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INTPs and sticking to goals.

AnnaC

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I'm aiming for running a marathon.

To state it as concisely as possible, I'm having difficulty staying on track. My non-focused, skittish brain is useful when I'm trying to keeping track of multiple thoughts at once. When I'm trying to stay on one track and reach one goal, it sucks. I make plans, but as with everything else in my life, I just can't seem to stick to them. I'm also rather lazy with structured running schedules, because if I get into it and my heart's not in it, then I stop to look at something and am distracted for the rest of my allotted running time.

So this really applies to every area of life: How, as an INTP, have you managed to stay focused on your goals (in general)?
 

Inappropriate Behavior

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I need some kind of necessity attatched in order to reach a goal. Usually financial or someone depending on me. Goals for myself like running a marathon (which btw, would never in a million years be a goal of mine) I usually lose interest in or get distracted from. Sorry, I'm no help.
 

ActiveMind

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This is the test of the INTP, IMO. I've heard the word 'passion' is not something we experience, just hobbies and multiple interests. I wonder why that is.....? But I think if you have a good support system, a little hand-holding and/or positive encouragement definitely helps from friends and family.

Maybe having an INTP forum support system would be a good way to help others who no doubt go through the same issues. This is something I'm currently going through too.

In my experience a lot the problem has to do with the way normal people go through routines, where we are of a more non-linear nature. Therefore, we have trouble and resentment issues once we've rejected something that's become routine or feels like a job. Where real, interesting work reaps benefit and knowledge, the day-by-day that unfortunately, so many of us are stuck in is just that - a job. Just something you do to support yourself, nothing else.

But having or establishing a positive support system may be a good way to go to help fellow INTPs to make that first step towards finishing goals.
 

Spirit

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There has to be a knowledge based goal for me to complete something. I would have a need to do it just so I can do something else. If it is not interesting then I will not do it.

You just need to find out why you are doing it. If there is nothing you can get out of it, logically, you will not finish.

I do not think most INTP's "just jump up" and do things physical for the sake of doing a physical activity. Mundane past times are boring and not complex enough.
 

Pyropyro

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My suggestion is to make yourself uncomfortable enough with the current situation to force yourself to change.

In my case, I was gaining some weight but I refused to buy new clothes of a larger size. It made me uncomfortable to go on jogging again to shed the weight and fit back to my old clothes.
 

AnnaC

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I need some kind of necessity attatched in order to reach a goal.

When I first started running, my ultimate goal was to recover from a very crappy relationship with someone who in retrospect was very unattractive. But anyway, he ran, so I took it up as kind of a vengeance thing, and it stuck until it kinda fell into a habit of mine. I guess vengeance could be an underlying cause for a lot of the things I do. :confused:

This is the test of the INTP, IMO. (1) I've heard the word 'passion' is not something we experience, just hobbies and multiple interests. I wonder why that is.....? But I think if you have a good support system, a little hand-holding and/or positive encouragement definitely helps from friends and family.

(2) Maybe having an INTP forum support system would be a good way to help others who no doubt go through the same issues. This is something I'm currently going through too.

In my experience a lot the problem has to do with the way normal people go through routines, where we are of a more non-linear nature. (3) Therefore, we have trouble and resentment issues once we've rejected something that's become routine or feels like a job. Where real, interesting work reaps benefit and knowledge, the day-by-day that unfortunately, so many of us are stuck in is just that - a job. Just something you do to support yourself, nothing else.

But having or establishing a positive support system may be a good way to go to help fellow INTPs to make that first step towards finishing goals.

(1) If I was to guess, I would say that it's because we spend so much time in the theoretical world - which is spontaneous - that we fail to enforce any solid structure on our lives. Without structure, passion is hard to come up with. Think about it in terms of a Romeo/Juliet-type passion: What if there had been multiple Juliets (thoughts), and Romeo was equally attracted to all of them? Boom: No true passion with any of them, because he'd always be continuously battered by Juliets from all different directions, instead of one.

(2) This is actually a really good idea. Most of the problems INTPs seem to have are pretty much isolated to us: We can't focus well, socializing is hard to do at times, troubles with institutions of law and government, trouble with family traditions (I always find myself questioning those), not to mention that getting along with plenty of other types is difficult (and that's putting it mildly). This might sound very Fe-ish, but sometimes I think that a few words of advice spoken in my language would be great.

(3) That's what happened with the running thing: I began in high spirits, but after several months of it (I've trained for over six months, and could probably have run a half-marathon when I was at my peak fitness), it just became mundane. When all the fun is sucked out of something, it turns suckish, and I quit. I could easily imagine such a thing happening to me in the future. I plan on being a lawyer, but what happens when all the cases blur and it becomes routine? Definitely something to think about.

There has to be a knowledge based goal for me to complete something. I would have a need to do it just so I can do something else. If it is not interesting then I will not do it.

You just need to find out why you are doing it. If there is nothing you can get out of it, logically, you will not finish.

I do not think most INTP's "just jump up" and do things physical for the sake of doing a physical activity. Mundane past times are boring and not complex enough.

That last paragraph definitely describes me. Like I said in the first paragraph, my logical reason was to channel rage and a need for revenge, which it was very effective at. The secondary reason was to get in shape. The most recent motivation has been: "I should go run today." Am I the only INTP who really hates when I or someone else says the word "should"? It really gets on my nerves, lol. Makes me wanna go on strike.

My suggestion is to make yourself uncomfortable enough with the current situation to force yourself to change.

In my case, I was gaining some weight but I refused to buy new clothes of a larger size. It made me uncomfortable to go on jogging again to shed the weight and fit back to my old clothes.

I did this right before I started running, actually. I started off hiking mountains three times a day, then to running up and down them, then to jogging longer distances on flatter ground. At the current moment, I'm still in the size jeans that I had when I was running, but I have less muscle tone. It'd be nice if it just maintained itself without any work at all. :D However, I am beginning to miss my legs, and so I think I might have rediscovered motivation in that. Just a little bit, though, lol.
 

Architect

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While written for INXX's pursuing creative careers this post has some insight worth considering

  1. Your creative passion should stimulate and incorporate your dominant and/or auxiliary function
  2. Develop effective habits and dedicate no less than an hour each day to engaging your passion.
  3. Challenge your excuses.
  4. Conduct a life study.
  5. Don’t sell yourself short.
  6. Emphasize quality work, but don’t ignore marketing.
  7. Networking/mentoring

Specifically

2. Develop effective habits and dedicate no less than an hour each day to engaging your passion.

One of William James’s key discoveries was the importance of gradually building confidence and self-discipline through a series of small volitional acts. Through this sort of “baby steps” approach, James learned to build his self-confidence from the ground up, a process he dubbed the “education of the will.” Included in this process was the development of effective habits: “Only when habits of order are formed can we advance to really interesting fields of action.” Habits proved pivotal in James’s cultivation of a more meaningful and satisfying life. In Myers-Briggs parlance, James learned to temper his Perceiving tendencies with a healthy dose of Judging. In his memoir, On Writing, Stephen King advocates something similar, stating that he rarely takes a day off from writing, not even on holidays. In King’s view, if you are passionate about something, it must be pursued fiercely and resolutely. So try to set aside a block of time each day to devote to your discovering or pursuing your passion. You may wish to experiment with different times of day to determine when you are most focused, inspired, and clearheaded. Remember, one needs to spend significant time in a niche to attain the prerequisite level of skill and understanding for creative accomplishment; ten years is often cited as a ballpark figure for expertise.
 

Perfectly Normal Beast

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I'm aiming for running a marathon.

To state it as concisely as possible, I'm having difficulty staying on track. My non-focused, skittish brain is useful when I'm trying to keeping track of multiple thoughts at once. When I'm trying to stay on one track and reach one goal, it sucks. I make plans, but as with everything else in my life, I just can't seem to stick to them. I'm also rather lazy with structured running schedules, because if I get into it and my heart's not in it, then I stop to look at something and am distracted for the rest of my allotted running time.

So this really applies to every area of life: How, as an INTP, have you managed to stay focused on your goals (in general)?

Somewhere on this forum i read something like 'i have a voice in my head that says get to work, bitch' (sorry, i have searched but can't seem to find the post).
I can totally relate to that but i also have another voice which says 'relax bitch!, you deserve it after making x (possibly negligable) effort!'.
Sticking to goals that i have set for myself requires striking a balance between these 2 maniacs. So i devise goal/reward schemes and find it slightly easier than just sticking to goals. So if i finish x thing i want to do but which requires some disciplined effort, i get to do x thing which is more likely to be some sort of distracting/unproductive thing.
'Maybe i'll just get a little high to reward myself'! Oh shit, i am Towelie!
It doesn't always work but hope this might help.

No.3 of Architect's post is not helpful to me as i always seem quite able to convince myself that my excuses are valid. Damn me!
 

Spirit

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That last paragraph definitely describes me. Like I said in the first paragraph, my logical reason was to channel rage and a need for revenge, which it was very effective at. The secondary reason was to get in shape. The most recent motivation has been: "I should go run today." Am I the only INTP who really hates when I or someone else says the word "should"? It really gets on my nerves, lol. Makes me wanna go on strike.

I like to keep an option open. I would prefer "could" do it. As an INTP, do you hate owing someone because it forces you to have to commit to doing something? For me, I like the option of performing task instead of the obligation to do it. This is why doing independent research or owning ones own business seems like it would be ideal for an "INTP".
 

Valentas

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Do 30-day trial.

Do the activity no matter what.

After a month, you will have formed a habit. When you posses it, if the activity is not yet done, you will feel that something is yet to be completed. Also, doing this for several months will transform your resistance to automation: you will not think about doing this activity, you just execute.

Good luck.
 

r4ch3l

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Interesting, I am and have always been very motivated by the idea of "vengeance" as well. Maybe not so much revenge as proving something. I am stubborn as fuck. When I have a reason to do something I do it. I think my problem is that there are so few reasons that my brain deems valid, or at least valid enough to motivate me to do stuff instead of float around following my curiosity wherever it happens to take me. But reasons that are consistent are deadlines, proving something, or chasing after something that is interesting/stimulating. Actually, that's about it. I don't do much stemming from expectation or obligation.

Now I'm contemplating the idea of emotional fuel as motivation for myself...it seems when it comes to ACTUALLY doing things that I am almost never driven by positive things ("I really want to do/be ____"), and usually by negative motivations ("Fuck x, y, & z, I'm gonna do/be ______"). I have to either be involved in a competition/game (which is why I was so good in school), angry, or curious to get anything done.
 

TheScornedReflex

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Heh, I suffer from this. It depends on what I want done and how much effort I am willing to put forth in accomplishing the goal.. Unless I get distracted. Which always happens.

As for motivation. I use my laziness.. I will just do something and get it out of the way to open up more free time for myself.
 

BigApplePi

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How, as an INTP, have you managed to stay focused on your goals (in general)?
I would separate goals I tell myself I have to do (like eating and sleeping) from the other processes. I don't call the latter goals, but instead targets or directions. I have multiple targets and play them as practical or as I feel like it. I don't have firm deadlines though I may wish to do the easy ones in a practical manner.

I am fascinated by the processes incurred of heading toward the goal. That's what I look at to enjoy. It also means not actually finishing many goals. I sometimes wonder if I fear to finish a goal because then I won't have that goal to entertain me anymore. Right now I have an outdoor goal that I've meant to do for two years now. I've spent a few hours on it every other day the last two weeks. Variations on how to get it done and what to get done both slow me down and keep me going. I would like to get it done in a few weeks so my sister, when she visits, can see it. That makes it a social motivation*. Social fantasies I find are a good motivator.

In the case of marathoning, I never took that up. I took up mid-range to save time. At first my goal was to do personal bests. Now that I've passed that, my goal is to watch how much I'm slowing down. That is a process, not a fixed end. If I were marathoning I would watch the effects of training. I would be curious as to whether I could get to a point where I could do it. If I couldn't, I would note that. Don't know if this helps.

*If you were to post your marathon preparation and progress on this board and got feedback, do you see how that could be a motivator? But only if you cared for that particular vehicle.
 

RaBind

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I've always kept some rules sacred and try my hardest not to break them. E.g. attendance at school and work (I used to skip school a lot when I was younger but I learnt the importance of exposure to the course content later on). From this I would say join a group maybe, better if it's formal, and try to fool yourself into believing that it's a really BAD thing to be absent or late.

I used to think being late for classes was really BAD, but I realized after I started working that classes aren't as important as work schedules. Change your priorities, make it a must to do this thing that you wanna do (training I suppose).

One of the things I like to say to myself, when I feel like putting things off is "What you do now, at this moment, determines what you'll be doing tomorrow or later on". Take it day by day, run while you want to, and it'll be easier to make yourself do the same tomorrow (the task doesn't feel new and therefore harder). Set time, route or distance you'll run.

Running doesn't really take much focus so try to keep you're mind occupied using music or even thoughts, just make sure that your legs keep replication it's previous movement which kept you running. It's kind of a conscious decision you make when you stop, after running a lot, since you're in a physical rhythm, or when you're running fast cause it takes energy to stop.

I like to get changed when I wake up, and this usually determines whether I go outside that day or whether I stay at home like a sloth. This just gives you that extra hassle if you wanna stay at home and removes the hassle of having to change when you wanna go run.

Stay away from the computer/internet or other similar things you're meant to be running.
 

AnnaC

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I like to keep an option open. I would prefer "could" do it. As an INTP, do you hate owing someone because it forces you to have to commit to doing something? For me, I like the option of performing task instead of the obligation to do it. This is why doing independent research or owning ones own business seems like it would be ideal for an "INTP".

Funny, I've been thinking about starting my own business, then becoming a hermit who just happens to own several factories. :D

Yeah, I really do hate owing someone anything. "Committing" isn't exactly my kind of thing, unless that commitment is effortless to me. I tried doing my running without a schedule or a time limit yesterday, but simply whenever I wanted to and for a set distance. It definitely was a lot more easy than normal.

Maybe not so much revenge as proving something.

I think my problem is that there are so few reasons that my brain deems valid, or at least valid enough to motivate me to do stuff instead of float around following my curiosity wherever it happens to take me. But reasons that are consistent are deadlines, proving something, or chasing after something that is interesting/stimulating. Actually, that's about it. I don't do much stemming from expectation or obligation.

Proving something, vengeance... Eh, it's pretty much the same thing, I'd say. :confused: Through vengeance we prove how much something hurt us, and through proving something we prove what we are capable of in the face of things that hurt us. I can identify with that reasoning and with the "chasing after something," but not with the deadlines... I procrastinate terribly, and usually do my best work in the last hour before a deadline. I half-do it otherwise.

Heh, I suffer from this. It depends on what I want done and how much effort I am willing to put forth in accomplishing the goal.. Unless I get distracted. Which always happens.

As for motivation. I use my laziness.. I will just do something and get it out of the way to open up more free time for myself.

It also means not actually finishing many goals. I sometimes wonder if I fear to finish a goal because then I won't have that goal to entertain me anymore.

*If you were to post your marathon preparation and progress on this board and got feedback, do you see how that could be a motivator? But only if you cared for that particular vehicle.

Ah, see: That would be an obligation. It wouldn't really affect how hard I worked to achieve the goal, but rather how being unable to achieve that goal affects me.

The fear of finishing your goals sounds similar to what I feel. I enjoy the process of running as a pastime (not an obligation). However, without the goal at the end to work toward to, then the sense of fulfillment I have after each run is likely to fade, causing me to lose focus and interest.
 

ActiveMind

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I had a problem with running to stay in shape all the time too. I felt like I was a slave because I couldn't focus on something so mundane and linear. I've since switched back to martial arts, which is just as good, if not better cardio-wise than running IMO, plus application of proper technique in various styles is something an INTP might appreciate more.

You have the art which is technical and you have the application of technique (training/sparring) which is creative. Anyone ever give the martial arts a try?
 

AnnaC

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You have the art which is technical and you have the application of technique (training/sparring) which is creative. Anyone ever give the martial arts a try?

I would, but I live in the middle of nowhere. Not that living here is too bad; there's just no martial arts studio in our barn, last I checked. ;)
 

TheScornedReflex

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ActiveMind said:
You have the art which is technical and you have the application of technique (training/sparring) which is creative. Anyone ever give the martial arts a try?

Yes. I enjoy figuring out my opponents technique and destroying them. It doesn't always work out that way, though:facepalm:. It is amusing to see how many fighters have the same routine they follow whilst fighting.

AnnaC said:
I would, but I live in the middle of nowhere. Not that living here is too bad; there's just no martial arts studio in our barn, last I checked.

Start a fight club like the movie. Invite the sheep, the chickens and the cows.
 

mu is mu

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I'm aiming for running a marathon.

To state it as concisely as possible, I'm having difficulty staying on track. My non-focused, skittish brain is useful when I'm trying to keeping track of multiple thoughts at once. When I'm trying to stay on one track and reach one goal, it sucks. I make plans, but as with everything else in my life, I just can't seem to stick to them. I'm also rather lazy with structured running schedules, because if I get into it and my heart's not in it, then I stop to look at something and am distracted for the rest of my allotted running time.

So this really applies to every area of life: How, as an INTP, have you managed to stay focused on your goals (in general)?

Evidently different personality types are susceptible to different character faults, with laziness being a characteristic common to NTPs, or Ps in general. As some have said elsewhere, knowledge of your personality type is no excuse or rationalization for character faults generally associated with it--not that I claim that you are committing this fallacy.

But if you really are an INTP, then you probably have a mind suitable for analysis and problem solving, and who has a greater knowledge of your experiences with procrastination than yourself? What has helped me tremendously with procrastination is self-detachment and self-analysis. If I ever perceive that I lack the urge or drive to pursue or complete some seemingly mundane task, all I have to do is briefly pause, consider the consequences of my potential procrastination/inactivity, and then I'll suddenly feel obligated for the sake of logical consistency and wisdom to pursue the task. For if you refuse to pursue some annoying task until you experience an urge to do so, then the odds are high that you'll either avoid it indefinitely or otherwise experience a last-minute frenzy to finish it; of course, this is foolish, and aren't INTPs repulsed by foolishness, logical inconsistency, and compulsive behavior (which are all associated with procrastination)? Don't be the lazy fool that your INTP nature is tempting you to be.

Something else that has helped me in this matter is the act of considering the pursuit of tedious or boring tasks as a means to develop self-discipline. For me this is very effective. With every time you succeed in completing a task, your self-confidence and self-discipline will increase, rendering future pursuits of mundane tasks as less of a challenge. If you really want to run an entire marathon, self-discipline is obviously essential (I'm a runner too, by the way).

Using a daily planner can also be helpful for strategizing and scheduling your activities; strategizing seems to be another INTP strength.

To sum up what I've said, the next time you feel compelled to procrastinate, think.
 

AnnaC

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Evidently different personality types are susceptible to different character faults, with laziness being a characteristic common to NTPs, or Ps in general. As some have said elsewhere, knowledge of your personality type is no excuse or rationalization for character faults generally associated with it--not that I claim that you are committing this fallacy.

But if you really are an INTP, then you probably have a mind suitable for analysis and problem solving, and who has a greater knowledge of your experiences with procrastination than yourself? What has helped me tremendously with procrastination is self-detachment and self-analysis. If I ever perceive that I lack the urge or drive to pursue or complete some seemingly mundane task, all I have to do is briefly pause, consider the consequences of my potential procrastination/inactivity, and then I'll suddenly feel obligated for the sake of logical consistency and wisdom to pursue the task. For if you refuse to pursue some annoying task until you experience an urge to do so, then the odds are high that you'll either avoid it indefinitely or otherwise experience a last-minute frenzy to finish it; of course, this is foolish, and aren't INTPs repulsed by foolishness, logical inconsistency, and compulsive behavior (which are all associated with procrastination)? Don't be the lazy fool that your INTP nature is tempting you to be.

Something else that has helped me in this matter is the act of considering the pursuit of tedious or boring tasks as a means to develop self-discipline. For me this is very effective. With every time you succeed in completing a task, your self-confidence and self-discipline will increase, rendering future pursuits of mundane tasks as less of a challenge. If you really want to run an entire marathon, self-discipline is obviously essential (I'm a runner too, by the way).

Using a daily planner can also be helpful for strategizing and scheduling your activities; strategizing seems to be another INTP strength.

To sum up what I've said, the next time you feel compelled to procrastinate, think.

This is the best advice yet, I think.

Thank you. :D
 

Arnold

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Today is the day I discovered that i'm an INTP, it was shocking but glad that there is an explanation to my strange behaviors. I'll be joining year 13 this September and my greatest challenges is to stick to my daily school and study routine. I was amazed that I passed my O'levels without studying at all(I remember 8months b4 and during exams, I remember playing around, watching movies. 18hrs-2hrs b4 the exams,I'd randomly do 2-3past papers that was it and my mock examination result were horrible. thanks to God I passed :) ) A's level January exams I survived although I resisted the units on June to get better grades than C's and hopefully will(even though I burnt the mid night oil, last minute studying is better than not studying for an exam and expecting As) The other challenge I face is I want to go back into sports since I was once the best swimmer in my province(when I was 13yrs) and also I want to go back to playing basket ball (it's time to utilize my height since last year I grew by 4inches, making me 6'4ft and it'll be easier to get three pointers as compared to 3yrs ago 5'8ft)But the biggest problem is that in the past my parents(especially my dad) encourage me(I don't want to use the word push because when I was young I skipped some classes to go train because I used to love sports) but it came a time my grades were dropping at an alarming rate, then sent to a school(currently where i'm)that doesn't encourage sports but academics. So for the last two years I've been lazy(only play basket ball during PE), I lost motivation to working out keeping fit(I when from being the most ripped 10-13yr young Arnold Schwarzenegger to an obese 19 year old Schwarzenegger (healthy obesity because if I hold my stomach in my 6 pact are visible. :) Which is kind of odd because BMI is at 30% and veins in my forearms are still visible)(turned 19 last month)) Anyways my point is that I can't motivate myself in the way I used to, my parents don't encourage me much, my mum say's don't kill yourself with food, my dad once in a while tells me to go and sign up for military training or cycle(I choose cycling instead, cycled for 2months but after my June exams I lost motivation) Considering the swimming completion is nearing in the next 2.5months, I need an advice to how to remain focus and motivated during training sessions.(other than my weight and physique I want this last year in school to be the best and most remembered moment of my teen hood and schooling years) Also I would like to know how to avoid procrastination when coming to studying and other scenarios (Funny story is that during my O'level exams I gave out my yr10 study time table to a lad, who wasn't good in academics but when the result came out he had 4 A*s 4 As and 1 u . He was amazed, I was amazed and happy for him , I got 2 A's 4 B's 1 C 3D's 1U(with no studying :) )(in my pre mocks in year ten I manage 3A* 4As 3C's that's when I studied for the pre mock), he was extremely thankful(he hugged me repeatedly and thank me for 3 months straight which became irritating but endured it until the end :) ) and he now takes my advice of studying so seriously) . So how can I push myself to put my theoretical solutions into practice I desperately need my A's for my A level ;)
 

Lane

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Mostly, I lose interest quickly, and then veer off track. The only time I really stick to something is if I have to. (Join a team, schoolwork...)
 
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