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Write It Down!

There was an elderly couple sitting on the front porch in their rocking chairs and talking about what a good life they had enjoyed.  The lady said: "Pa, I would like to have some ice cream," and he said, "That sounds good, Ma, with chocolate syrup.  I'll go to the store and get it."

She said, "You had better write it down!"  And he said, "I don't need to; my memory is still good."

When he got back, he had two ham sandwiches.  She said, "See, Pa, I told you to write it down.  I wanted mustard on mine."

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They say INFJs are the ones most likely to "put it in writing."  Well, they don't necessarily mean contracts and legal documents.  They're probably talking about INFJs who keep a notebook to scribble in because it makes them feel like they are more in control and are missing less.  All too often, good ideas float into our heads, and just as easily float right out.  INFJs who realize this carry around a notebook so that the best of those ideas make it to paper.  And most INFJs have learned to keep pen and paper at their bedside, because who knows when iNtuition may strike!?

If you're resistant to writing things down and hate to be hampered with writing materials, then consider this: Henry Thompson writes in his book, Jung's Function-Attitudes Explained, that

Ni is constantly feeding images, ideas and thoughts into the symbolic memory as well as retrieving data from it for use on current thoughts.  Unfortunately, much of the steady stream of images going into symbolic memory does not make it into permanent storage or into a retrievable area.  Consequently, many of the Ni's best images are lost.  Another problem with Ni's contribution to memory is that the data may be of such an abstract form that it has to be modified to be retrieved, resulting in a loss of meaning.  This may lead to the memory of an event not coinciding with objective reality.

Now I'm not suggesting that writing things down is the antidote to this problem, but why risk anything more getting lost?

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While purposeful activity contributes to happiness, feelings of lost thoughts and opportunities contribute to an unhealthy frustration.  People who feel like their best ideas escape them are 37 percent less likely to feel content than people who do not.

Madigan, Mise, and Maynard 1996

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