Welcome back to the Always Uttori INTJ Mastermind Series, Part 2. If you missed part one, check it out here.
Anyone who reads this blog knows that I often say that I’m no fan of stereotypes. However, a trait that can be applied to most INTJs is that, once you discover that you are an INTJ, there is a tendency to try and learn everything you can about your cognition style. If you’re lucky, you’ll find the positive stuff first. What’s the positive stuff? Well, the positive stuff is usually focused on cognitive process. By cognitive process, I mean the stuff that categorizes what each aspect of your cognitive stack does, the articles that highlight the interactions and functions of individual cognitive traits. This type of information is positive because, from that perspective, it’s easy to understand why psychologist David Keirsey profiled INTJs as masterminds. In this sense, being a mastermind, much like the varying definitions of the popular strengths-finder profiles, is a descriptor of an INTJ’s cognitive strengths — when those strengths are fully developed and working at optimum effectiveness.
So, from a cognitive process perspective, it’s great to be an INTJ. We’re masterminds — something that you have to admit sounds good, especially as INTJs often feel alienated by the way their minds work. When INTJs discover that there are others like them, they often embrace the INTJ label as fully as possible, eagerly hunting down information about INTJ cognition, and savoring every insight that gives us a fuller picture of what (it means to be an INTJ) and how (an INTJ’s cognition works). Yet, there can be a negative side to this search for discovery. If learning about the process of INTJ cognition is positive, then the negative side can be found in the wealth of information available from those who don’t understand INTJ cognition. We’ve all seen the stereotypes. INTJs are arrogant, villainous, can’t do relationships, dislike romance, don’t do fashion, aren’t tactful, have no emotions, etc. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Worse, many of us, still bruised from a lifetime of not understanding why we didn’t fit in, embrace the negativity associated with INTJ stereotypes. Understandable. After finally finding “your people,” it’s hard to renounce the supposed traits that make you part of a collective—even if we INTJs don’t “people” much. To be quite honest, it can be fun, sometimes, to embrace negativity, especially when you are fed up with the multitude of unnecessary issues in the world; or, even because there may be a grain of truth to a few of the stereotypes. Even so, a true mastermind would never let someone else label and define them. Masterminds are systems thinkers. We are analyzers, pattern-seekers, rationals, lovers of logic. We operate at our best when learning deeply and broadly. Complex systems intrigue us. Identifying ways in which, even the most complex of systems, can be made better, that’s like dessert before dinner. So, if those descriptions are the what and the how of INTJ cognitive tendencies, why in the world would we let others tell us who we are? Why would we let these labels (even the label mastermind) and stereotypes stop us from developing our natural cognitive strengths? Why would we embrace the antithesis of our natural cognitive style? The answer is, of course, the INTJ paradox, but we’ll save that discussion for next month. The reality is that any INTJ who truly wishes to become a mastermind must embrace the three disciplines of cognitive development.
Because of the length of this article, it has been broken into sections. To continue reading, Go to next section: Three Disciplines of INTJ Mastermind Mastery