Contextual Gratitude

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“I’m constantly looking for ways to perfect my practices. I approach Self-Actualization from the perspective of Creator, Designer and Innovator.”

“You’re expressing yourself through your work.”

“I guess I am.

Take gratitude for instance, which I consider a vital life-tool and an essential pillar of Artful Living.

There’s a quote I love, from a great game designer:

Restrictions breed creativity. (Mark Rosewater)

This touches upon an extraordinarily powerful concept / model: creative limitations.

The brain is not good at making open-ended choices. When tasked to do so, it tends to retreat to the realm of the familiar. Limitations are a powerful way of lighting the fire of the creative process, of generating (and narrowing down) possibilities. 

This is an art in itself. 

Language can be used as a tool to that end. I call these linguistic-filters.

In the context of gratitude, one such filter I created for myself is what I called contextual gratitude.”

“You mean like being grateful for the things around you and such?”

“Precisely. But that’s just one type of context.

You can play with contexts.

You can think of
spatial contexts (eg the room I’m in, or the city), or
temporal contexts (eg the day, the month, the year), or
thematic contexts (eg people, movement, nature), or
metaphoric contexts (eg big-picture or small-picture perspectives).

You can also combine filters. Take for instance the linguistic-filters:

Appreciate how far you’ve come.
Appreciate the things you take for granted.

You can express Gratitude at a general level, by evoking how much you’ve evolved in (and as) the Process. But I find it useful to also express Gratitude for specific instances of it, that you usually take for granted.”

“Can you give an example.”

“Let’s say you’re at the store and you feel a strong impulse to buy something. You exercise your Willpower, discipline yourself, and wisely decide not to give in to the impulse. This is a beautiful opportunity to practice Gratitude for how much you’ve developed Self-Control.”


About Dani Trusca

Life-Artist, Thinker, Mover (Traceur)

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