The Cup is Either Half Full or Half Empty

Jun 7, 2016

How Full is Your Cup?

We’ve all heard that saying, but what does it really mean?  Aren’t some days better than others? Aren’t we allowed to have an empty cup at times?  

The answer to these questions is a resounding yes

I recently came across a fascinating little book about perspective called Mindset by Carol Dweck. In it, she claims that just like the body, our mind, and subsequent perspective have the opportunity to change and grow throughout our lifespan.  

For example, many people believe that something like a poor math mark in junior high equals a lifetime of math delinquency.  Not true, according to Dweck. The mindset is faulty, not the ability.


As children, we are in a constant phase of change and growth, and unbeknownst to us, we are not the same from one day to the next. As we age, change still occurs, but it slows and we find security in a more leisurely pace, a familiar routine.  Some people get bored. Others find refuge in the predictable.

Most humans are resistant to change. We like what we like and that’s that! If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right?  But some would argue that with age comes wisdom and in that wisdom comes the realization that life is ours for the taking. 

We only get one kick at the cat and as such, it is not to be wasted with the same ol’ same ol’. Some things don’t need changing.  Others do. Change is hard. It all comes down to choice, and you guessed it, perspective. 

Let’s be clear, though, changing our perspective is no easy task.  If you’ve been blessed with seeing the cup half full, your perspective is likely working for you. If not, it may be time for a change.  Scary, huh? The good news is that no one can force to change if you don’t want to. 

But deep down, if we’re honest with ourselves, we know what’s working and what isn’t. You can choose to quiet that little voice or ignore that pesky pinging in your side; you can choose to ignore the physical symptoms of restless sleep, little sleep or too much sleep.

You can pretend that your lack of zest for life is a side effect of simply doing too much or being too tired.  And yes, you can self medicate with one more glass of wine or a lengthy trip to the mall! It’s completely up to you.


When I was a little girl I thought there was a grand plan for me.  I mean I really thought that the same plan would play out regardless of what I said or did.  I’m not sure where this line of thinking originated.

I grew up going to Sunday school, so I suppose that’s as a good a bet as any. I actually still sort of think this way, give or take the kind of day I’m having. What’s interesting is that back then I thought I had no control over my life. I was told to be a good person, so I was; I was told to treat others with care and respect, so I did.

But it wasn’t until I grew into adulthood that I began thinking that I could affect my own destiny. The idea that I could potentially change the trajectory of my life with the choices I made was a new concept for me.   If I’m honest though, nothing much changed. I did what I thought I was supposed to and had no real idea of the power of choice. 

Then I grew up. I put on my big girl pants and decided to be in charge of my life. 

We make seemingly mundane choices every day. All day. Where to stop for coffee; what to have for lunch; who to text; what to say.  The choices we make on a daily basis are exhaustive. Yet so many people seem lost, out of control, angry or paralyzed by external forces.

As a result, they rise and fall with the masses. To them, the cup scenario is irrelevant because they don’t know they even have a cup!


 Choice is a powerful term that we throw around on a daily basis, but how many of us actually conceptualize the true power we possess in each and every choice we make?

Sometimes we want to be grumpy or mad or just downright pissy, and that’s ok. We are human and those feelings are allowed, they are even necessary at times.  Some might even say it is healthy to regularly express feelings of anger and the like.

The trick is recognizing those emotions when they come up, understanding what triggered them and learning how to replace the negative with the positive. It all comes down to choice.

We all know a Negative Nellie, maybe even a few of them.  We also know those people who are impossibly positive. All. The. Time. Both can be wearing.  The deal with choice is that it is important to own the choices we make, even when they don’t produce the results we anticipated. Some days are easier than others.

That’s life. It’s part of the journey. 

So go out in that big ol’ world and own those choices. Decide each and every day if your cup is half full or half empty and know that each day brings with it an opportunity to choose how you’ll experience those 24 hours.

If you’re going through something big, own it, set a limit on how long you’ll take to get through it and then … get through it and move on. I’ve seen many people along the way whose circumstances seemed dire, yet they chose to see the silver lining; they chose to be in control of their minds, their bodies and their emotions and as a result they not only affected their own destiny, they inspired mine.

It’s Good To Talk.