Glass Half-Empty? At Least You Have a Glass!

PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING, RIGHT?
How good are you at welcoming the vibrant challenges of your life? Sometimes it can be easy to have a different
lens on situations, especially when our default is to focus on deficit rather than abundance. Last week, during a
gathering with friends and family, a speaker shared an upcoming event later that week. My cousin sighed and
complained that she had to work. She is a talented florist – and her work is in demand. That seems like a good
problem right now, I said, and she smiled at me, sharing that, yes, she was grateful for her job and did feel valued
there. 

It was such a true reminder that perspective in life is everything when it comes to handling stress, disappointment,
and challenge. I often wonder what it might take to reset our lens see every experience from a glass half-full
perspective?  And how can we scaffold our children, students, and others we are in relationship with  into recognizing
that even the challenges and struggles they have, BUILD their capacity in life to thrive and manage?  Certainly we
can help them shift away from complaining (by modeling it ourselves). We can point out how well they are handling it,
how well they persevere and how, that despite the current issue (which we definitely want to validate as real), this
problem does not define them. In fact, the problem is actually building their grit and resilience – and bringing out the
opportunity for them to appreciate their own strength and capacity.  It isn’t easy. But it is a powerful shift.
 
It is so hard not to leak back toward negativity in the middle of challenges.  Traffic.  Forgotten lunch.  Running late.
 Technology blow-ups. Criticizing co-worker or family member.  Sibling bickering. Bed too late and up too early.
 Never enough time.  Bad hair day.  Blue screen of death (as my students call the frozen computer in a mid-class
meeting or project). Not one clean glass left – even one half empty!

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