Both are correct, but which makes you feel better? When you wake up Sunday morning do you rejoice to have a full free day in front of you or do you feel depressed that the weekend is almost over?
When we look at what is in the glass we are doing what is called Asset Based Thinking, as in feeling good about what we have. When we look at what is missing we are indulging in Deficit Based Thinking, something is missing which leads to us feeling that we are hard done by, we are victim of circumstances, we are helpless.
Some people are born with a natural tendency to look on the bright side, others may more rapidly see the downside but we can all train our brains to look for the assets. Now that doesn’t mean that we then rest on our laurels and have no drive to fill the glass even more. On the contrary: when we are grateful for what we have, we feel in control, we feel strong, confident and are then more able to think of strategies to get more. The looking at what is lacking approach makes us feel bad, feel burdened, hard done by which leads to low satisfaction, low motivation, low self belief.
I was lucky to be asked to give a presentation to some middle schoolers and used the allegory of our brain as a television which only diffuses 2 channels: a positive asset based one, and the negative deficit based. The only person in charge of the remote control is you: so which channel do you choose? There is always a silver lining to any problem…. You need to look for it.
More next week on tips to train our brain to see through the rain!