly the stupidity of others. it’s a trap.

I want to finish my 1000 word vomits project.

I want to say that I want to complete it ASAP, but it seems like I don’t actually want to push myself that hard on that one. I need to figure out what’s the

I want to remember that life is a grand adventure / live with joy

(Dictator quote)

It’s not always obvious, but life is a grand adventure. It is utterly epic, constantly surprising, constantly changing. I think it’s really important to hold on to this, although I do suppose that letting go of it from time to time allows it to be rediscovered with great joy.

living with joy, breathing deep and laughing big, deep belly laughs, having lots of fun, dancing and singing and exploring.

todo: remind self, obviously, but also plan, prioritize and do things that remind me of this thing. make a list of things that remind me of this thing, and do them regularly.

to get things done (VAGUE), and to get good at getting things done

Ultimately the intent is to be happy IN my life, not just WITH it. And to do that I need to have gotten stuff done. I need to cut ropes, break things open, and really feel like I’m breathing deeply into the good stuff. Once I do that, I don’t have to be annoyed or frustrated with other people’s nonsense.

The real question is, what’s the desired end state? And what’s my plan of action to get to that desired end state? And what problems will I encounter along the way, and how do I visualize myself dealing with those problems, to make sure they don’t happen again? And then what steps do I need to take to make sure that goes according to plan? And when I’m done with that, what’s the next desired end state? This is a new language for me, but I intend to be fluent in it.

I want to minimize unnecessary fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Obviously everyone wants this done for them, as humans we like to not have to deal with this stuff. But that means doing some hard and painful work, that’s the counter-intuitive part.

todo: identify things causing me FUD, figure out how to fix or alleviate them, and execute on those things

to be honest.

Being dishonest is tiresome, painful, embarrassing, hurtful, and really just untenable. Strive to be as honest as possible (except in those weird freak situations, like “should you tell a murderer where their target is”).

todo: identify situations in which I’ve been dishonest, troubleshoot them, replay them in my mind, work out how to do things better, introspect, review.

to be more valuable at work. (VAGUE)

I don’t want to owe anybody any backlog. I want to be an asset to any team I work with, to challenge people to be better, to NOT be the limiting factor. This requires me to be industrious, to motivate myself and to train myself.

to leave work everyday feeling satisfied

This requires me to know that I spent my days well, and that requires me to measure carefully how I’m spending my time, what I’m devoting my energy towards.

to never feel sorry for myself

It’s just tedious and wasteful to do that. You can feel sorry for maybe 5 minutes, then you gotta be a gangsta.

to be kind to myself.

I don’t want to hate on myself for not fulfilling my obligations, because that doesn’t help me fulfil my obligations. feeling bad is not a useful feeling. I don’t want to be cruel or unkind to myself for that. It’s unnecessary, and it’s also distracting. There’s a better way– an ideal path of simultaneously being kind and being firm, not giving in too much but not pushing too hard.

to be physically bigger.

“I want to be bigger. Literally, I would like to occupy more space, contain more mass. How much more mass exactly? I’m not completely sure. I’m 85kg right now. I think I’d like to be 100kg. A tenth of a ton. That sounds good.

When I was skinny, I fantasized about being big and buff and having 6 pack abs all at once. Now that I’m halfway there, I realize that eating is a huge part of gaining weight. It sounds silly when framed like that- OBVIOUSLY you need to eat to gain weight. At the time though I was still a very picky, sparse eater, and while I could intellectually conceive of the idea of eating more, I couldn’t accurately imagine what it would feel like to actually do it.

As I’ve started eating more though I’ve discovered that there are all sorts of nuances to foods and moods. There is something unappetizing and off-putting about incredibly dry cuts of lean meat. Eggs are great, to some extent. Milk is great, to some extent. Sometimes after a workout I want a really greasy burger or pizza.

I’m getting the sense that this isn’t purely psychological. There probably is some psychological component, for sure, but it also feels like there’s something more primal or physical about what the body wants.

I guess another interesting lesson there is that I can’t project too much, too far, because I don’t have an accurate map of what things are going to be like. There are some things I can get a rough idea of by talking to older people who have walked the same path, but beyond that I have to allow quite a bit of leeway for variation and variability. More than what I’d expect if I just went with the flow.”

to work with words. (VAGUE)

I know that I like words, and that I can spend an indefinite amount of time just learning about their history and studying how they’re put together and so on. So it makes a lot of sense for me to want to be a writer. I love the smell of a beautiful sentence. So that’s easy for me. But what do I know beyond that? Should that be the central thing in my life around which everything else is organized? What would that even mean, what would that even look like? How can you purely pursue a craft for the sake of craftsmanship if you don’t know what you’re doing it for? What is the point of writing?

to publish regularly.

