Existential questions arise from these doubts that we ask ourselves in search of our conscience and gasoline.
These are questions that often require deep self-reflection, and other times they are questions that, as the name suggests, deal with our existence and the reasons for life. Either way, these are issues that help us better perceive reality and our own thoughts and desires.
Existential questions to ponder and reflect on
In this article you can find a list of 35 existential questions that you have surely asked yourself and that will make you think.
1. How do we know if we are doing the right thing?
Making decisions is not always easy. On the one hand, we have our emotional part, and on the other hand our rational part. As some researchers like Antonio Damasio point out, emotions weigh so heavily in our decisions that even though we sometimes think our irrational part is the one in charge, emotions almost decide for us.
- If you want to know more about the influence of emotions in our decisions, I advise you to consult our article: “Emotional marketing: touching the heart of the customer”
2. How can we have healthy relationships?
Relationships are difficult. Just look at the data of a study carried out by Eurostat (the European statistical office): in Spain, there are fewer and fewer marriages, as they have fallen by up to 56% in the last 50 years . According to the General Council of Notaries, for every marriage there are two divorces in this country.
Relationships affect us and can put us in an existential crisis if we don’t agree with our boyfriend or girlfriend. Learning to be happy in a relationship is something that takes learning and careful thought.
3. What is the meaning of life?
One of the biggest existential questions we can ask ourselves concerns the meaning of our path. Questioning it means that we are always in search of our identity. So you need to think about who you are, your strengths and weaknesses, and the way forward in life.
4. How do we measure success in life?
How do we measure our success? In what areas of our lives? What matters, the present or the past? We can only live in the present moment, but the past accompanies us throughout our life. It depends on how we interpret our life that will help us enjoy greater well-being. The healthiest thing is to focus on the here and now.
5. Why am I feeling this?
Not everyone is emotionally intelligent and gets carried away by their emotions, without being able to detach themselves from them.. When someone asks this question, it is because they have to conduct a process of self-reflection and self-knowledge, because emotional management positively or negatively affects our happiness.
6. Why do I sometimes behave this way?
We may think we’re good people, but at some point we explode because of stress at work and we pay it with the first one we have nearby without it being worth it. Or we go home and use our partner as a scapegoat for our frustration, even if they are the ones who support us the most and show their love to us every day.
7. How can I change my life?
Life is not always a path of roses, and it is often time to reflect and change course, to transform ours to go where we want to be. To do this, you need to know yourself, challenge limiting beliefs, step out of your comfort zone, set realistic goals, etc.
- You can learn more about this subject in our article: “Personal growth: how to transform your life in 6 steps”
8. Why do I have a hard time valuing things?
The human mind is made in such a way that we get used to the things we have. It’s normal that over time we don’t value what we really have. This is why we must avoid a consumerist mentality, because we will never be satisfied with what we have and we will always want more.
9. Are we in control of our lives?
We have certainly all gone through times when we had to make important decisions or we were in a learning process. This is completely normal and the uncertainty of the moment can hurt our self-esteem. However, these moments are necessary to get to where we want to go. Getting out of the comfort zone is synonymous with personal growth.
10. Is the Big Bang Theory true?
While science seems to have found evidence for the Big Bang, it becomes impossible in the human mind to imagine the origin of the universe. Did we really come out of nowhere? This question can lead us to think about something whose answer is certainly complex and difficult to visualize.
11. Is one life enough to live everything on my mind?
We don’t live forever and therefore need to make the most of our lives. Sometimes we want to do everything and it is not possible. You have to prioritize.
12. Is there life after death?
One of the most important existential questions concerns death. It is difficult for human beings to think that there is nothing. Thinking about your own death causes great discomfort, and when it is necessary to face the death of a loved one, it becomes very difficult to accept. Many people need therapy to recover.
13. Am I weak if I show my emotions to others?
We live in a society that has educated us in such a way that showing our emotions in front of others is a symptom of weakness: it is allowed to cry, it is weak, we cannot get angry, etc. You have to be happy every day. This, besides being impossible, is not good for the well-being of people.
