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3 Questions on Gratitude: The Planet, Humanity, and The Self

Norm delves into the topic of gratitude on three different levels - for the planet, for other humans, and for oneself. He shares his reflections on the importance of environmental care, the beauty in human imperfections, and individual self-awareness.


In this freeform audio recording, Norm delves into the topic of gratitude on three different levels - for the planet, for other humans, and for oneself. He shares his reflections on the importance of environmental care, the beauty in human imperfections, and individual self-awareness. Inspired by a philosophy-themed event and a gratitude journaling workshop he attended, Norm structures his thoughts through three specific prompts. He also explores the idea of 'Sonder' - recognizing the deep, complex histories of those around us - and the protection of one's imagination from overwhelming external influences.

0:00 Introduction

00:53 Experience at the Gratitude Journaling Workshop

02:28 Gratitude for the Planet and its Ecosystems

04:53 Appreciation for Human Imperfections

07:35 Self-Reflection and Personal Gratitude

12:28 Conclusion and Sign Off

AI-Blogpost Version

What does it mean to truly appreciate our planet, our fellow humans, and most importantly, ourselves? In this thought-provoking podcast episode, Norm invites us to embark on a journey of gratitude and self-growth, revealing the transformative power of self-awareness and imagination.

The first topic of discussion is our profound interconnectedness with our planet. Our actions, Norm points out, have repercussions that ripple through intricate ecosystems, affecting not only the environment but also our own lives. By cultivating a sense of gratitude for our world, we learn to value its complexity and our place within it. Norm's emphasis on gratitude extends to recognizing the value of our own flaws and the lessons we can glean from life's trials and tribulations.

An equally compelling topic is the Semantic Influence Syndrome, a term coined by Norm to describe how our thoughts and behaviors can be influenced by external factors. He shares his personal journey of introspection and self-discovery, illustrating how he managed to protect his mind from these influences and nurture his unique ideas. This is where the power of imagination comes into play. It enables us to shape ourselves into individuals we can be truly proud of, thus emphasizing the importance of maintaining one's individuality.

Norm's exploration of gratitude also extends to the complexity of human nature. He discusses the importance of embracing our imperfections and seeing our challenges as opportunities for growth. He emphasizes the organic and adaptable nature of humans, and encourages us to appreciate the individuals we are becoming.

Furthermore, he introduces the concept of cultivating inner characters. By nurturing our own unique ideas and shielding our minds from external influences, we can tap into our imaginations and shape ourselves into versions of ourselves that we can be proud of. This powerful concept is a testament to the transformative potential of self-awareness and gratitude.

In summary, Norm's podcast episode offers a deep and enriching exploration of gratitude, growth, and the power of imagination. It invites us to embark on a journey of self-discovery, appreciate our growth, and cultivate a strong sense of self. Through this process, we can foster a deeper connection with our planet, embrace our imperfections, and tap into the transformative power of our imagination.

Uncleaned Transcript

[00:00:00] Norman Chella: Hi there. This is Norm. I thought that did this recording because why not? I want it to do more freeform audio recordings and see if just having an out there is much better for me too. Devise notes to myself to. Record. Thoughts that I would think could contain gold. Rather than having it be blocked by my inability to write something or inability to articulate. The thoughts that come out of my head, that emerge. I would rather just have it out there as an audio recording and see, we have it in podcast format so that anyone else can. Tune in or chime in or listen in. So why not have it up here on the, this is Norm show.

[00:00:47] I wanted to do this recording because I had this prompt quite a while ago.

[00:00:52] I think it was maybe.

Experience at the Gratitude Journaling Workshop

[00:00:53] Norman Chella: In October, I went to a philosophy-themed event in Kuala Lumpur. And there was a gratitude journaling workshop, Which turns out. I was not actually a gratitude journaling workshop, but rather just a collective gratitude.

[00:01:10] Community event thing. Multiple people, strangers wanting to talk about different things concerning, what are they grateful for? Yada, yada yada. Essentially, it was a. Topic about gratitude, which I understand is a very important topic, but it turns out that it was sort of a misalignment. With what I expected the gratitude journaling to be.