The longer I go without publishing something, the more miserable and anxious I get. Publishing regularly is a salve. I need to remember this.

to follow my curiosity (VAGUE)

I want to learn more about history. I want to have a better sense of how the world works, so that I can feel more comfortable and relaxed about where I am and what I’m doing.

earn the freedom to be spontaneous

Being completely spontaneous requires being able to first take care of business, and that requires practice, scheduling, management and all sorts of things. Improvisation requires rehearsal.

to write stories.

What would be the coolest thing for me to publish next, as a word vomit, as a short story, or as dialogue? No, I don’t want to just do a little dialogue. I want to do stories. Well, how am I going to define what a story is? Am I just going to describe a fictional environment? Am I going to describe a single fictional person? Am I going to describe some sort of conflict? I suppose I could run through each of those things. I’m not obliged to write self-contained stories right at the start. I can do snippets, little notes. I can do criticisms and analyses of existing books and of characters. These wouldn’t be pointless, they’ll help me figure out what I want to write later on. As long as I’m doing it for that purpose, and not utterly mindless self-indulgence, that that’s okay. Mindless self indulgence is ALSO okay, but I’d like to do better than that. I don’t want to take random walks in purely random directions when I can take a semi-random walk in a semi-deliberate direction that I know is likely to be better for me.

to help people. (TOO VAGUE)

I like helping people, I like connecting with people, and now that this is over I can start focusing on my daily exercise and I can and should reach out to people and sync up with them about drinks and food and so on. And I want to remind myself that the most important thing is for me to ask questions, and to listen, because I don’t really learn anything by confirming what I already think I know. I only learn by asking questions and teasing out what OTHERS know, and then using that to challenge what I thought I knew.

Ponder: “I’ve written nice long emails to students who ask me for help, and yet I procrastinate on doing work for my boss and colleagues, who I admire and respect very much. This is something I need to resolve.”

I want people to feel safe around me

that with me they can be themselves.

to be fair to me-now and future-me

I think what I’d like is to try and strike a balance between what would make me happy right now and what would make me happy tomorrow, and a week from now. I think it’s important to have nuance in those timelines– I wrote in an earlier post about how I tend to view time through “right now” and “the inevitable heat death of the universe”. If I’m lucky, if I’m productive, I think about tonight, and maybe tomorrow.
But I should also be thinking about next week, and next month. And I don’t do those things. I can’t plan for goals that are months down the line, and in that regard I’m almost disabled. Illiterate might be a better word. I don’t speak the language. I don’t receive the signals, I don’t interpret them. I’m like the fat guy in a room of fit guys, the non-musician in music school, so on and so forth.

“If I could turn back time I’d have invested more points in “draw”, “code”,  “dance” and “work out”. Anything would’ve been better than “laze around listlessly”.”  – with the benefit of hindsight, workout was the most powerful. Keep working out. Work out more.  http://visakanv.com/1000/0094-games-arent-just-games/

“I want to be happier. I want to make more people happy. I want my wife to be happy. I want to enjoy more good moments out of time. To afford those things I need to be more focused and razorsharp in the work that I do. I need to be proactive, begin with the end in mind, and do first things first. Life is short and it ought to be well-spent. Sitting on my ass is not pleasant unless I’ve first done some good work. So I need to do good work to enjoy sitting on my ass, and I need to enjoy sitting on my ass so I can do good work.

I want to have a good time, damnit, and I know now that it’s impossible to have a sustainably good time in the dark playground. So I need to come into the light, painful and scary as that might initially be.” – http://visakanv.com/1000/0266-planning-next-steps-after-a-holiday/

“…there is a lot of richness in our behaviors and our motivations that we aren’t always privvy to. Most things are subconscious. So we can spend a lot of time simply evaluating our subconscious. And that seems to me to be a more compelling frontier. You have inside your body, inside your brain, this system of thinking, this system of processing reality. This system of beliefs that you might not even realize you hold until you test them rigorously. Don’t you want to know they are?”

“Living with [my issues] is a worst case option of sorts- the reason I write and think about these things so much is because I don’t like the idea of dying without having at LEAST made some progress on these fronts. i’d like to witness myself getting better at these things. I’d like to witness myself discovering that I was right about how I felt about some things, and that others were wrong about me. That’s somehow important to me right now. I sense that it won’t always be, that someday this goal will feel silly. But I’m not sure if I can skip this one. We’ll see.” – http://visakanv.com/1000/0190-awakening-to-inner-richness/

“Do what YOU want, motherfuckers. Look at yourself in the eye and ask yourself what makes you happy. What makes your heart sing. Ask yourself who you’re trying to impress, and why. What are the assumptions you’re making about the social reality that you live in? What is the water that you don’t realize that you’re swimming in? What are the things that you could change, without you even realizing it? Without you ever having considered? What are the things you do every day, every morning, etc that you don’t realize that you could be doing differently?

I can’t answer that question for you, but you need to jump onto the landmine called you and blow yourself the fuck up, motherfucker. And by you I mean me. See ya on the other end.” – http://visakanv.com/1000/0177-why-bother-doing-your-work-when-the-universe-is-going-to-be-extinguished-in-the-end/

“Explore curiosity and be useful to people.”

