Emotional Competency

Explore the Logic of Passion

Existential Concerns
Do I Even Matter?

Although a discussion of existential philosophy is well beyond the scope of these web pages, everyone has important questions and legitimate concerns about their very existence. Focusing excessive attention on these concerns can provoke fear, anxiety, guilt, and shame, especially if you feel helpless or overwhelmed. Strive for an accurate optimism while remaining curious. Keep in mind what you can change and what you cannot. Here are some typical existential concerns:Climber Stands Atop a Cliff at the End of the Universe


  • How long will I live?
  • Will I be healthy?
  • What will the future bring?
  • How will I die?
  • What will happen to me and others I care about death?


  • Am I doing OK?
  • Am I doing enough?
  • Am I doing the best I can?
  • Have I made good choices?
  • What could have happened if I made different choices?
  • Am I competent?
  • What is my stature?
  • What are my goals, values, and beliefs?
  • Am I living honorably?
  • Am I living life to the fullest?


  • Do I even matter?
  • Who cares about me?
  • Who do I care about?
  • What is my legacy?
  • What is my significance in the world?
  • Am I wasting my life?
  • Am I worthy?
  • Have I struck a good balance between caring for myself and empathy for others?
  • How does my life have meaning for me and others?


  • “And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should” ~ from the poem Desiderata


[laz] Passion and Reason: Making Sense of Our Emotions, by Richard S. Lazarus, Bernice N. Lazarus

Fear, Sadness, Anger, Joy, Surprise, Disgust, Contempt, Anger, Envy, Jealousy, Fright, Anxiety, Guilt, Shame, Relief, Hope, Sadness, Depression, Happiness, Pride, Love, Gratitude, Compassion, Aesthetic Experience, Joy, Distress, Happy-for, Sorry-for, Resentment, Gloating, Pride, Shame, Admiration, Reproach, Love, Hate, Hope, Fear, Satisfaction, Relief, Fears-confirmed, Disappointment, Gratification, Gratitude, Anger, Remorse, power, dominance, stature, relationships

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