Like beauty, meaning is in the eye of the beholder.
You may define a meaningful existence as one filled with love, laughter, and happiness. Or perhaps you believe meaning emerges from seizing the moment and taking full advantage of the opportunities that the world presents. Or you may believe life has meaning only when a person acts in harmony with their values and beliefs. You may take a more holistic approach to the question, believing all of the above are necessary to live a life that really matters.
Regardless of what we think it means to be meaningful, there’s always room for improvement. With that in mind, here’s list of ideas that can help each of the 16 personality types add more purpose, clarity, and fulfillment to their lives:
ESFPs: Make a monthly list of the things you need to do
Since they become so immersed in each day’s developments, ESFPs often lose their long-term focus and neglect important goals or responsibilities as a result. If you’re an ESFP you may find yourself bouncing from task to task and project to project without actually getting a lot of things done (which can make your life feel aimless). To address this tendency, sit down on the first day of each month to make a list of all the things you’d like to get accomplished over the next 30 or 31 days. Check the list frequently, to make sure you aren’t falling behind.
ISFPs: Make two or three resolutions and stick to them
As an ever-spontaneous ISFP you almost always live in the present, which helps you adapt and function effectively in most environments. But you may be a little weak on long-term planning and may not think about the future much at all, and you’ve probably experienced some disappointment in your life as a result. One excellent way to break this self-sabotaging habit is through that old standard, the New Year’s resolution – although you don’t have to wait until New Year’s to make one! Treat your resolutions as sacred and unbreakable promises (don’t be afraid to think big!), and you may be amazed to discover what you can accomplish.
ENFPs: Organize a cleanup crew in your neighborhood
Organizing and leading an environmental cleanup crew to patrol your neighborhood to pick up garbage and recyclables from the streets, sidewalks, parks, and roadsides is an ideal activity for socially conscious ENFPs. You may sometimes struggle to translate your best intentions and boundless energy into effective action, and this is a project that can help you break that pattern. It’s something you can do literally right outside your front door, in the company of an enthusiastic group of friends, family members and neighbors whose cooperation will keep you motivated.
INFPs: Launch a comprehensive home decluttering project
INFPs are nostalgic and don’t like to get rid of anything they once valued. They are also only sporadically organized. As a consequence they tend to fill their homes with items that once had meaningful associations, but now just leave their living spaces looking overstuffed and disorganized. As an INFP you can benefit in general by becoming more organized and disciplined, and more aware of your surroundings. A massive decluttering project that cleans out and reorganizes your home from top to bottom can leave you feeling refreshed, invigorated, and ready to start anew.
ENTJs: Plan birthday parties for close friends or loved ones
As an ENTJ you are a natural-born leader and a superb event organizer. But you may not use these skills as often as you should in the context of relationships. Planning birthday parties is one outstanding way to change this habit, as it will put you in charge of managing rousing get-togethers that will bring great joy into the lives of people you care about deeply. Taking on this responsibility will put you in touch with your more sensitive and empathic side, which can be an issue for ENTJs.
INTJs: Say a sincere ‘thank you’ to the people who’ve helped you
INTJs often forget to acknowledge the people who’ve helped them, in part because they tend to avoid introspection and reflection. This can stop you from reaching emotional maturity, as you may end up convincing yourself that you accomplished everything on your own and don’t owe others anything. This is certainly a false conception (no one is an island), and you can become a more humble and compassionate person (and a happier and healthier one) if you offer thanks and gratitude to those who truly deserve it.
ESTJs: Ask people about their feelings, and often
At the deepest level ESTJs are kind-hearted. But they often struggle to see things from the other person’s point of view. If you’re like most ESTJs you probably assume everything is okay when your loved ones and co-workers aren’t openly expressing displeasure, which can leave you oblivious to the small signs that might indicate discomfort or displeasure. To stay clued in you should ask people close to you how they’re feeling on a regular basis, so you can gauge the true impact of your words and actions. In the end, you’ll deepen your connections with other people by taking this approach.
