Maintaining a winning, realistic mindset is an important habit for success. You’ve heard the self labeled gurus tell you to see the cup as half full. Others tell you to see the cup as half empty. Those two groups call each other names like “negative” or “clueless”. Some tell you that there are only two types of people; those who see it half full or half empty. All of the above are wrong. There is a third type of person and that person is someone grounded in reality. In truth, the proverbial cup is both. It is half empty and half full and to see it any differently is denying reality.
Scarcity thinking is not a negative attitude, it is a smart and proven way to live. Our ancestors knew a land of plenty but never wasted anything. Even in seasons of abundance, the attitude was to conserve, preserve, store, and share because scarcity was coming whether they ignored it or not. That mindset led to a positive but disciplined, sustainable, and realistic way of life. It is well known that Native Americans used every part of an animal when the animal’s life was taken. Nature on this planet is also an excellent example of how a balanced scarcity attitude is highly efficient. In times of plenty, wild animals grow fat and some store food in preparation for the scarce season of winter. The scarcity season eliminates weakness and disease from the natural population of animals which benefits the entire ecosystem. Scarcity thinking is not only wise but mandatory for sustainable success in the winning, realistic mindset.
The Sales Pitch
The glass half full statement often comes from those who would have you relax your conservative values and spend that hard earned savings. Most likely, that glass half full person would have you give them your savings for some product you do not likely need or want. This type of sales pitch is one of unrealistic future expectations driving you to go against your instincts. Buy a Mercedes when you should buy a Ford or buy twice as much house as you need because the future looks bright! Last time I looked, no person can predict the future. The glass half full attitude is a partial truth, partial lie, meant to drive you to an emotional decision. The half full crowd consistently attack others with hurtful and inaccurate terms like negative, critical, or jealous.
The glass half empty attitude drives a decision based on fear. This type of person consistently warns you of what is looming around the corner and it is always likely negative. Again, last time I checked, no one can predict the future. Just like the glass half full crowd, the purpose of the half empty attitude is to separate you from your savings or your better instincts with a sales pitch built on fear. Life insurance sales people are highly trained in this tactic. We do not buy life insurance because we expect to live forever. We buy life insurance because we “fear” the unlikely but possible tragic outcome.
Anything other than a balanced, winning, realistic mindset is unacceptable. Some groups of people use these terms because they know of nothing else. Most shameful are the small groups of highly educated, highly trained, often wealthy, and always influential people who use the glass half full or the glass half empty labels to influence the behavior of others. When someone is behaving in a way that this set of leaders disagrees with, the glass half empty tool is deployed. It is meant to insult and pressure a change in behavior. When this shameful group of self labeled leaders want you to give them your money or convince you to commit to something, likely against your instincts, they use the glass is half full argument. The glass half full argument is often topped with a serving of falsehood telling you that God wills it for you.
A Better, Winning, Realistic Mindset
Words mean things. Responsible and educated adults pick their words carefully. Those who work in intellectual or professional roles pay particular attention to the language they use. We use and demand precision of language to avoid emotionally driven errors and the consequences resulting from such mistakes. I recently heard someone say this: “We can either see the cup half empty or half full. Scarcity of thinking creates limitations.”. Mr. Life Coach is both correct and incorrect and I promise that he knows this truth but perpetuates the manipulation. It is impossible for a glass of water to be anything other than both half empty and half full. Do I need to explain this like a 5th grade science teacher? If one takes a 6oz container of water and puts 3oz of water in it then it will surely also have another 3oz of open space thus half full of water and half empty of water. It could also be said that the cup is half full of air and half full of water. Oh wow, we never thought of it that way did we? Scraping away the canned phrases and the hype of the master marketers is sometimes harsh but always enlightening, like ripping off a bandage.
Consider these reasons that business leaders use manipulating phrases:
- To influence the behavior of noncompliant team members.
- To sell someone something.
- To encourage someone to deny their natural instincts.
- To bully someone.
True business professionals operate on facts. We avoid emotion where possible. For a winning, realistic mindset, we accept the facts as they are without manipulating the data. We demand and expect precision in our own work and that of others. We do not call each other critical names like grade school children on a playground when our outlook is not the same as that of others. We do not use vague terms like “abundance thinking”. You either have abundance or you do not. Abundance thinking is equal to pretending. Pretending is for children, not business leaders. A better phrase would be realistic analysis or a winning, realistic mindset.
Developing a winning, realistic mindset is critical to the success of your professional career. If you want to be a successful leader then base your success on clarity, precision, logic, and science. Avoid building a successful house of cards built on lies, manipulation, vague terms, and old canned phrased repeated for far too many years. Most importantly, trust your God given instincts. You can read more on how to be positive but realistic in your mindset at this link.
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