Emotion can be good; emotion can be bad.
Being emotional is what makes life worth living. The happiness you feel in the presence of a loved one. The satisfaction of a job well done. The beauty of nature. The awe-inspiring stars on a clear night.
All of these experiences are dependent on emotion. You can be inspired, feel joy, suffer from heartache. Without feelings, life would be dull and uninteresting.
And yet, emotion can also lead us astray. Being passionate can blind you to a necessary choice. Grief can overcome you and lead to depression. Extreme feelings can make you easier to manipulate.
It’s not about “good” feelings, like love and joy, vs “bad” feelings, like anger and fear. You will experience negative emotions over the course of your life. It is not practical to pretend they don’t exist. Negative or bad emotions are just as much of a fully-realized emotional life as positive ones are.
No, the real trade-off is between emotion and logic. Logic might help make better decisions, but feelings give flavor to existence. There must be a middle ground. It is important to balance some emotion with some reason.
But how can you find the right balance? How can you make the most of your feelings and fully live your life, but also make rational decisions and think analytically?
What is the right amount of emotion? How can you tell if you have too much? What mechanisms allow you to increase or decrease the emotion you feel every day?
Related questions: Why does music evoke emotion? What is necessary to change your mind? What do you do that you shouldn’t? How does creative expression help us to know ourselves better?
Of all the noteworthy events in your life, which one makes you the most proud?
Share why if you wish.
The hobbies we have say a lot about us. A job you might do for the money, to support yourself and your family. But the hobby you choose to do with your free time, what you might even spend money and effort to do, says something about who you are as a person.
Time is ultimately a limited resource for every one of us. You might make a lot of money, you can surround yourself with people who love you, you can educate yourself with class after class. You can control most of your other resources, but the resource of time is fundamentally limited.
So how we choose to spend our time is crucially important. What you do when you have the opportunity to do whatever you like might just be the closest you get to your true self.
Of course, the actual hobbies can vary quite drastically from person to person. Some people might have just one or two hobbies, some might have a hundred. They can be active or passive, they might involve others or just yourself. You might need intellectual stimulation after a day of drudgery, or maybe your brain needs some relaxing time after working hard all day. Maybe some of the hobbies you have are healthy, and maybe some of them are destructive.
Given how important hobbies are in our lives, we probably spend less time thinking about them than we should.
So have you given any thought to your personal list of hobbies? Have you thought about why you do what you do or why you like what you like? Are the various hobbies you have related in any way? What needs that you have are being met by your hobbies? Conversely, what needs are not being met that could be with the right hobby?
How do you choose a hobby?
Related questions: What are your favorite hobbies? Why do we like what we like? What makes you you? What makes you the happiest?
What hobbies do you like to do in your spare time?
Share why if you wish.
On the PBS show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, host Fred Rogers regularly looked into the camera and spoke directly to the viewer. “You are special,” he would affirm.
This was a powerful message to the audience of children, who were most likely not used to hearing such a thing from an adult, particularly one on television.
The underlying idea, that each individual is special and important, is also useful for adults. Too often, it is easy to be a cog in a machine at work, or overwhelmed as a spouse or as a parent at home. Sometimes, we need a simple reminder of our own specialness.
Give it some thought. What can you do better than anything else? What sets you apart from those around you? In what ways are you important? How are you special?
Related questions: Why do we care what strangers think of us? Why do we feel the need to belong? What makes you you? How can we build confidence? Why is love important?