ISTJs: Focus on developing a new skill or hobby
Duty-bound ISTJs like you are deeply committed to their work, families and communities. Unfortunately, you may be so busy being busy that you don’t take time to nurture and care for yourself, or practice fun activities that bring you pleasure but aren’t considered “productive.” If this describes your situation, you should stop ignoring your needs and priorities and focus a bit more on developing your talents and potential. You’ll take pride in your accomplishments, knowing that you can fulfill your responsibilities and blossom as a human being simultaneously.
ESFJs: Go on solo camping trips
ESFJs like yourself can gain immense satisfaction by learning to do things on their own, without relying on others for companionship or assistance. Solo camping is a fantastic hobby for ESFJs, who can learn how to be more flexible and independent as they cope with the challenges of sleeping, cooking, and staying warm, dry, and safe while spending the night outdoors. On a camping trip you’ll enjoy the peace and solitude of being surrounded by nature, and you’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment as your skills of self-reliance develop.
ISFJs: Make friends with people who are different from you
ISFJs generally stay in their own lanes, spending time exclusively with family members and long-time friends. As an ISFJ you tend to repeat the same patterns of behavior over and over, limiting your potential for personal growth. To counter this tendency, try reaching out to people who come from a variety of social, cultural, economic, or religious backgrounds, or who have interesting hobbies you’ve never tried. Your intriguing interactions will broaden your horizons and let you share some of the wisdom that others have accumulated as a result of their unique perspectives and experiences.
ENTPs: Pick up an abandoned project and finish it
As an ENTP, you’re likely known for your constant stream of creative inspirations. But visionary ENTPs have a habit of leaving their exciting new projects half-finished, if they get around to starting them at all. To break this pattern you should select one of your unfinished projects, create a detailed plan of action to reboot it, and then follow your plan to the letter until the project is completed—and then rinse and repeat, until all of your projects are finished. This will help you develop the self-discipline necessary to be a creative person who actually creates.
INTPs: Teach a course in your area of expertise
INTPs like yourself are active and curious thinkers who spend an extraordinary amount of time expanding their knowledge base and developing new and innovative theories. Yet too often you isolate yourself from others, retreating further into your own mind rather than sharing your discoveries and creative breakthroughs with the world. Teaching courses in your special areas of expertise at local community centers or on virtual education platforms will take you out of your self-imposed isolation, letting you form warm and rewarding connections with students who will appreciate your insights.
ESTPs: Take up a mindfulness practice
If you’re an ESTP, the chances are you’re always on the go, living each moment to the fullest and reacting to what is happening around you instantly and with a decisive response. What you’re likely not doing is spending time in silent meditation or in serenity-inducing yoga poses, bringing stillness to your mind and giving yourself a chance to step back and reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re going. By developing a mindfulness practice you can learn to be more self-aware and in control of your choices, which will help you achieve greater psychological and emotional balance.
ISTPs: Get to work on your autobiography
As an ISTP, you undoubtedly benefit from your focus on the here-and-now. But you won’t grow as a person unless you take time to think about your hopes and dreams, and about your sorrows and disappointments as well. To develop a more self-conscious mindset you should spend a few moments each day over the next couple of years composing your autobiography, making sure to include every detail you can remember. The writing process will be most enlightening, as it will force you to reflect more deeply on your past, present, and future.
ENFJs: Develop the habit of self-reflection
Like other enthusiastic ENFJs, you won’t let a golden opportunity slip by just because the details seem a little fuzzy, the finances a little questionable, or the time commitments a little overwhelming. Sadly, you often become overextended, which forces you to abandon many of your best plans before they come to fruition. To change this habit you should set aside 15-20 minutes every day to pause and reflect on your mistakes, so you can identify what you did wrong and avoid repeating those errors in judgment in the future.
INFJs: Severely limit or eliminate your social media exposure
If you’re like most INFJs, you’re intense and passionate about many issues, and consequently you may be unable to resist the lure of social media debates. Since INFJs have an aversion to conflict and are exceptionally sensitive to criticism, getting involved in arguments on Facebook or Twitter can leave you feeling stressed, depressed, and drained of hope. Thankfully you can reverse your slide by stepping away for good, which will allow your idealism and optimism to gradually reemerge.