The way we see life most often depends on what angle we’re looking from. The half empty vs. half full expression has overtime set a standard of thinking that differentiates the pessimist way of thought and that of the optimist. Pessimists and optimists are basically two people seeing the same things but from two different perspectives. It is said that the pessimist sees the cup as half empty while the optimist sees the cup as half full –Where the cup of water represents life. Hence, this gives that seeing the glass as half empty would mean that your gaze is fixed on all of life’s negatives that you suffer, expecting the worst while half full would mean that you focus on the positive and happier side of life, expecting the most favourable outcomes out of life instead.
The word optimism originates from the Latin word “Optimus” which means “the greatest good or “the best”. This principle sees the world is the “best of all possible worlds,” in which the creator accomplishes the most good at the cost of the least evil. When we talk about the optimist and the pessimist, everyone would rather not associate with the word pessimistic and would prefer to see themselves as being optimistic. Yet there are many who don’t even see a cup, not to talk of water inside of it! This is true because as a matter of fact, life so comes with different strokes for different folks; and not everyone gets through life achieving all their desires, hence staying optimistic at all times becomes a really tough one. Yet, because you’re at a point where you have good grounds to habitually discover loads of explanations towards justifying your negativity and turning into a blue cynic about a situation doesn’t imply that you ought to.
The successful ones of today all started off from somewhere, somewhere most likely next to nothing. They most likely began their journey with little water in their glass or no water at all, so they worked hard enough and with that determination of topping off their glass. This means that optimism powers up positive thinking and actions! Anticipating that great things will happen will prompt taking extra measures that create positive results. Positive psychology has also shown that optimism has a positive impact on mental health. At the inverse end, a pessimist will rather not see things from this angle but will prefer to live their lives in lethargic latency which ends up shutting the doors of any good to come.
In my express opinion, labelling the glass as half full or half empty is similarly accurate. The problem is not with the glass or the content of the glass– it’s with adjusting your point of view to make better the content of the glass. Truth is, we all have both the half empty and the half full attribution to different areas if our lives. We cannot always be full. Some may have it half full in the pursuit of their goals while they suffer the emptiness in their relationships. Trying so hard at appearing optimistic always only takes you away from reality by placing you at the point where you only work with the positive side but it does not take away the negative side which only ends up compounding.
The tao concept gives that “emptiness” is not a vacuous state of nothingness; rather, it is “a pregnant void bursting with potentialities”. The emptiness of the cup is another promise of more water, more possibilities. It’s that spot of energy where boundless potential outcomes exist but it depends on how you choose to look at it! As Shakespeare gives –“There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so”.
As much as it is wiser to see the glass as half-full instead of half empty, I’d say stop looking and start drinking, stop assessing and start refilling– just do something! If you don’t work hard enough to fill your half empty cup, it will drag you down the lonely roads of misery and if you don’t struggle further to top your half-full cup, it will only dry up because things only get better when you work better. This means that we need to be in touch with a little of both angles to live a more balanced and accomplished life.
You might decide to say like the optimist– the glass is half full, or as the pessimist– the glass is half empty, or as the eternally optimistic eccentric would say– the glass is constantly overflowing, well I’d say, whether your glass is half empty or half full, don’t forget to savour what’s in the glass!
“It doesn’t matter if the glass is half empty or half full.
Be thankful that you have a glass and grateful that there’s something in it”– Unknown
Written By: ‘Nonye J. Chidolue (@NonyeWrites)
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