“I’m burdened needlessly by big plans and big ambitions that are too large to chew on. I just keep them around as psychological clutter to make me feel better about myself. I need to discard all of them and focus on what I can do each day.”

“No grand ideas. No big ambitions. The only task at hand is self mastery. To fulfill my obligations. Today I committed to being early for work, which I was. I kept repeating to myself that I had to jump out of bed when my alarm went off, and I did. Whoopee! I need to grease that groove and set it in stone.” – http://visakanv.com/1000/0147-if-it-works-do-you-accelerate-it/

From sensationalist to genuinely useful: “As I look back on my output now, I struggle to identify the real value. I’m a little overwhelmed by how staggeringly few and far between my insights are. Almost everything that I’ve gotten credit for has been rehashed, reapplied ideas and perspectives of others. A lot of it is populist, sensationalist crap. I wrote stuff optimising for distribution, not depth. I think that was rational and fair at the time. I didn’t know what I wanted, so I did what was fun, whatever yielded returns. But it’s clear to me that doing that is merely a local optima. There are higher peaks to scale in the pursuit of thinking/writing excellence, and to get there I have to forgo what has worked for me for the bulk of my blogging/writing “career”. I want to transition from being sensationalist to being genuinely useful.” – http://visakanv.com/1000/0119-unclogged-future-direction/

Becoming Useful: “If I met Seth Godin or Paul Graham or Jimmy Wales or Elon Musk any of those cool people, I wouldn’t have anything useful to tell them. That sucks. I don’t just want to be some passive fan in the crowd, I want to get onstage and play some awesome music. I just remembered watching the Tesla shareholder meeting where this guy essentially begged Musk for a job. Musk was pretty gracious about it (I think because of his own past experience doing cold approaches like at Netscape), but I couldn’t help but cringe for the guy. Begging is a very bad strategy. (The only worse strategy is to do nothing at all.) Seduction is a good metaphor here. You want to be headhunted. Tesla and SpaceX ARE hiring. The goal should be to be so good that they can’t ignore you.”

“Why write? George Orwell: “Political purpose… push the world in a direction, alter peoples’ idea of the society they should strive after.”

I’d like my life to be radically different, if only because life is short and it shouldn’t be the same thing over and over again. – http://visakanv.com/1000/0361-play-the-bigger-games/

“I want to be like Shepard. I want to grow, I want to be useful, powerful, attractive, reliable. I want to be able to smile and laugh heartily, and I want to be able to solve other people’s problems. To get to that state, first I need to solve my own problems. To do that, I need to identify my own problems. The main thing I need to solve seems to be an energy / blood sugar type problem.”

  • I’d like to be a better public speaker. I think I have value to contribute. I think I can be funny, entertaining, engaging, thought-provoking. I felt very chirpy, engaged and electrified after speaking. There’s really nothing quite like it. Being in the presence of people. Communicating with your whole body, with your voice, with volume and tone- all of these nuances I haven’t learnt to exploit and manipulate yet. I recall how energised I was after I did standup comedy once upon a time.
  • I need to work out and get big and strong. I used to read up about it.

Tall Skinny Guy Problems

Clothes don’t fit. If pants fit at the waist, they’re too short. If they’re long enough, they’re too wide. If a jacket fits your shoulders, the sleeves are too short.

If you’re really skinny, your alcohol tolerance is low. (This gets better as you gain more weight.)

Furniture isn’t designed for you, so you never quite feel comfortable in a chair, at a table. This is especially frustrating with public transport.

If you’re bony, it hurts your butt when you sit. It hurts your back when you lie flat on the ground, or you sit in a hard-backed chair. You gotta do some heavy squats to start packing on some meat, but if you’re going to the gym…

Gym challenges. If you’re new to the gym, and you go to the squat rack, the rack is set too low. So you’re going to have to adjust the height. If you’re sharing with somebody else, you’re going to have to adjust between every set.

If you’re tall, doing squats and bench presses are both harder for you than they are for most people, because of the physics of having long limbs. (This is the real reason why olympic bodybuilders tend to be short, and the source of the myth “bodybuilding stunts your growth”).

You hit your head on things more than most people.

You’re likelier to have your lung collapse.

You don’t look very masculine. This has repercussions in a bunch of areas – how other men treat you [1], how attractive women find you.

Center of gravity is very high, meaning you’re easy to knock over.

If you have a substantial height difference with your SO, kissing and hugging is always a bit of a stretch.

Relevant reads:

ENTP problems

A caveat to start with – I do not believe that personality tests are destiny, or even conclusive. It just so happens that I happen to fit the profile of a theoretical ENTP very well. I’m just listing these things out so I can address them in later blogposts. Think of it as a sort of… crude map, not to be mistaken for the actual territory. People are complex, vast and contain multitudes.

More later.