[00:01:31] I thought it was around best practices to journal for the self. But rather it was more of what are you grateful for? Now that's cool. That's great. Um, I would think that that's very interesting. But I thought to twist the prompts brought into that workshop. To my own accord or to my own objectives rather.

[00:01:55] And turn it into something that could be applicable to anybody here.

[00:01:59] One thing I noticed was really interesting was that they decided to do this workshop in scales. So the prompts around gratitude were. Giving you the chance to expand or. Minimize your awareness to things that you could pay attention to. And this case to scales were off the self. Or have people and we're off the planet. And I thought to introduce that myself in this episode.

[00:02:26] So the first prompt.

Gratitude for the Planet and its Ecosystems

[00:02:28] Norman Chella: Is we're going to start from the largest one is what are you grateful for on this planet? And I'll begin my answers here. I'm grateful that this planet has very, very interesting ecosystems. Systems are very complex and that adds to the depth. When you're trying to think of the narrative of how the planet works.

[00:02:49] You can think about it from the scientific perspective. Hey, wow. All these plants and nature leads to animal kingdoms leads to the base civilization for human society to function. And they all work in tandem with each other to create basically planet earth. And I think that's always a very interesting. Thought to have. I'm grateful for that, because that gives reason to. Keep this planet alive. That keeps giving me more reasons to be mine, more mindful of what I want to do with the environment around me. Do I want to throw away waste or trash? Do I want to treat people bad?

[00:03:27] No. I think from an epigenetics point of view. I wouldn't want the environment around me to be nurtured and cultivated well, because there's a symbiotic relationship between whether or not the environment is really, really good for me or healthy for me. And how that feeds into me as a person. So. You know, fair deal. The trade negotiation thing. If the people around you or the location around you or the environment around you works really well for you, then you're bound to work really well in return. And of course. If you have intentions to work towards a diff a specific version of yourself. Then influencing the environment around you to help you. Towards that is always pretty good.

[00:04:09] As long as you're not doing any harmful practice towards other people. I think that that is something to always be grateful for. As well as the fact that the systems are so complex, that you can spend every day making a step towards that objective. And that the planet actually gives you the opportunity to, or the right to, or to privileged to even, I don't really want to use that connotation or that word too much because of its. Strange connotation nowadays in modern discourse. But having that said. To be able to do so. In this kind of environment that is so malleable. In terms of how you can. Command. The environment around you in a positive direction is always something to be grateful for.

Appreciation for Human Imperfections

[00:04:53] Norman Chella: The next question is, what do you like about humans?

[00:04:58] I wasn't a group for this. And people had very interesting answers, but they were kind of expected, like curiosity. Uh, innovation, whatever I wanted to go about a different route. So here's my attempt. I'm trying to recollect this. I'll recall this answer from when I did that event. But. I liked that humans are flawed. I liked that humans. Our imperfect. I like that human stumbled. I like that he wins fall in certain times.

[00:05:30] I like that the life cycle. Of a person is not a straight line, but a rollercoaster there's three dimensions to it. There's maybe you have more dimensions to it. If you think about the intangible. World.

[00:05:43] I like this because that adds greater complexity and reasons to pursue. Exactly what that could be, what can be articulated from. The struggles, what can be articulated from the wisdoms and insights that a human can have, and that we have the capability to do that. More so that we have the capability to recover bounce or even thrive as a result from lessons learned from peril. I don't remember the exact quote, but there was one quote that has resonated with me. Paraphrasing it. Um, it was something along the lines of, um, men are not born in times of peace, but, um, through hardships in peril, And I thought that that was a very fascinating thing. Because if you try to deconstruct that wisdom or try to deconstruct that quote. And there was no peril. What will we learn? We would have achieved. Utopian like tendencies utopian attributes as a person. And that means that. Other than pure. Unrelenting motivation to pursue a higher level of self.

