All posts filed under: 365 Journal Questions

Week 52 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Personal Change

It’s the final week of this journal prompt series that I wrote to help you make introspection and deep thinking a daily habit. We made it!  Thanks for reading, liking and commenting throughout the year. I hope you found the content useful, or at least interesting, challenging, and thought provoking!   Next year’s blog project TBA! This week’s journal topic: Personal Change There’s a quote on Pinterest usually attributed to Lao Tzu: “When I let go of what I am, I become who I might be.” Regardless of the source – a fake quote or not – I like it.  It’s versatile as a reminder that progression requires letting go.  Being attached to our identity (i.e., how we choose to perceive and think of ourselves) makes letting go is a difficult and painful process.  Letting go is not a “whatever” or “don’t care” attitude, a disinterested shrugging of shoulders.  True letting go is a process requiring self-reflection and deep looking inward, followed by recognition of what will be let go and why, motivated by what will …

Week 51 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Solitude & Togetherness

Haven’t you had the experience of enjoying a salty, crunchy snack when suddenly you crave something sweet?  You’ve got sensory fatigue – eating more of the salty snack will continue to decrease satisfaction. How do you get the enjoyment back?  In order to enjoy the salty snack again, you need an intermission of something sweet: milk chocolate, ice cream, or some soda.

After thinking about this scenario, would you say that tastes are opposites, or are they complimentary?

What about solitude and togetherness? Sometimes we engage in the craving cycle in relationships. How do we get out when we feel stuck? Can we avoid the cycle without avoiding relationships?

Read on!

Week 50 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Secrets

First things first: The winner of this week’s Amazon gift card is announced at the end of today’s post!

It’s Christmastime, which means lots of family gatherings, seeing relatives whom you haven’t contacted all year, and meeting up with friends, and seeing coworkers out of context.  The entire month of December is an emotional powder keg.

It’s the season of high emotions and alcohol.
Secrets are revealed by uninhibited revelers. Events happen that we want to keep secret.

What makes a secret a secret? Why does it feel so good to know a secret? And why is it so hard to keep secrets?

Check out this week’s post for answers and, of course, more questions!

Week 49 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Receiving Gifts

Last week I wrote about how to give gifts. (By the way, I had a giveaway planned but the instructions were buried at the end of last week’s post.  Let’s try again – be sure to scroll all the way to the end for the instructions so you don’t miss out!)

This week, the topic is how to receive gifts. There is a saying that “it is more important to give than to receive.” If this is true, then naturally we should all want to give. (Indeed, there is a special feeling that comes from giving.) But where would that leave us – who would there be to receive the gifts, favors, and assistance that we are happy to give?  

In light of that observation, we must all become both givers and recipients.  This means we must be not only skilled at giving gifts, but also prepared to receive what others offer, too.  This allows others to practice giving.  Let’s talk about the ethics (norms, rules) that tell us how to receive.

Week 48 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Great Gifts

Christmas is coming, and I’ve realized that I’m pretty terrible at choosing gifts.  My family was not big on celebrations or frivolous gifts. The gifts I received were always practical, bought on a deal, and/or rarely made me feel special.  On the bright side, I got a lot of use out of practical gifts, and I’m not complaining.

However, in the last couple of years I’ve received some gifts that were either totally impractical or expensive.  They were also well chosen and made me feel special!  This got me thinking: what is the difference between the gifts of my past and these gifts?  Of course I did some research, and this post is what I came up with. 

Thinking about gifts has certainly made gift shopping more fun – I no longer agonize over it and hopefully I won’t give more crappy gifts.  I hope this week’s topic helps you as you do your holiday shopping this year!

Week 47 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Elitism

“Elitism” is a term that gets used a lot in news media as an accusation towards academics, politicians, and wealthy entrepreneurs.  It is also sometimes used by social activists who believe that a privileged group is out of touch with the lifestyles, desires, values, and struggles of a disadvantaged group. 

There are various genres of elitism, but they all have on thing in common. Elitism is the view that a select group of people have the authority to dictate what is valuable, important, or worthwhile. This select group is known as the “elite”.  They hold authority because they have a special quality: class, intelligence, skills, wealth, or experience.  Other people don’t have this special quality, and therefore are deemed unworthy to dictate what is valuable, important, and worthwhile.

But wait – isn’t everyone equal?  Doesn’t equality mean that everyone’s opinions count equally?  On the other hand, aren’t some people actually more qualified than others? Is elitism a good or bad thing?  This week’s topic is Pleasure Elitism.

Week 46 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Finding Yourself

It’s safe to say that money can’t buy happiness.  Everyone can think of someone rich & miserable.  Fame, too, doesn’t guarantee a high quality life – just consider the list of famous people who committed suicide or became addicts.  Feeling lost and disconnected with your life & experiences is a terrible way to live.  

Winning the game of life means figuring out your purpose and passion.  Wouldn’t that be great? But where do you start?  If you want traction on the journey to find yourself, you’ll need to start on solid ground. Only then can you pull yourself forwards.  But so far, nothing has excited you.  There’s no grip and you’ve got no grit.  How can you figure out who you are when you’re clueless?   This week’s post introduces a clever method of self-discovery!

Week 45 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Habit vs. Addiction

Everyone has compulsive behaviors. I, too, sometimes have to take a minute to ask myself, “Why am I doing this? Is this what I really want to be doing?” Addictions aren’t only about illegal substances and stigma. So within the topic of compulsive behaviors, what’s the difference between a bad habit and an addiction?

Week 44 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Seasons

It’s nearly November. The fall gusts carry brilliant fluttering leaves and the sun barely peeks over the horizon at five o’clock.  We mentally prepare ourselves for the fast-approaching winter by vocalizing our bewilderment at the cool temperatures – “Can you believe how cold it is?” and “Wasn’t it summer just last week?”  The feigned surprise makes it seem as if we expected summer to last into December.

Whether you’re looking forward to cooler temperatures or not, the change in seasons is an opportunity to think deeply about life.  Are all seasons of life equally enjoyable?

Week 43 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Movies

Have you ever felt guilty for vegging out in front of a screen, even when you legitimately needed some time for rest and relaxation? Feeling guilty sucks the joy out of watching movies.

How can we as intellectuals and type-A’s bring the joy back into watching movies?  It’s an activity we will inevitably find ourselves doing as a part of social relationships with friends, family and coworkers.  Can we even make intellectual sense of the time we spend watching schlock, or slapstick, or even superhero movies?  Read on!