14. Who am I?
“Who am I?” it is one of those existential questions, in which we seek to know if we have or if he has defined his path. However, if we do not know the answer to this question, it is because we are still looking.
15. Why don’t we value the people who love us the most?
The habituation I talked about earlier can also happen with the people around us who love us the most. We may take it for granted that the closest people will always be there for us. This means that we sometimes ignore them and tend to underestimate them..
16. What do we need in this life?
We often think that material things are what we need, but we need less than we think. Expectations that are too high can make you extremely unhappy.
17. Is life unfair?
If we look around we will realize that life is not fair. Daily atrocities are happening in many parts of the world and misfortunes can happen to anyone because they are a part of life. To enjoy greater emotional well-being, you need to focus on the present, love yourself, and practice acceptance. What to do when you feel desperate?
18. Do people change?
It may happen that at some point in our life, someone who has done no harm promises us that they will change. But, Can people change? Obviously yes. Now it depends on them.
19. Why are there such cruel people?
Sometimes we fail to understand how there are people who are so cruel and capable of committing barbaric acts. The reality is that the need and the situation are very important in the way we behave with others.. One study that explains this perfectly is that of Stanford Prison.
- You can read this research in our article: “The Stanford Prison Experience by Philip Zimbardo”
20. What is the secret to being happy?
A question we have all asked ourselves once is … What’s the secret to being happy? In fact, being happy all the time is impossible, but there are a few keys to being able to be that you can check out in this article: “The 10 Keys to Being Happy, According to Science”.
21. Will there be life on other planets?
One of the questions every human being has ever asked is whether there will be life on other planets.. We don’t have an answer to this question yet, but we certainly have the human will continue to seek life form somewhere in the infinite universe.
22. What should I study?
Many people, when they have to start college, ask themselves an existential question about their future.. Choosing a career and a profession is, without a doubt, a decision that will mark our future and our well-being. If we choose a profession that doesn’t motivate us or just don’t like it, we may regret it for the rest of our lives.
23. Should I chase my dreams?
Another existential question is … Should I fight for my dream despite the difficulty or seek stability? The answer to this question is up to you, but there is nothing more rewarding than chasing a dream.
24. Is there life beyond love?
Another big question: do we need love to survive?
25. How far could I go if I wanted to?
The power of will can change everything. Don’t let anyone limit you, and if you have an eyebrow-to-eyebrow goal, go for it all.
26. Where can I find emotional refuge?
A question to think about that really calms us down.
27. If he disappeared today, how would the world change?
Have we made reality any different?
28. Do I think for myself or do prefabricated speeches speak by mouth?
How are our ideas really our own?
29. When is violence justified?
Contexts can affect our ethical scales by aspects as important as physical integrity of people?
30. When I leave, what will people remember about me?
What imprint do we leave on others? Should either of us remember once we’re gone?
31. Am I an emotion or am I right?
This duality serves to explain above our personality.
32. Can I be happy without the people around me?
An existential question to know how independent we are.
33. Why do wars occur?
Violence is not desirable, but we are in a context where war conflicts continue to erupt. Why is this happening? What interests lie behind violent conflicts between nations?
34. Does the current education system make sense?
Does it make sense for a five-year-old to spend several hours a day sitting and listening to his teacher’s explanations? What would be a way to educate more according to the values of today’s society?
35. Why do we view dreams as imaginary fictions? Could they, in some sense, be more real than reality itself?
It may sound risky, but if we stop to think … maybe reality can be reinterpreted.
36. Am I my conscience?
What is the nature of consciousness? Is this what defines us as individuals?
37. How does my belief system limit me?
Personal beliefs they can become limits to our personal development.
38. Do good and evil exist as something objective?
Is there a right way to behave beyond our opinions?
39. Does my life plan go beyond improvisation?
In other words, do we really live by personal plans, or is it just useful fiction?
40. Can you blame someone for their actions if there is no such thing as freedom?
One of the most discussed existential questions is the relationship between determinism and responsibility.