Day 12 – What Matters

Lately I’ve been spending a decent amount of time working on being conscious of my emotional response to situations, which has lead to me spending a larger than expected amount of time thinking about what matters to me. I believe this is a natural result of focusing more on embracing stoicism because my emotional responses are going to vary depending on what level of concern I have for a particular event happening (or not). This makes sense to me because stoicism basically breaks down to “mastering one’s emotions” when I think about it, so that’s how I end up framing my thoughts.

Side note: I have weird ways of thinking about things, and frequently can’t remember words in real time when speaking. Instead I just roll along with conceptual approximations in my head and try to describe things to people when I’m talking to them. Sure does make for interesting conversations at times, but I digress as this post isn’t about that.

Anyways, this whole process led me to post this idle thought on Twitter yesterday.

In recent weeks I’ve been listing out Things That Matter to Me, and I’m discovering some interesting results. As it turns out, there are many things that I thought mattered that really don’t, and many things that I’ve always known matter to me but it turns out they matter a whole hell of a lot more I believed they did. I was surprised though when I realized there is at least one thing that I used to completely disregard, but after contemplating it for weeks… oh boy does it matter to me.

What’s that you ask? To put it simply, it’s people who can’t control their emotions in the slightest and then try to hide that fact. I’m also curious how many folks aren’t aware of it, but personal agency is a separate topic.

In the end, being around people who do this is just disheartening and I’ve realized having those kind of people around me is a total waste of my time. Most of the things that they complain about – and it’s generally quite a bit – can be boiled down to them dealing with the feedback loop from immediate extreme emotional responses; when I watch them experiencing this it leaves me sitting there staring at them quizzically.

So I’ve decided that life is too short to deal with people who default to extreme emotional responses. I’ve also decided that I would like to be a better person on a continual basis. Because of those two things, I am reorganizing my life to remove people like those I described above, so I can surround myself with more people that will make me a better person.

Note: I already have a number of people that make me a better person but it’s always nice to have more.

Seems kind of simple now that I think about it and I’m mildly bummed that I didn’t figure this out earlier in life. Regardless of that, I am looking forward to see what effects it has on my life.

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