[00:06:53] Sometimes some forcing functions. To make you want to thrive better. We'll bring you into a different direction that you'd never expect. And humans have the capacity to be so organic. So adaptable. To peril. That they can survive, that they can thrive and they can create a community that can bring them across that or through that. And I liked that. 'cause people try. I like that humans are flawed. Because they are brave enough to confront it. I like that humans are flawed. Because they are brave enough. To hold strength, despite the fear of breaking apart.

[00:07:30] And I like humans because.

[00:07:33] We try.

Self-Reflection and Personal Gratitude

[00:07:35] Norman Chella: And the last question is what are you grateful for yourself?

[00:07:41] I'm trying to. Not answer this without sounding too egotistical, but. I'll have to do it to a certain extent, I guess it depends on framing. But here we go.

[00:07:53] I try my best to live from the perspective of Saunder. If you don't know what Saunder means.

[00:08:00] It is a concept of understanding. That everybody around you. Strangers, friends, family, close ones. They all have rich deep histories of their own. They all have rich, deep stories that are oh, That is a very. Logical understanding of common sense, understanding. But Sonder dictates to behaviors and influences and your expectations of a person. So Sandra helps you frame. An impression of a person. And that in return will help dictate your behaviors to a certain degree. That may lead you to be more kinder. That may lead you to be more mindful of the people around you. Maybe it is that when someone cuts you off in traffic, that there is something drastic happening in their life right now.

[00:08:46] And you happen to get caught in the crossfire for it. And so you. Go through what we call as per the. AntiFool episode with Dr. Benjamin Hardy, um, F a E, which is a fundamental attribution error. Where we project. Faults and blame. Onto a person. Without considering their situation. So to live in a life from sander. Aye. Find out that. I want to respect the rich deep histories of people more. And I feel like I've done quite a good job at maintaining that. I do catch myself and fits of maybe anger or rage or judgment.

[00:09:28] And I still find myself guilty of such. Um, but I forgive myself for having dose and just as fast as I would. Fall into that state of mind. I quickly reset myself and climb back up and that, you know, as a callback to the previous answer on, on recovery, on maintaining our trajectory towards the direction that we want. Or even emerging trajectories that we find on the way or on the journey to find ourselves. In a better place. To be able to do that from, um, from, for myself or for myself to do that.

[00:10:03] Um, I'm really happy that I could train that. I can really happy that I could cultivate that understanding. And the other answer as well. I would give for my gratitude for myself. It was my imagination. The intangibles that live in my mind. I'm really grateful that they are there.

[00:10:21] I'm alone in my mind, just like everybody else. I try my best to divert away from semantic influence syndrome. Which is a term I coined to describe.

[00:10:33] Protecting the bastion of my mind from influences that I choose to pay attention to. Say that if I have a favorite author, uh, A read all their books and they've, I start sounding like them. My semantics are influenced by them as a result. And there's a flaw in that. behavior. That if I start being a. Complete duplicate of somebody else.

[00:10:58] Why should someone listen to me? They could just listen to the original source.

[00:11:02] The way to protect that. Or to prevent that from happening is cultivating the intangibles in my mind. My imagination, my characters, my fiction. My nonfiction, my thoughts, my conclusions, my hypotheses. My agreements and disagreements, the conversations in my mind. If, you know, my website. You'll know that I have a lot of inner characters and they're always talking to each other a lot. Sometimes I catch myself acting in a specific mode, demote of logic. They clashed with emotion and then something happens and there might be like a spark between that. And tempering that thought will lead to a conclusion, which I find quite satisfying. The capacity to do that is amazing. It's powerful. And I'm so happy for it. I feel that when. This is a skill. To learn. It may cultivate differently or uniquely per person. But once it does. The end results are the same in terms of benefits. The satisfaction that you are. Grateful for. Being able to construct yourself towards a version that you are proud of. To look in the mirror and say, wow. This is an amazing person in front of me. I love this person.

[00:12:21] And of course. Gratitude comes from a place of love.

[00:12:26] I guess that's it.

Conclusion and Sign Off

[00:12:28] Norman Chella: Take care. This is norm. You'll find me at that's the And I'll see you another time.