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Half Full or Half Empty

By ProtiusX ·
I got this from my Dad and it intrigued me so much I wanted to get your reactions and thoughts.

Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" He was a natural motivator.

If an employee was having a bad day, Michael was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Michael and asked him, "I don't get it!You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"

Michael replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or ... you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood.
Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or...I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it.Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or... I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life."

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.

"Yes, it is," Michael said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life."

I reflected on what Michael said. Soon thereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Michael was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower.

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.

I saw Michael about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins Wanna see my scars?"

I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

"The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter," Michael replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or...I could choose to die. I chose to live."

"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.

Michael continued, "..the paramedics were great.

They kept telling me I was going to be fine.But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I knew I needed to take action."

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Michael. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes, I replied.' The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity'."

Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live.Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."

Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude... I learned from him that every day we
have the choice to live fully.

Attitude, after all, is everything. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry
about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34.

After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

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neither one nor the other

by Jaqui In reply to Half Full or Half Empty

it's baseline.

I'm not actually joking, I am 90% of the time completely neutral.
5% enraged and going to rip someone's heart out through thier throat/
5% happy.

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He chose to be that way but did he really feel it?

by AV . In reply to Half Full or Half Empty

Or was it just an act? I have known some people like Michael that hid their real feelings under a positive good mood. Many of them are actually very unhappy people.

I think most people normally go back and forth between half empty and half full. Being one or the other all the time just isn't reality.

Its good that Michael had the attitude to live. If there was anytime in your life where an attitude like that was important, that was it.

Accentuate the positive. Its an excellent message and feeling but wouldn't you just be postponing the negative? Or pretending that everything is good when it wasn't?

I'm not sure that thats a good thing. You can't ignore the half empty part of life because its important to the life experience. Even if its ugly.

I have to agree that attitude is everything, though. The trick is to have balance between half full and half empty.

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All the Michaels I've met

by Fonken Monken UK In reply to He chose to be that way b ...

Usually end up in therapy around their mid forties, having repressed so much they can no longer take it and their brain capsizes, resulting in a nervous breakdown. Either that or their life partners go insane.

No joke.

Glass half full, glass half empty? Hey! I orderd a cheeseburger!

That was the joke.

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Just be real

by jdmercha In reply to Half Full or Half Empty

The optimist sees the glass half full. The pessimists sees the glass half empty. The engineer asks "what was the previous state of the glass.

An empty glass filled half way is half full. An full glass emptied half way is half empty. "There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven" - Ecclesiastes 3:1

Attitude is everything, and it often helps to have a postive outlook in the face of adversity. But other attitudes are appropriate at different times.

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LOL..that's how I think too..

by TomSal In reply to Just be real

The old "glass half empty or half full" thing. I drive folks crazy with that when they ask me which type of person I am.

I am the engineer in your example actually. If the glass was first empty and then someone pour something into it but didn't fill it, its half full. Whereas if the glass was full and you drank some its now half empty.


duh..the logic is


god I'm such a geek.

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The engineer

by Oz_Media In reply to Just be real

I've always understood a different twist on that one.

Pessimist see's it as half empty
Optimist says it is half full
Engineer says the glass it too big

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That's the right idea anyway

by Oz_Media In reply to Half Full or Half Empty

I'v elearned to live by similar principles.

If someone pisses me off, was it purposely done JUST to **** me off or did they make a mistake?

If someone says something to me that I don't like, did they say it JUST because they are really jerks that wanted to upset me or was it an innocent comment that I see as offensive or stupid?

After my recovery I started to see things a lot differently than I used to. nasty people just didn't matter as much and those that I liked before, I now cherish.

I just find that there is enough greatness you can focus on that it is easy to ignore tha bad.

People often say that it is the BAD things that leave long lasting impressions on us, and there are a LOT of bad things we can focus on, but why?

I see someone getting pissed off and I laugh inside to see how mad the person has LET themselves become over an issue that doesn't warrant any energy. When people get pissed off, it is their loss not mine, get's YOUR energy you are chossing to waste, not mine.

It seems a LOT easier to focus on the good and enjoy it, than it is to dwell on the bad and be mad about it.

You want to be mad or have a bad day, you go right ahead, just leave me out of it because I am gonna have a great day, thank you. I think it's too bad that you chose to hate your day, but then again that's YOUR perogative, enjoy it or hate it, how you waste your energy is up to you.

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Sometimes bad days are good

by AV . In reply to That's the right idea any ...

Maybe they aren't nice to feel at the time, but they provide balance and offer important lessons. Some bad days are unavoidable.

I don't think having a bad day feels good at all, don't get me wrong, and if you wake up and feel bad everyday, there is something that you have neglected to deal with. You need to find out what that is.

When I was younger, many things got me mad. I ruined my own day. Now that I look back, I realize how stupid I was. Don't sweat the small stuff. It took me years to learn that.

These days I don't sweat the small stuff, but I still have bad days. Not all the time, but sometimes. What is light without dark? I couldn't paint a picture that way because it wouldn't be interesting.

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I guess I'm kind of like that guy...

by Matthew Moran In reply to Half Full or Half Empty

I went into surgery for an emergency appendectomy and asked the doctor as they gurneyed me through the hospital, "your sure is doesn't say vascectomy or labotomy right - you know doctor's handwriting" Later, my surgeon commented on my easy attitude. I was pretty sick and went from 175 to 142 pounds but kept telling my nurses I loved the reading time and the demerol.

My response to the glass half-full, half-empty is a proactive - does it have what you want to drink? If not, pour it out and fill it back up and then drink it.

Dave Ramsey always tells people to place their fingers over their wrist, if you find a pulse, you will have challenges in your life. It is preparation and your response that will dictate the ultimate control those events have over your life.

Or as I tell my wife, "I tried being depressed once - it was too depressing."

For a more positive perspective and action plan from a career standpoint, check out my blog at IT Toolbox..

Here are a couple entries:

On Your Mark? Get Set? !!!

Bolster Your Economy of One

Economy of One meets Analysis Paralysis


The Theory of the Slight Edge

In all cases, I believe in a proactive answer to a challenge. It is never enough to identify or spot a problem. Even if the action is to find more information, or make a plan. You can always correct action but inaction is incorrectable.

Just my thoughts on the subject.

Matthew Moran

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A fellow cancer survivor

by PokerJohn In reply to I guess I'm kind of like ...

Bill Raines ( ) who is a fellow cancer survivor
and also fellow poker player wrote a book that is one man's light
hearted version of being a cancer patient. "Postcards from

He said about the glass: "We create our own reality. When we
take a breath and step back from the drama of our lives, we can
often see the absurdity in it and begin to laugh. Humor allows us
to distance? ourselves from the anxiety and stress of a situation.
Humor can helps us see that the glass may be neither half empty
or half full; it is simply the wrong size glass."

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