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Reflections: Is Reality Half-Full Or Half-Empty?

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“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston Churchill

Reflections: Is Reality Half-Full Or Half-Empty? Laughter can shift our thinking...

Is your reality half-full or half-empty? Is the picture of your life an optimistic or pessimistic one? When I first read the prompt, my initial reaction was to say, reality has shadings of both and that it depends on what day of the week we are talking about… But that is not the question. The question that is being asked is really about our world view and how we navigate through life on a regular basis. I know some people who pride themselves on having a cynical or even pessimistic view of reality; they have little patience for what they call the namby pamby world of the perennial optimist.ย  However, I suspect that privately, some of my pessimistic friends would like a few spins on that optimistic merry-go-round. Why? It works. See that young happy, smiling lady above ? How does she make you feel?ย  Like sadness, happiness is contagious.

“Optimist: Person who travels on nothing from nowhere to happiness.” Mark Twain

Reflections: Is Reality Half-Full Or Half-Empty? ... And the glass?

How do you typically view your world? From a place of lack or of abundance? Honestly, this is not a judgement call. It is simply a way for us to consider how we view/quantify abundance or the lack thereof in our lives. We’ve all come across articles that discuss the power of a positive thought and how it helps shape our expectations andย  experiences. How we choose to view the glass above, be it half full or half-empty, will depend on our perception of what the glass represents to us. It will depend on our current perspective about our life, and how we typically respond to situations that make us anxious. I think when we are feeling fulfilled and at peace with the world, our response to a half glass of water would be to drink it… and ask for more. When we are feeling short-changed and aggrieved with the world, our reaction to that glass might be to say, “Here we go again, I’m being deprived.” Think about it. I also suspect that our world view; whether optimistic, pessimistic or plain old cynical, will depend on where our mindset is operating from on a particular day, or whether we typically have a high propensity for positive or negative thoughts… It’s not so linear. More below. ๐Ÿ˜‰
***To blog friends, I’ve been out of commission and will catch up on reading/commenting on your blogs by the weekend. Thanks for your patience!

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” Peace Pilgrim

Reflections: Is Reality Half-Full Or Half-Empty? Ask the happy man smiling in the rain...

Is reality half-full Or half-empty? Is the world blue or green?ย  I’d say it’s all of the above and then some. If my vision of reality is sparkly and bright most of the time, then I’d lean closer to a half full cup. If I generally seeย  limitations, barriers, obstacles to everything in my path, then a half empty cup might be my relevant option.ย  However,ย  we might vacillate back and forth, choosing option A one day and then B the next… and that would be fine too. Again, how we view reality will depend on our emotional and mental state at the time the question is posed.ย  It changes…ย  What are your thoughts? Is your reality half-full or half empty? Have you thought about your degree of optimism vs pessimism? Do share! Thank you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This post was inspired by a prompt from SoulPancake: Is reality half-full or half-empty? Is cynicism or optimism a more accurate reflection of reality?

Positive Motivation Tip: Cherish you optimistic thoughts. Pessimism is a tougher option.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Happy lady, Glass of water, Happy man in the rain, via Wikipedia

Until Next Timeโ€ฆ
Ask. Believe. Receive. ยฉ
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

31 Comments leave one →
  1. 02/12/2011 12:43 am

    Is it possible to be somewhere between the two? I don’t see a rosy future so I’m making the best of what I’ve got.

    • 03/12/2011 10:31 am

      I think it is normal to have our share of all three -isms. However, some of us are more inclined to learn in one direction more often. Paint a picture of a brighter future you desire Tilly… You will surprise yourself. TY! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Bree permalink
    02/12/2011 2:51 am

    My reality is somewhere in the middle. Like you, I’m all for the positive.

    • 03/12/2011 10:32 am

      I get that and as I said in the post, this is not unusual at all… But we can choose to be more positive about things. TY! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. 02/12/2011 4:04 am

    Pessimism is my tougher option.

    • 03/12/2011 10:33 am

      I had a good chuckle when I read this… I hear you and your music is a great source of happiness for you. TY! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. 02/12/2011 5:20 am

    Mostly, I’m a half glass full kinda person but sometimes I catch myself being a little pessimistic. When that happens, I pull myself back immediately because I know no matter how bleak the situation looks, I look for the positive in it. I can always find at least one positive thing to shift my thinking.

