Optimism versus Pessimism: Is Your Glass Half Full or Half Empty?


Optimism versus Pessimism: Is Your Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

Is Your Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

Are you a glass half full or a glass half empty kind of person? Does it really make a difference? I think it makes a huge difference in your overall functioning, and the quality of your life.

Optimism can lead to accomplishment. If you think something is possible, you will generally work harder to achieve it. Believing in the positive allows you to feel good about life in general. Being optimistic can lead to an overall mood of happiness, and enjoyment in life. While most optimists understand that not everything works out as planned, they recognize that some good can come from the unexpected.

Pessimism can lead to defeat and despair. When you are doubtful that things will happen or be accomplished, you tend not to try as hard – which then leads to failure. Approaching everyday tasks with a negative attitude quickly leads to a negative outlook on life.

I see optimism in the faces of those with whom I work each day. I think it is this positive upbeat attitude that allows us to be productive and love the work we do with families. Oh, we feel frustrated and concerned from time to time; but we have been in this profession long enough to know that if we just stay positive and wait it out, we will either find a solution or the difficulty will pass. I truly believe that our optimistic attitude is what provides us with our sense of fulfillment, and improves our overall quality of life.

Unfortunately, I encounter many pessimistic people in a variety of settings. It may be that some of those people are just having a bad day; but so often it is a way of life for people. We can become pessimistic about things we have no control over – like the economy and the weather. We do not have control of either; but we can determine what it is about those two things that we do have control over, and take action there. I can manage my own finances, for example, and make sure that I am spending within my means. I can also make sure that I am putting money aside in the event that something unexpected happens. In terms of the weather, I cannot control the temperature or even precipitation; but I can decide how I will dress each day based on what is happening outside. If I spend all of my time focusing on and worrying about all of the things that I cannot change and do not have control over, I create an even bleaker picture; and other parts of my life begin to suffer.

We all have moments of optimism and pessimism; what it comes down to is how the scale is tipped. Is your cup half full or half empty? If you feel that you are more of a pessimist than an optimist, are you able to pin point ways you could make a change? Whether you are feeling pessimistic about many things or even just a few, try the steps below to see if you can tip the scales back in the favor of optimism.

  • Make a list of all the things that you are concerned or worried about.
  • Determine which of the things on your list you have control over. Cross out the items that are truthfully out of your control.
  • Of the remaining items, take some time to think about what you can do to change those situations.
  • Choose one or two items from the list, and begin working to improve those situations.

Take some time every so often to reflect back on your list. Have you been able to make some changes? Are you feeling more optimistic about the items that are left? Are you ready to begin working on another item?

Taking it one step at a time, taking charge of the things you can control, and making changes can lead to a more optimistic attitude. Often times we try to take on too much at one time, which leads to failure and more pessimism. Taking it slow, and working only on the things that we have control over, brings success that leads to more optimism and a willingness to keep moving forward.

I am thankful for the many things I have, and am hopeful that the problems of today will no longer be problems tomorrow. As I sit here gazing out the window at the beautiful sunshine and lack of snow, I am hopeful that this is a sign that spring is just around the corner. It is with this optimism that I can tolerate the endless cold weather that seems to have plagued Michigan for longer than usual this year. It is this optimism that improves my mood, and gives me the hope that strengthens my overall quality of life.

Are you a glass half full or a glass half empty type of person? To find out more about how optimism can propel you forward and improve your overall quality of life, please visit our website at ...