Glass half full or half empty?
We've all heard the expression: are you a glass half-full or half-empty type of person? Or are you, in the words of my friend and colleague Paul Tizzard, the type of person that thinks someone has nicked the glass?

What's interesting about that analogy is that no matter which person you are the glass ultimately has the same amount of water in it. So what makes the difference? Well, let's look at it - the statement and the glass. The glass is physically sitting there on the "outside" of us, that is unless you are still searching for your glass! You can see it as clearly as I can. However you see it as half- empty and I see it as half-full. What then changes between us both seeing it and then interpreting how we see it? It's quite simply how we perceive it "inside", from our thoughts. 

Let me explain a bit more. I could be busy working, feeling a bit down and look at a glass of water and see it as half-empty. I think nothing more about it but keep working and start to feel much better about my day. I look at the same glass again and it now appears to be half-full. Has the water level changed? No. Have I had to do anything complicated to change how I see it? No. Did I focus on it and use some sort of technique to change my thinking? No. I just acknowledged it for what it was - a thought - went on with what I was doing and the thought naturally changed, it "righted" itself into a much more positive point of view. 

Once you realise that it is what you think on the "inside" that effects how you perceive what happens on the "outside", and not the other way round, life becomes so much easier to deal with. Too many people look to the "stuff" happening on the outside to either blame for making them feel unhappy or credit for making themselves feel better, rather than to examine what's happening on the inside. 

Rory McIlroy was a good example this week of someone looking on the "outside" for things to blame for his walking off the golf course: a bad toothache, new clubs... He was right in his first statement when he said words to the effect that he was not mentally in the right place. Glass half empty and not the best place to make a decision about what to do next. If he had simply acknowledged his poor state of thoughts at that point in time, and stayed in the tournament without analysing what was going on in any great depth or giving himself such negative self-talk, his thoughts would have naturally trended back to the "glass half-full" (clarity) state - a much better place to make a decision about what to do next. From the point of clarity he could then have run the options and outcomes about what he should do to greater effect in his head and reached a more measured decision.