    • 03/12/2011 10:34 am

      Excellent! That is true for many of us, and if we could all pause and find one good thing in any situation, it can help make a huge difference… TY! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. 02/12/2011 6:23 am

    You know, Elizabeth, how I tell you all the time you are like my guardian angel? Go read my post today. You answered my question! Is that weird or what?!? My son has an MRI Monday morning, under general anesthesia. I’m terrified -illogically. Could that be because I’m viewing it as a glass half empty? Truly, you’ve brought me to tears to recognize that I should view it as one more obstacle out of the way for his health and be happy that we get to use that diagnostic tool to help on our journey. God bless you, Elizabeth. I do adore you. xoxo

    • 02/12/2011 11:52 am

      Solo, you are SO right. Best wishes for the MRI, but yes, it is a good thing, no something to fear. I have always had the view that the unknown is far harder to deal with than the known. When we know the facts, we find the strength to deal with reality. When there is unknown, there is fear of what the facts might be.

    • 03/12/2011 9:30 am

      Best wishes on the MRI for Tootles, Karen… You know, we are all angels for each other in some fashion. Your concern is normal and your decision to be positive about the outcome is a healthy one. I send him virtual hugs and prayers for a successful outcome. All is well. God bless you too! xoxo ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. 02/12/2011 7:52 am

    I’m with Tilly ~ NOW is fine . . . but the future of the planet looks bleak.

    • 03/12/2011 10:36 am

      And we can hold up our positive thoughts and prayers for the betterment of the planet… All is not lost. TY! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. 02/12/2011 11:49 am

    I’m with Tilly and Nancy. Personally, I am a glass-half-full kind of person – globally, not so much.

    • 03/12/2011 10:37 am

      Well, turn some of that positive energy towards our planet… We can give our joy to the planet through our actions and prayers. TY! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. 02/12/2011 4:48 pm

    Terrific post i love it ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. 02/12/2011 11:22 pm

    Love this post Liz. It really brought to mind something that has been with me for a long time. Interesting enough there is a movie (the title escapes me) that looks at situation from a tragic and comical view, in which the object was to determine which is the more powerful art statement. I as an artist, if you have been following my blog ( and you do faithfully…thanks) often see that I explore both spectrums of this question. However, I must say that I believe I see things more often than not as the glass being half empty. It may be deemed as being slightly pessimistic, but I feel that there is a freedom in seeing things from this perspective. It allows us to move forward after knowing what has been left behind.

    • 03/12/2011 10:40 am

      Great point! Pessimism can propel us to act to change our condition and when it is used to create a positive change/outcome then that is a great thing. The key is to not dwell there … in pessimism. TY! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. 02/12/2011 11:56 pm

    I’m going with Peace Pilgrim….powerful are our thoughts so going and staying with happy ๐Ÿ™‚ thoughts ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 03/12/2011 12:20 pm

      Peace Pilgrim was a remarkable lady and her work and words still resonate with tremendous power today. TY! ๐Ÿ™‚ (((((Sunshine)))) Hug! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. 03/12/2011 11:25 am

    Half full! More than half full! ๐Ÿ™‚
    And it is only by believing that it’s possible that we can heal the planet and ourselves. I’m still going to believe! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 03/12/2011 12:22 pm

      Same here! I believe we can accomplish more when we believe and act on it… TY! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. 03/12/2011 5:56 pm

    One great post. I would rather consider the glass to be half-full than viewing it as half empty. We only have one life to live and we should live it to the fullest and the way to live it, for me, is to do it with positive outlook in life. Let’s stay positive above all circumstances. Great sacrifices come great blessings!

    Cheers to positivity and optimism. Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 04/12/2011 12:08 am

      TY for your positive comments. I enjoyed reading your personal philosophy and believe we can do more with positivity too. TY! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • 04/12/2011 2:42 am

        …and TY to you too for this post. Stay blessed ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. 04/12/2011 9:48 am

    My glass is often over flowing!

  14. 05/12/2011 8:43 am

    As the quantity of years remaining for me diminishes, what I see in the glass fills it more than ever. It’s not how much there is that matters, but how valued what is left is. My glass runneth over…


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