Half Full vs. Half-Empty

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I’ve been thinking about this since meeting with a friend and listening to his complaints about jet lag, local politics, work etc.  Everyone knows the half full, half empty metaphor, but clichéd though it is, I find it very useful.  If you habitually look at the empty half, then you can never be satisfied, because the glass can never be completely filled; there is always room for one more need, one more chocolate, one more affair.  Conversely, if you habitually look at the full half, it can never be emptied; there is always a moment of delight, an anticipation, an unexpected benefit.  (I wrote about this before.  It also reminds me of “Ain’t it terrible”, from “Games People Play” by Eric Berne.)

The point is that our world consists of what we pay attention to; by changing our focus, we can change our experience of reality.  This might be called Pollyannaish, but so what?  As long as it does not lead to ignoring problems, it can only be a benefit.

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