In life we have the opportunity to be one of two kinds of people; an optimist or a pessimist. I'm not saying you will be one and only one your entire life. You have choices and at different stages of your life you can also change your perspective. That is the key, it is your perspective which yields weather the glass is half full or half empty.
A while ago I wrote about our thoughts influencing outcomes. It's amazing how one's own thoughts can influence their perspective; which in turn influences their mood and attitude towards being an optimist or a pessimist! Makes you want to take a moment and think about your thoughts right?
The Power of thought plays a great roll on weather you allow your glass to be half full or half empty in life. If all you allow yourself to think about are positive thoughts, blessings you've been given, how wonderful life is; you in turn become an optimist. If you allow yourself to linger on the negative thoughts such as
"I'm not as good as she is"
"Why Can't I lose weight" or
"I wish I was as pretty as her"
Your mind lingers in the negative which turns your mood more towards the pessimistic side. The longer you allow yourself to think these thoughts, the more it becomes habit and soon that is how you automatically react to situations, with a negative attitude.
Take for instance this story by Kimberly Evans Jones:
A wise man stood at the gate of an ancient city and greeted travelers as they arrived. One day, a traveler asked him:
"What kind of people live in this city?"
The wise man responded with a question of his own: "What kind of people lived in the city from whence you came?"
"Oh, they were very bad people, " answered the traveler, "cruel, deceitful, and devil-worshipping."
"You'll find the same kind of people in this city," sight the wise man.
Some time later, a second traveler came to the gate and asked about the people in the city. The wise man again asked his question:
"What kind of people lived in the city from whence you came?"
"Oh, they were very good people, " answered the second traveler, "hard-working, generous, and God-fearing."
"You'll find the same kind of people in this city," smiled the wise man.
So what made the difference? The people in the city were the same people, who lived the same lives. The difference was in the traveler's perspective.
There may be different times in your life when you are able to be more optimistic than others. It is easy to be optimistic when things are going well. The trial is when things don't go as planned.
Some days I find myself being quite the optimist! Those are great days! Some days I find myself not being such an optimist. Those are the not so great days. Quite often the very same things are happening in each day. Usually the kids will fight, the dishes won't get done, most likely it is either raining (or snowing in the winter) and I'm dreading that pile of laundry. So why can I be optimistic one day and pessimistic the next? Well other than being directly related to how much sleep I got the night before; it usually ties back to what I have allowed myself to think about that day. On the good days, I usually think about our blessings. On my bad days it's usually because I'm thinking about what we don't have.
Thoughts about how full or empty the proverbial glass is; influences how you will react to each aspect in your day. An optimist will expect great things, will notice a strangers smile, will spread cheer to others, will have more patience with the bickering children. Thus in turn actually creates the great day for herself. The normal sibling rivalry won't bother her as much because she is expecting a great day. When a wrench is thrown into the day's plans; she's flexible and believes it will all work out. Thoughts = attitudes = actions = desired outcomes.
A pessimist on the other hand expects things to go badly, continually nit picks on neighbors, husband and kids, and grows impatient quickly. This person now created a miserable day. The smallest thing that doesn't go as planned has her at the end of her patience. She's not flexible and when things go wrong; her first response is, "I knew it! Nothing ever goes right for me". She quite often gives up with the thought "What's the point? It won't work out anyway". Thoughts = attitudes = actions = undesired outcome = self fulfilled prophesy.
The question now is; which do you want to be? The Optimist or the pessimist? Which one are you today?
When you find yourself a little more on the pessimist side, take a moment to stop and think about all the great blessings you've been given! Do you have food? Do you have a home? Do you have luxuries? Are your kids healthy? Do you love your children? Do they love you? Allow your thoughts to linger in the positive and then ask your self again:
Is the proverbial glass half empty or half full?