Living A Glass Half-Full Approach
Vol.9 Issue 3

Stories that we grew up listening to hold a special place in our heart. One such story I fondly return to is that of the two puppies and the house of mirrors. The story goes that the first puppy (in my head he’s a dalmatian) rushes into a brightly colored house and finds it filled with mirrors, surrounding him on all sides. Startled by the onslaught of strangers in the mirrors, he starts barking, which makes all the other dogs bark, escalating until there is a sensory overload. The frightened little guy somehow scampers out of the house of mirrors, never to step back in. A few days later, unaware of the dalmatian’s harrowing tale of survival, the second puppy (a golden retriever in my mind) sees the colorful house and enters with a head full of curiosity. Upon encountering his reflection in the mirrors or as he preferred to think of them - his new friends - he gets excited and wags his tail playfully. All the reflections in the different mirrors wag their tails back at him, wanting to play. How awesome is that? He was able to make a bunch of friends just by entering a colorful house. The second puppy had a wonderful time during his trip to the house of mirrors. The two puppies entered the same house of mirrors, but they walked out with drastically different experiences. The key difference between them was their mindset when encountering something new. The latter puppy had a positive attitude when encountering something new and left with a happy attitude. In my young mind, this was a great story about puppies, but as I think back on it now, I realize this is an allegory of the boons of a positive approach to life’s challenges - a glass half-full approach.

Man hanging inside a half-full glass of water

Positivity changes our perspective, powerfully influencing our life, work, and happiness. A positive mindset at work, even in the place of unexpected challenges, encourages resilience - leading to trust, empathy, and support. It encourages open communication instead of defensive posturing, a key building block of our community at work. New experiences, especially new problems, are tough to take an open approach to, but just like it worked for the golden retriever, this mindset leads to new friends, novel solutions, and a happier experience - all better outcomes in the long run.

The ramifications of our mindset are not just limited to us. In life, when we have a positive mindset, it encourages our friends and family to be positive as well - and vice versa. This effect has more sway on our kids, who are starting to develop their personality and finding their unique approaches to life’s problems. Our optimism boosts our kids’ ability to deal with the high levels of stress they are under, hopefully placing them in a better position to face the daily challenges of life. One of the best gifts we can give our future generation is a positive mindset, and in order to help our kids really learn it, we must first implement it ourselves.

Maintaining positivity during hard times is not easy. Not only must one tackle the hardship, but they must also overcome the negativity within themselves. To assume that we will always be able to sustain a positive mindset is not practical, but knowing that there is positivity within us helps build resiliency and inner strength. That helps to get us through life’s tough times. I try to keep my glass half-full; I hope yours is too.

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