Is the glass half full or half empty? Does it matter? Yes! Your perspective governs your life. From getting through each day to long term strategies, how you see things has a dramatic impact on your happiness and success.
People who see the glass half full experience things differently than those that see it as half empty. The half full people are optimists, while the half empty people are pessimists.
Optimists see their world filled with joy and possibility. They don’t get bogged down by obstacles because they recognize problems as being temporary in nature. They are healthier and happier than their pessimistic counterparts. Whenever they are knocked down, they get right back up and keep going.
Pessimists are consumed with adversity and potential problems. They see each day as a minefield of things that will go wrong. They view obstacles as a way of life rather than a temporary state. Pessimists tend to be more depressed and suffer from more physical ailments than optimists.
If you focus on your strengths, solutions, and opportunities, you see the glass as half full. If you obsess over weaknesses, always find problems, and feel you are a victim, you always see a half empty glass.
Optimism and pessimism are learned behaviors. As such, pessimists can become optimists if they so desire. You can change your outlook anytime. But it takes practice, repetition, and consistency.
An optimistic perspective becomes part of you. You take it wherever you go and can apply it as often as necessary. It provides you with a teflon coating that prevents problems from sticking.
There were two children, Jane and Alice. Jane was an eternal optimist and Alice was a perpetual pessimist. As an experiment, Alice was placed in a room full of new toys and Jane was put into a room full of manure.
Their respective reactions were quite surprising. Alice began playing with the toys but quickly became sullen and depressed. Jane, on the other hand, was observed happily searching through the manure.
When questioned about their feelings, their answers revealed their approach to life. Alice said she became sad because she was worried that her good fortune couldn’t possibly last since she was certain someone would take away all of the toys, leaving her with nothing to play with.
Jane couldn’t believe her good fortune. With so much manure in one room, there had to be a pony in there somewhere, she explained.
This story illustrates the effect of your perspective. No matter what good fortune may befall them, pessimists feel they are doomed and are constantly waiting for the bottom to drop out. When presented with a solution, they find the problem. Optimists are always looking for the pony.
A constantly negative outlook creates a downward spiral. Since pessimists always find problems, they perceive circumstances as going from bad to worse. This cycle reinforces their belief that the glass is half empty.
To change your perspective, look for the pony. Act the way you want to feel. Smile to feel good rather than waiting to feel good before you smile. Monitor your feelings so you can catch yourself before they turn negative.
Describe problems in terms that make them appear temporary and solvable. For example, if you are laid off from work consider it an opportunity to find a better job or make that career change you always wanted. This will allow you to solve your problem much more readily than if you resigned yourself to being unemployed.
Adjust your perspective to give you the results you want. Successful people always see the glass as half full. Even if there are only a few drops in it, the optimist considers that a good start.
NOW AVAILABLE: “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. Email Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or write him c/o this paper.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at email@example.com or write him c/o this paper.
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