The age old question of, “Is the glass half empty or is it half full”, has a great depth of wisdom which can easily be missed with a wave of the hand, a shrug of the shoulder and a flippant answer of, “What does that matter anyways!? This question poses to each one of us- what type of thinking patterns do we possess and repeat without even being aware of it. To ask oneself this question
opens the door to a treasure chest of valuable information.
So which are you… the glass half empty or glass half full kind of person? If you are the glass half empty type of person,it merely means that your thought patterns are more geared toward seeing things from a “negative” or what I prefer to say as a “lack” perspective. If you are the glass half full type of person, it merely means that your thought patterns are more geared toward seeing things from a “positive” or “whole” perspective. The question remains, which type of person, are you?
This is important to recognize in yourself, for it provides you with the first step in understanding perception. Perception is basically how we look at things. It is our understanding and filters through which we see, understand and experience the world around us. Once you really start to pay attention to perception and how it impacts each of our lives on a daily basis, you will be amazed at how much more you will understand not only about yourself but those around you.
Perception is derived in different ways. It can be formed in our childhood by those who raised and molded us or it can develop from our own life experiences and how we internalized those events. The important aspect here is to discover how you perceive things and why. Let’s say you were raised in a home where there was blatant prejudice against Jewish people. As you grew up in this environment your thinking and ultimately your perception of Jewish people was skewed in a negative fashion. On the other hand, let’s say you were raised in a home where you were taught that we are all children of God and should treat each other with kindness and love, your thinking and perception of people and how to treat them was formed in a positive light. So how does this all relate to how, “Changing your perception changes everything”? Everything! The way, in which you think, thus perceive literally colors your world. If you’re happy with the color of glasses you have on, great! However, if you wish the color of your glasses could change, there is a way.
The way begins with awareness. Stop and become conscious about how you think and how you perceive. This affords you the opportunity to have a personalized map of where it is you wish to make changes. The next step is making clear changes in your thinking patterns. In order to do this, you must understand how your mind works. In your thinking, do you ruminate, role-play, project, fantasize, obsess or have difficulty staying focused? Perhaps you are concrete in your thinking, keeping everything organized in a systematic way. Whatever type of thinking patterns you have, change occurs in the opposite direction. For instance, if you ruminate and obsess over thoughts then introducing a structured, concrete thinking pattern of positive and affirming thoughts would create change in your life. For example, say you obsess over what people think about you. Every time you are in a social situation you repeatedly have such thoughts as, “Oh God, am I saying this right, am I dressed up enough, am I sounding stupid?”. The change can occur by replacing those thoughts you are obsessing over with such thought as, “I am safe, I am likeable, I accept myself and that is all that really matters”. If you are very structured and black and white in your thinking, then allowing creative and gray areas of thinking will generate change in your life. For example, let’s say at work you have a clear defined way of thinking exactly how things should be done. You could replace these structured thoughts with such thoughts as, “I am an open and creative person, I am willing to see this in a new way”.
By employing these techniques, you are actively participating in your own desired change. You are empowering yourself to shift your thinking thus your perceptions. In other words, you are changing the glasses you were wearing to glasses with a different more desired fit. With your new set of glasses, your world, what you see and how you experience it changes. At any moment we all have the opportunity to change the way we see things, we can choose to see the glass any way we desire it to be!