Is your glass half-full or half-empty?
I have attended many self-improvement seminars throughout the years in my career and have learned many things. One thing I have learned is that how you live your life depends upon your answer to the question above. Of course there are multitude of personality tests to choose from that supports the answer and many will usually say out loud what they “wish” they were – an optimist or a pessimist.
The other day, I was approached by a smart young man who was complaining about his present circumstance. He was assigned a small ensemble group in which he was the only musician with the acoustic-electric guitar. The other players were either singers or regular electric guitar players. He felt frustrated that his instrument would possibly be overshadowed by the other musicians.
I tried to figure out what to tell this young man when suddenly, I remembered my various training classes. I filled a glass cup with water and placed it in front of him. I asked him what thought about the cup. His answer?
“It is half full.”
I smiled as I proceeded to tell him that his outlook on life needs to carry on this same attitude. His “half full” response was a reflection (though he may not fully understand it yet) of his inner character to look for the positive things in life. After explaining this simple concept to him, I expanded the coaching session by referring him back to his frustration about being placed in that particular ensemble group.
Rather than agreeing with him and adding fuel to “his fire”, I asked him to look at his circumstance in the same way he looked at the glass cup. Every person in that ensemble can sing so that leveled the playing field in that category. However, there is ONLY ONE acoustic-electric guitar with a sound that is unmatched by the plain electric guitar sound. I asked him to reflect upon the uniqueness he brings to that group and pointed out that it is more complimentary than merely “blending” into the ensemble.
His eyes lit up and his countenance released the frown lines that wrinkled his forehead. He understood what I was slowly pointing him towards – a paradigm shift (sorry about the overused term) that could very well become his new foundation for his life ahead. He left that day with a renewed sense of purpose, determination, and enthusiasm.
What does your cup look like?