Half Empty or Half Full?
I’m always surprised at how different people’s viewpoints or perspectives of the same situation can be so varied and juxtaposed.
Sure, we all have our own way of looking things and we all have different tastes – as novelist Wilbur Smith said to an ex of mine, when we met him at a book signing in response to her saying she didn’t like his new style of books as much as the previous ones, “Wouldn’t it be a boring world if we all liked exactly the same things.” I can’t help but think that was probably a euphemism for something else!
But eloquently put, nonetheless.
But, what’s particularly interesting, is the way many people habitually view things, i.e. positively or negatively – almost by default.
As we discussed in a recent article – much of the way we view things is down to our conditioning, namely that which our parents and childhood influences habitually said to us, or within earshot – so whatever the message, positive or negative – it was completely drummed into us and became part of our programming.
I grew up particularly confused on the issue of cars – every time my Father would see someone driving a Rolls or a shiny new Jag, he’d refer to the person as a Bastard, on the other hand, my Mum would grudgingly say, “Look at that clever Bugger”
I questioned for a long time, were these successful drivers of nice cars either Bastards or Geniuses?
I also remember a friend of mine saying that no matter how nice the day’s weather, that upon remarking this to his neighbour whenever he saw him, the neighbour (a grumpy old farmer type) would always say, “Yes, it is nice now, but it’ll probably rain later!”
Kind of funny, cos we all probably know someone like that, but…
Do you think the neighbour consciously thought about this every time before he said exactly the same negative phrase to my friend, or do you think he was perhaps operating on ‘autopilot’, and that maybe this was something he’d heard his own Mother or Father say countless times as a child, until his own subconscious eventually took ownership?
So, it’s really as well to try and think for ourselves.
An interesting exercise is to almost ‘stand outside of yourself’, and pay attention to what you habitually say and do.
Try and observe with conscious thought, and ask yourself the question, “Am I really thinking or feeling what I’ve just said or done – or did it come from somewhere else?”
It’s interesting as an exercise and can lead to an awful lot of self-discovery.
Finally, back to the title of this article – we are all familiar with this half empty, half full scenario, but here’s a slight alternative, which I personally rather like…
“Whilst the pessimist and the optimist were busy arguing over whether the glass was indeed half empty or half full – the Opportunist came along and drank the lot!”
Let’s drink to opportunity and an open mind.