Power of Perspective: Glass Half Full or Half Empty? How Perspective Affects the Body and Mind

It’s amazing how much power we have over our thoughts and our perceptions, yet, at the same time, how little power it feels like we have when we are overcome with worry or anxieties. Some people self-identify as glass half full type of people while others carry the view as ‘glass half empty’ as their realist point of view. Here we take a look at the power of perspective: how we perceive things has an impact on how we live our lives, as well as how we think about our lives.

The Power of Language

Our internal dialogue and thoughts have the power to give us hope, or the power to leave us feeling hopeless. For example, when we say “I can’t” do something, versus “I’m choosing not to do something,” we trick our minds into thinking that some external forces are preventing us from doing something we enjoy. When we shift our language, we are shifting our perspective. Choosing our words wisely has the power to control our perspective, while we have the power to control our language.

Let’s take a look at some ways we can reframe our thoughts to one of a glass half full mentality. 

  • “I can’t” reframes into “I’m choosing not to.” 
  • “I suck at this” reframes into “I’m still practicing this skill.” 
  • “I’m not motivated enough to stick with my goals” reframes into “What will truly motivate me? What brings me joy?”
  • “I’m too disorganized” reframes into “I’m working on creating a more organized system.” 

These reframing of thoughts could go on forever. Oftentimes, we use language that revolves around not being enough or being self-criticizing. We aren’t meeting our own expectations quickly enough or well enough, and so we start the internal dialogue that we are no good at whatever task it is. Maybe that task is writing in your daily planner every day and eventually you drop off or it could be setting a goal and sticking with it. Maybe you’re learning a new skill at work or in your personal life and it’s posing more challenging than you anticipated. 

Going Into Life With Minimal Attachments To A Specific Outcome

Picture of the Today notepad

Expectations can hurt our success at times. We set goals for ourselves to do this one thing each day, and as soon as we miss the day, we beat ourselves up. To shift our perspective to a more positive one, a more resilient and persistent one, we need to shift how we approach our goals, as well as our mistakes. Mistakes are necessary to grow, so they should be a part of the goal. How do we go into experiences with minimal attachments to a specific outcome? We stop attaching our emotions and happiness to certain outcomes. 

Let’s look at some examples. 

  • “I want to exercise because it makes my body feel good,” as opposed to, “I need to work out every single day.” Eventually, you’ll keep doing the thing that makes you feel good, rather than feeling like a failure because you missed a day here or there. 
  • I want to track my goals and life in a daily planner,” as opposed to, “I need to track my goals and life in a daily planner.” When we need to do something, it becomes an obligation. When we want to do something, well, we want to do it and are more likely to follow through with something that we desire. 

Sometimes our shift in language is so subtle that it’s changing one small word, need into want, can’t into don’t, must into choose. It might feel nitpicky, but give it a try and see if it makes a difference. 

Mindfulness Is An Important Part of Perspective

Mindfulness is being aware of the present moments. When we are fully present, it’s a lot easier to experience gratitude, to witness the things that bring us joy, or even simple things like flowers blooming, leaves rustling across a parking lot, or a smile from a stranger. Being present, right here right now, gives us a bigger picture to look at. We can still feel all the feelings, grief, worry, anxiety, joy, excitement, but we can also see around those emotions into the grander scheme and theme of life that everything is temporary. 

Using A Planner To Encourage Mindfulness and a Positive Perspective

Link to the Ponderlily planner

One way to encourage gratitude and mindfulness, as well as that glass half full perspective, is to use a planner or a journal. You don’t have to use it every day, but maybe you want to use it every day. Ponderlily has a set of luxury planners that are more than just writing down your schedule and to-do list. They provide prompts and opportunities to check in with yourself, to set goals, to dream, to pause and identify what is bringing you joy at this very moment. 

You can encourage a habit of using your daily planner by choosing to write in it. Create a ritual around it that feels manageable and enjoyable. Maybe you write in it when you first wake up, drinking some tea, and listening to some meditation music. You could write in it at the end of the day when you’re making plans for what you want to do tomorrow. 

Are you a glass half full or glass half empty type of person? Whichever you are, you can still adopt these simple habits of mindfulness and positive self-talk to bring a deeper sense of satisfaction, productivity, and gratitude to your life. 

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