Thirty-six, if you believe the results of a recent survey, is the age you give up on your career. You spend your 20s trying to vaguely sort your shit out enough to get a job, and before you know it you’re in your 30s and it’s too late to even think about whether it’s what you wanted to do. Life’s pendulum swings on.
From: “We Asked People in Their 30s If They Hate Their Jobs” on Vice.com
When I was 36 I was just starting to really get the momentum rolling on my coaching biz. I hadn’t yet written even the first draft for the book I released this year, The INFJ Writer, and I was still trying to get the hang of the whole blogging thing. You could say I was a late bloomer. But I didn’t have a problem with that because I’ve met more and more writers in the past few years who were late bloomers too, and I was starting to see that was okay.
However, for a lot of years I felt horrible about myself because it seemed like I would never figure out my life purpose.
So, when I was writing The INFJ Writer, I knew I had to put in a chapter about finding your life purpose, and how it can sometimes take a while. I knew other writers and artists had gone through this same experience, regardless of their personality type:
I won’t list the particulars of how I knew I was different, because any Sensitive Intuitive reading this book has already gone through their own list. Suffice to say that I had the same experience any of us has when we find the description on the internet of what we are and why we are different. It doesn’t matter if you came to it through Myers-Briggs, or through a Highly Sensitive Person website, or through the online raised awareness of introversion we’ve seen in recent years. However you came to it, I know you had a very similar experience to mine. Suddenly, pieces of you that seemed odd-shaped and like they didn’t fit anywhere all came together. Suddenly, you understood why you were different.
But then, the next step comes and you’re back in confusion. And that next step always shows up sooner or later. After you’ve gorged yourself on every bit of available knowledge out there about INFJs, INFPs, Idealists, HSPs, introverts and empaths, you’re left with new questions that can’t be avoided.
What’s the purpose of being born like this?
—From The INFJ Writer
When people talk about the practice of writing it’s often compared to being a doctor or a plumber. “You have to show up and do the work like a professional. No excuses!” Not surprisingly, this advice is often not very helpful. Because being a writer isn’t anything at all like being a doctor or a plumber. It’s not a job you go to college and get a degree for. It doesn’t offer clearly-outlined corporate steps to the corner office. There are no rewards given for tenure or seniority or putting in overtime.
The plain truth is that writing is just not like any other job.
And if you’re an intuitive writer, it’s that much harder for you. Because chances are good that you’re not writing for worldly success. You’re writing to get your message out. And thinking long and hard about that message and how to present it to the world has made up the majority of your days and nights for who knows how long.
A Sensitive Intuitive who has consciously chosen to work with a life purpose that is focused on serving humanity is a very powerful force to be reckoned with. If that Sensitive Intuitive also has a clear idea of their own unique artistic gifts and essence, they’re pretty much unstoppable.
For the Sensitive Intuitive writer this gift comes through in their writing, which they’ve been called to in order to spread their message. And every message is different. Different types and genres of writing reach different kinds of people and speak to them in different ways. Although much of the publishing world is focused on what’s selling now and how to predict what will sell next, Sensitive Intuitives are writing for an entirely different reason. We are writing to help people. That’s why many of us don’t understand the publishing game. It can feel so alien and foreign to us that we end up in despair that we’ll ever be able to “make it” as a writer. But the purpose of our writing is not to make money or become popular. The purpose of our writing is to touch hearts, and if we’re lucky, even help a few to open.
—From The INFJ Writer
If this describes you as a writer then it’s time to get serious about working your life purpose. THE INFJ Writer has exercises and meditations for all writers no matter what personality type they might happen to be. In order to do the work you were put here to do, you need to use every tool at your disposal.
You cannot be afraid. You are here for a reason, and that reason can only be revealed through your writing, your letters to the world.
You can start with this exercise from The INFJ Writer:
Sit in a quiet space and give yourself time to think deeply about these questions before you answer them. Write your answers as honestly as possible.
Who are some of the authors that have most deeply influenced you? Why?
Is there a family member or friend who has deeply influenced you, whether positively or negatively? Who was this person and what did you learn from them or from your experience with them?
What experience have you had in your life that has brought some of the hardest emotions to deal with? What were these emotions? How did you handle them?
What do you feel your life purpose is? Do you have any idea or are you very puzzled about it at this time in your
What is the first step you can take to start moving into your life purpose? Or to continue on your path with it?
After you’ve written your answers, reread them slowly and take time each day for the next week or so to turn over your answers in your mind. What kinds of patterns emerge?
If you’re interested in learning more about intuitive writers, you might enjoy: