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In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about knowing the difference between idealism making us happy vs idealism causing us pain.

In this podcast on Idealism you’ll find:

  • How does idealism help us? How do you live with your ideals even if it seems unrealistic?
  • The idealism that we have when we want something so bad, we reach to a point where we ignore what’s realistic.
  • Sometimes an idealistic perspective will be contextually unrealistic but it doesn’t mean that it’s in general unrealistic.
  • Intuitives bring idealism across the world. How does idealism help us move forward? How does it block progress?
  • There are limitations with being idealistic.
  • We have these things that come in our lives, they seem to drive us forward but some of our ideals are unrealistically idealistic on the USA’s political scheme.
  • Just how thoughtful are we in our idealism? How granular or specific are we in terms of our ideals?
  • Where are we putting idealism around? Is it around things that should have ethical positive/negative activity associated with it? Or is it around things that are considered as neutral?
  • When we are creating our ideals, it’s really easy to overvalue how many contexts our ideals are appropriate within. We carry our idealism no matter what the situation is and sometimes our ideals are very tied to the situation.
  • For most people, they end up being idealistic in the negative direction when it comes to self-image. For example: thinking that we’re not as smart, confident and capable compared to the average person.
  • One the most common idealisms today can be seen/experienced in social media. When people see celebrities, models, public figures and even their friends, they’d think that they’re not good enough.
  • When you use comparison as a tool, use it in a “matching” type of approach.
  • When you add comparison in idealism, it won’t serve the job.
  • When comparing yourself with other people, do it in a positive frame rather than in a negative way.
  • What are the right tools for the job when it comes to idealism? What is inspiring vs what is demoralizing? How are we responding to it?
  • If you feel inspired and energized when using the comparison tool, then you’re doing it correctly. If you feel demoralized and down, then you’re not doing it the right way.
  • Whatever idealism you have in the future; we don’t live in that world. That’s an imagination inside your head. You live right now.
  • Do you feel energized in your current state or do you feel demotivated?
  • Idealism sometimes feel good because it allows us to project our ideals in the world and feel right about them.
  • There will be situations where we feel negative emotions and yet even if we’re experiencing them, we can feel a sense of centeredness. We may not feel happiness at all contexts and situations, but we can feel peace.

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  • Margaret

    Jung was clear that each dichotomy must be balanced. An idealist (NF) must balance their view/ existence with (ST) and so on. And, take for example, the infant mortality rate, never been lower. Gap between poor and rich, well, yes, 300 years ago today’s gap did not exist, nor did the millions of people that live above the poverty line, even in a non-democratic country exist–most people were ‘poor”. The royalty, a few people were rich, everyone else was poor. Not understanding the historical context of the world–basically, lack of education creates these ‘feelings” of life being more unfair today that in the past.

    • Charis Branson

      I completely agree with you Margaret! I didn’t attend college until my late 30s. My only view of the world was limited to my community and my theology.

      Once I learned some history I was amazed at how things were actually improving! All the things the news focused on (corruption, bank failures, corporate greed, division of classes) had been going on for eons.

      This was a really life-changing realization for me after being raised in an apocalyptic religion that taught we were living in the last days and Armageddon was “right around the corner.”

      Now I see the world as improving slowly and steadily. And even when we seem to hit a snag, instead of giving in to despair, I think “Things must have seemed pretty hopeless for Rome in its decline.”

      Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  • Ruby

    I’m just starting to listen to this video. Let me clarify something. Not until technology like photoshop made computer simulations easy for the average person around the turn of the millennium did I hear anyone express doubt that the 1969 moon landing happened. Antonia, by saying we didn’t believe it you are invalidating the lived experience of an entire generation of human beings. Let me tell my story and then, please, substantiate your statement, okay?

    In 1961 I was a five-year-old child in a horse and buggy Mennonite community in Canada and never heard of President Kennedy. But I grew up with adult talk about the outrageous idea of putting a man on the moon and when it happened in 1969 nobody doubted that it was real. In the rural public school I attended throughout the sixties, space exploration and space traffic was taken very seriously. Our school didn’t have kindergarten but I was introduced to the idea in Grade 1. Picture books showed men in spacesuits, and spaceships soaring through the darkness of space. Songs talked about getting onto a spaceship and travelling from earth to mars the way people normally hopped onto an airplane and travelled to far places on Planet Earth. Teachers discussed space exploration with us, primary school children in a rural public school.

    The idea of putting a man on the moon was also taken very seriously by my people. They had no camera, radio, television, or telephone, but they knew about the idea and they had strong opinions and feelings about it. As the years passed and I grew older, people kept saying God won’t allow man to walk on the moon. After the moon landing happened at the end of the decade, I heard an older woman say the moon doesn’t look the same anymore; it looks like it’s crying. In other words, in 1969 everyone believed–KNEW–it happened, but some people felt the moon had been violated.

    If you have a liberal arts education that covered Aboriginals at first European contact, you may know that some felt European treatment of the earth to be rape. I see a direct similarity between the above woman’s comment and what these Aboriginals felt. The bottom line: People had strong feelings about the moon landing, some of them extremely uninformed and primitive, but they believed it happened.

    Antonia, if I remember correctly, you’re a Myers-Briggs INTP. Before further promoting the myth that we who lived through it did not believe it, I’d like to ask you to use your analytical skills to research the technology of the time, read and analyze the literature and social feedback of the time (newspaper editorials, magazines, diaries, letters, etc.), and let me know what evidence exists to support your statement that people didn’t believe the moon landing really happened. There were photos of the men in their space suits walking on the moon. There were photos of the footprints. What technology existed in 1969 to simulate all that?

    Don’t tell me that in this video you meant it as in a make-believe idealistic way where someone has a crazy dream and people are too surprised to believe it when it really does happen. That is naive and unrealistic for something as huge on every level (technological, scientific, political, theological/philosophical, social, etc.) as was the moon landing in the 1960s. I make a big deal of this because I respect you and don’t want to be forced to categorize you with all the dimwits who discount the very real moon landing in 1969.

    • Antonia Dodge

      I’m honestly and sincerely confused by your comment. I just listened to our podcast again for any insinuation that your generation as a whole didn’t believe in the moon landing. I’m sincerely confused because I can’t see how what we said could be interpreted that way. We indicated that it was a big audacious – some might say ‘idealistic’ goal – and it was such a big deal that there were some who didn’t believe it happened. In fact, I even said “I don’t know a lot of people who still think it was faked.” But there was no indictment that your generation believed it was faked.

      As far as it only being a recent thing that people questioned the moon landings authenticity, I’m even MORE confused. I thought it was common knowledge that the moon landing made it on “top conspiracy theory” lists. Just a quick Wikipedia search indicates that the first book written on the topic came out in 1976. I’d recommend reading the history and origins of the theories here:

      I don’t really think I’m promoting any myth. There were (and still are) people who don’t believe it happened. It’s a minority (only as many as between 6-20% of Americans at any given time), but enough of a percentage as to be relevant to the purpose of our mentioning it – it was such a big goal that it was truly unbelievable to some people.

      You are, of course, totally free to categorize me any way you want.

      Thanks for the comment.


  • Ruby

    I’ve now listened to the entire podcast. May I suggest an improvement? When I first started listening to these podcasts they focused on the various personality types. Now the focus seems to be more on general philosophical or life issues. This one talks about what energizes a person, what inspires, what brings or constitutes happiness and inner peace, etc. I understand Joel and Antonia speak from personal experience. However, Joel is ENFP and Antonia is INTP, if I remember correctly from earlier podcasts. That makes both of you extraverted iNtuitives and you will feel inspired and motivated by a different set of goals and items in life and the universe than, for example, an ISFJ.

    I would be very much interested in seeing a return to the personality type oriented podcasts you originally had. Instead of a one-size-fits-all podcast like this one, I would like to see you explain which types are motivated/inspired by what type of goals, etc., and what constitutes peace and happiness, etc. for each type. Being an INTJ, I would also want to know the reason for your arguments. I realize this might be a lot more work than the existing model but this is what I signed up for because your earlier podcasts and articles were brilliant.

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks for the suggestions Ruby. (Btw, Antonia is an ENTP -which means she still uses extraverted intuition.)

      Have you had a chance to explore the PHQ podcasts? Many of those deal more with specific personality type issues. Some of them are a bit technical in fact, which may appeal to you more.

      As for the more philosophical bent of the podcasts, the goal of Personality Hacker is to help people and society grow. Growth comes in many forms. Knowing our personality types and developing our strengths is a huge part of it. But it is also important to become more aware of how our choices impact the world around us. Sometimes people’s choices can be rather myopic. Growth comes when we start looking outside ourselves and realizing there’s a wider world with needs and opinions that matter as much as ours. Antonia and Joel’s goal is to simply widen people’s perspectives to new viewpoints.

      However, Antonia is still a Myers-Briggs geek so the meatier subjects will still come along. 😉

      Have you had a chance to look over our blog? There’s a lot of in-depth articles there.

      Thanks for being a PH Podcast listener!

    • Antonia Dodge

      If you listen to our podcasts from the beginning – which began January of 2014 – you’ll notice that it was never intended to be exclusively focused on personality types and/or Myers-Briggs. It’s intended to understand personality holistically, which includes many models of human development, behavior, and truly anything that influences who and what we are (including various philosophical questions). I don’t think we even mention personality type theory truly until the sixth episode. I’d be surprised if (removing PHQs and 16 Types special one-offs) even 50% of our podcast are typology focused.

      There would be no ‘return’ to that style of podcast. It would be a different direction than what we’ve done from the beginning, which is peppering in type theory podcasts with podcasts focused on practical application of all maps and models that are interesting to us.


      • Andy Spyros

        I love your podcasts just as they are. I totally relate to every one of them and very often the topics you choose I happen to be exploring at the same time. I experience you both as incredibly articulate, insightful and real. I appreciate the openness and vulnerability you both bring especially because there are so few people who model that yet.

        • Charis Branson

          Thanks for your wonderful feedback, Andy! I agree that the openness and vulnerability Antonia and Joel bring are truly unique and refreshing. Thanks for listening!

  • Brian Person

    Idealism *itself* could be seen as merely a tool to been seen in a neutral way? The example given is seeing one as over 30 as “late to the game, less able to make a dent in the world.” Doesn’t it make sense to consider it? Couldn’t that give you energy to move in a different direction? To find meaning in your life outside of, well, projected ideals and return to consider “what is” and live at peace? Not to say having ideas are wrong, simply, consider considerations?

    Wasn’t that the theme of Inside Out? Negative draining energy seems like it’s in the way, but in reality it’s pitching in.

    Jonathan Rottenberg The Depths has interesting take in that it’s our ideals that could be could be causing the depression epidemic. Perfectionism, a common problem in eastern cultures. (Where suicide rates are high)

    (Food for thought: Stan Lee was in his late 30s)

    Anyway, I enjoyed the way the conversation was framed.

    The Ads, Salesmanship
    So my friend and I (INTP (me) ISTP, and ENTJ) were sitting around listening to your podcast and the “ad” came up. It made us all a bit uncomfortable. we do not have anything against wanting to make money. (ISTP and ENTJ, they get it) It’s how it was not presented as an ad. Podcast work better when there’s a level of honesty. The old world of media, you generally know when it’s an ad for a product. Maybe we’re just living up to our cynical thinking nature, but we felt like we’ve been had. I’m not sure how to go about fixing how uncomfortable it felt. Just a thought.

    • Antonia Dodge

      Hey, Brian – Thanks for the book recommendation. I’ll check it out.

      I’ve been thinking about why when we mention we have premium content people feel it’s uncomfortable and I’m starting to believe it’s not because we’re doing it ‘poorly’ but because we’re doing it well. That is, we’re personable and engaged and when we remind people this is a business it suddenly throws them out of frame of us being (in some fashion) friends.

      We’re a part of the next generation of businesses and marketing where a more personal tone is important to us and our audience, so I guess we’ll figure it out as we go. 🙂


  • Andy Spyros

    I really liked your litmus tests for decision making. As I pondered them more, I realized that for me it’s a combination of lightness and energy vs darkness and heaviness and I actually have a place in my body that I feel it. Wondering if for either of you dialing back those parameters you find something similar?

    What I heard you say, Antonia, when you were describing the sense of peace you felt around certain ideals was Truth for you, that deep sense of knowing what is right for you without needing to have anyone else believe the same. For me this is the easiest form of idealism to use as a guide…like a flashlight.

    My friend had just shared this quote with me (which you allude to): The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel. Steve Furtick (but really who knows who said it LOL)
    Then we remembered that people look at us and think that very same thing! We’re their highlight reel (complete with pony-tailed children on every street corner) So remember, there are people out there looking at you that way!

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks for the comment, Andy! I use a similar litmus test to you in that I must feel openness and motivation to do something before I can really get invested. If something is surrounded by dread or heaviness, I will usually find a way out. I’ve also noticed that certain key moments of my life have been surrounded by incredible motivation and ambition – whereas I am usually pretty passive – to the point that I wonder how I managed to conquer the many obstacles when it is all said and done. It’s almost like a part of my superconscious steps forward and goads me into action because it knows I need to accomplish whatever is laid out before me.

      Thanks for being a PH podcast listener!

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