Gratitude and Transformation

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24 Jun 2019 14:41 #339989 by Manu
Found a great article at:
benjaminhardy.com/gratitude/

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]

Long-term consistency trumps short term intensity
- Bruce Lee
The following user(s) said Thank You: Garm, Karn, Omhu Cuspor

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25 Jun 2019 19:01 #340025 by Omhu Cuspor
Thank you, Manu. I liked part of the article very much. Part of it I had trouble with ... though in all honestly I am not certain whether that is due to flaws in the article or in my imperfect psyche.

The part I found enjoyable, rewarding, and very useful is the section addressing how we should regard our past. I found nothing but truth there, and a truth I can apply in my life. If that's as much as I ultimately extract from the article, it's enough to have made it more than worth reading.

I found myself objecting to the sections on how we could best regard our present and future. The section on the present seemed to me to say "Look, your present is always going to be disappointing. Focus instead on what you can bring into being later." I found that discouraging.

The segment addressing the future encourages envisioning our future in its best possible form, which is beneficial to a degree. But it seems written with an assurance that a positive vision combined with positive effort will assuredly bring positive results, and I don't experience that to be the case. Naturally, those practices are more likely to produce positive outcomes than having no vision, or having a cynical one, or being undisciplined in terms of effort ... but our individual and collective futures are subject to many foibles and dangers. I have difficulty feeling really comfortable that the future will be brighter than today, even if we are striving for such a result.

Just my take on things. I am grateful that you shared the article, despite the criticisms.
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26 Jun 2019 13:18 #340033 by Manu
Replied by Manu on topic Gratitude and Transformation

Omhu Cuspor wrote: Thank you, Manu. I liked part of the article very much. Part of it I had trouble with ... though in all honestly I am not certain whether that is due to flaws in the article or in my imperfect psyche.


Maybe neither? Your psyche is as perfect as it ever will be. And the article is what it is. Perhaps "trouble" was just some temporary discomfort?

Omhu Cuspor wrote: I found myself objecting to the sections on how we could best regard our present and future. The section on the present seemed to me to say "Look, your present is always going to be disappointing. Focus instead on what you can bring into being later." I found that discouraging.


The way I see it, the article states circumstance can never wholly satisfy us. Satisfaction comes from within. This is why you see those kids in Africa kicking around a can with a smile on their face, while the billionaire child may be suicidal. It's a matter of how we manage expectations vs. circumstance.

I actually felt quite inspired by this. If gratitude helps us acknowledge all the good stuff in our life, and simply let go of what we don't have right now, then happiness is instant. Rather than saying "the present is always going to be disappointing", I see it as "no matter what life is right now, you can choose to be dissapointed or you can choose to be grateful".

Omhu Cuspor wrote: The segment addressing the future encourages envisioning our future in its best possible form, which is beneficial to a degree. But it seems written with an assurance that a positive vision combined with positive effort will assuredly bring positive results, and I don't experience that to be the case. Naturally, those practices are more likely to produce positive outcomes than having no vision, or having a cynical one, or being undisciplined in terms of effort ... but our individual and collective futures are subject to many foibles and dangers. I have difficulty feeling really comfortable that the future will be brighter than today, even if we are striving for such a result.


History seems to favor a positive outcome. Despite ups and downs, historically we have always been improving. Advances in individual freedoms, access to education, healthcare, advances in medicine and technology. It is a great time to be alive! There will always be bad stuff happening (the past had no shortage of those), but we have more opportunities than ever.

Omhu Cuspor wrote: Just my take on things. I am grateful that you shared the article, despite the criticisms.


And I am grateful for your reply.

Long-term consistency trumps short term intensity
- Bruce Lee

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26 Jun 2019 18:40 #340045 by Omhu Cuspor

Manu wrote:
The way I see it, the article states circumstance can never wholly satisfy us. Satisfaction comes from within. This is why you see those kids in Africa kicking around a can with a smile on their face, while the billionaire child may be suicidal. It's a matter of how we manage expectations vs. circumstance.

I actually felt quite inspired by this. If gratitude helps us acknowledge all the good stuff in our life, and simply let go of what we don't have right now, then happiness is instant. Rather than saying "the present is always going to be disappointing", I see it as "no matter what life is right now, you can choose to be dissapointed or you can choose to be grateful".


That is a different, and imo equally valid, way of interpreting the section on the present. I think the interpretation you've made is helpful, and I am grateful for your reply too!
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27 Jun 2019 14:22 #340065 by Manu
Replied by Manu on topic Gratitude and Transformation

Long-term consistency trumps short term intensity
- Bruce Lee
The following user(s) said Thank You: Garm, Omhu Cuspor

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