We’ve heard it said time and time again: Perception is reality. How you see your life and what you believe are inseparably intertwined. The half-full/half empty glass question is a graphic depiction of how people see their world.
We know that people who are optimists always say that the glass is half full while pessimists say the glass is half empty. On a humorous note, I read somewhere that if you’re a project manager you’re likely to say the glass is twice as big as it needs to be. And the so-called realist says the glass contains half the required amount of liquid for it to overflow.
While I am technically an optimist, I like the way the realist describes the glass. In reality, though I like to just keep pouring the water until the cup is overflowing. That’s because I know that’s how life works – as a never-ending source of abundance and the only thing that prevents our cups from continually overflowing is that most people just don’t see life that way. That’s how I see life and how I experience life. Most people I meet say they would also like to see and experience their lives that way.
Do You Believe in the Best Outcome and the Greatest Good?
Let’s look at the word “optimism.” It derives from the Latin word “optima,” meaning the best outcome or belief in the greatest good. So, first you have to identify whether you are basically an optimist or a pessimist. Becoming aware of what you believe is the beginning of change. And, if you want to be more successful in your life, whatever success means to you, it’s important to realize that optimism creates opportunity and pessimism kills it. In fact, it has been found that seeing the glass half full not only makes you happier, it also makes you healthier and wealthier.
Some people are born optimists. Others train themselves to be. Once you develop the outlook of an optimist, you’ll discover that you’ll expect good things and the very act of expecting good things to happen will lead to taking actions that produce positive results. Likewise, on the other end of the spectrum, expecting only bad stuff to come your way will keep the bad stuff coming.
One way to begin training yourself to be more optimistic is to start with a one-minute ritual each day. Before you step out of bed or if you forget, before you leave your home for the day, take one minute to set an intention for the day. Come up with one word that resonates with you about the attitude or spirit you want to bring to the day. Being intentional acts like a compass and helps you better focus your time and energy. As you go through your day, if possible, recall that word and take stock of how your day is going. If there’s no time during the day, then review how the day went and your attitude through it at day’s end. Soon you’ll be expecting that cup to be overflowing, and I assure you, it will be.