What Makes A Tradition?

This time of year in the U.S. is filled with traditions, from a big turkey meal to trimming the tree to making resolutions. These traditions can be small and extremely personal, or common and prevalent throughout the culture. Some are rooted in religious beliefs, some are centered around family, and some are just for fun.

But there is a larger question at work here: does a tradition have to be an annual event? Is it necessarily centered around a holiday? What is the difference between a tradition and a routine?

What makes a tradition?

Related questions: How do you make a tradition? What does it mean to be thankful? Where do shared ideas exist? How are patterns important?

What Amazes You?

I’m amazed by things big (like the universe) and small (like an heirloom seed). One is 13.8 billion years old and dying very slowly. The other is sitting in dormancy until the right conditions allow it to give birth to another version of itself.

What amazes you? All answers — grandiose and / or commonplace — are welcomed.

Related questions: How can we maintain wonder?  What is important? Why do we like what we like? Why are things amazing?

What Does It Mean To Be Thankful?

During this time of year, it is common to take stock of your life and think about things for which you are grateful.

But what exactly does this entail? Is being thankful a state of mind, or does there need to be a public display? Are there any actions or behaviors that are associated with thankfulness? If not, what is the difference between being thankful and doing nothing?

What does it mean to be thankful?

Related questions: How does appreciation enrich the individual? How can we turn ideas into actions? How are gratitude and happiness related? What do we have in common?

How Can We Build Confidence?

You need a certain amount of confidence to do anything that involves some risk, like speaking in public, starting a business, righting a wrong, or standing up for yourself or for others. Why will your book, or blog, or podcast, or request for a raise, succeed? You need to have confidence that what you are doing is worthwhile.

Often, perhaps too often, lacking confidence in our ideas or our talents prevents us from taking risks, and while that might keep us from failing it also keeps us from stretching and doing something worthwhile.

How can we get past this? How can we build confidence?

Related questions: How do you define success? When is it useful to fail? Why do we care what strangers think of us? Why do we put up with unhappiness?

When Is Doubt Helpful?

Our doubts can range from healthy skepticism to unhealthy paralysis. Everything from questioning someone’s intentions to doubting our faith (or lack of it) can be beneficial or crisis-inducing.

When is doubt helpful? Or, more specifically, how do you know when it’s good to listen to that inner voice of doubt?

Related questions:  What do you do that you shouldn’t? When is it useful to fail? What is necessary to change your mind? How important is intuition?