Many people struggle with how to be more positive. It’s a question I receive frequently. On Wednesday evening I came home after a long day delivering a seminar to an enthusiastic group of participants and as I was glancing through my inbox I opened this email:
My name is Jason and I have been a long-time reader of your blogs. I live in Houston but for several years I worked for a large oil & gas company in Calgary.
Like thousands of others, I lost my job in 2014 and went into a deep, downward spiral of depression and anxiety. I felt like I was trapped inside a box and the walls were closing in around me. I also had strong feelings of shame as it was my job to provide for my family and I was letting them down.
I didn’t know what to do.
In early January 2015 you wrote a blog called “Can a glass of water determine your fate?’” As I was reading your blog, I remember feeling a spark of hope being ignited deep inside me and I began to feel hopeful that I had the power to retake control of my life.
I began to understand that being laid off was not the beginning of despair, it was the beginning of opportunity. That very evening, I “went to work” to create a new life and today I am back in my hometown of Houston and I have my dream job in a fantastic company. Also, my family has grown by one and we are one happy family.
I re-read your blog every year at Thanksgiving and yesterday, while reading it, I decided to email you and let you know how much impact a few well chosen words can have on one life.
I think you should post that blog again.
Thank you and Happy (American) Thanksgiving.
Thank you Jason, this is for you.
Can a glass of water determine your fate? January 13, 2015
If ever there was a time to adopt The Habit of the Glass Being Half Full, that time is now.
Particularly if you live in Alberta.
Living in Alberta is a constant reminder of the dependency of our provincial economy on the price of oil and, as you are no doubt well aware, the price of oil has been plummeting like a rock, resting temporarily at a price not seen in years, before plunging to even deeper lows.
Just yesterday, one of the larger energy companies announced the pending layoff of 1,000 of its employees. Certainly, other companies will follow suit and there will be more to come.
Having never been laid off from a job I have no personal frame of reference for this experience, but I can only imagine the levels of fear coursing through the veins of tens of thousands of Albertans who toil in the energy industry.
News like yesterdays does nothing to ease the fear and I’m sure many are wondering not if, but when, their time to be sent home will come.
Each of these unfortunate souls will be faced with the difficult dilemma of trying to replace their jobs and income in a depressed market.
This won’t be easy.
But the potential to develop rewarding opportunity out of disastrous circumstance is there for all.
None of us can raise the price of oil and none of us can repair the economy. It is out of our control.
It is what it is.
Many of these folks will sadly spend days, weeks and possibly months lamenting their plight while experiencing unwanted, uncomfortable and unpleasant changes in their lifestyle.
Others will take the opportunity to focus on how to be more positive. They will see the opportunity and use this time to seek better, longer-lasting and more meaningful employment or will create other means to provide and produce income.
The Habit of the Glass Being Half Full, for those who have absorbed it into their very being, is 180° away from those who don’t.
Adopters of this habit, perhaps after having given themselves a few days to mourn the loss of their job, vent their anger, and curse the world, will use this opportunity to energize themselves into a busy rebranding mode and will seek any and every occasion to replace what they lost with something even better. They focus on how to be more positive, not what has gone wrong.
These folks, rather than being paralyzed by circumstance will be galvanized into action and will fearlessly, and with confidence, while brushing aside all challenges, do whatever is necessary to regain what they’ve lost and will not allow their inability to control the economy to influence their ability to control their destiny.
These are the folks who understand the immutable power of The Habit of the Glass Being Half Full and realize at a deep, visceral level, that the only meaning on any and every event in our lives is the meaning we choose to place upon it.
That is the only possible meaning.
And the meaning that they will place upon this event is one that will leave them better off and further ahead, happier and more fulfilled because they get that their destiny rests within them and not in the hands of a person who, with the stroke of a pen, took away their paycheck.
It is fascinating to read that some of the greatest wealth acquired in history was done so during times of recession, setback and shortages, for it is in times like these that those live by The Habit of the Glass Being Half Full do not allow shame, doubt or fear to enter their consciousness – and if it does, they shove it aside – instead they simply view what has happened to them as a circumstance and redirect their lives in a positive and energized manner.
The experts tell us that 2015, particularly in Alberta, will be a tough year.
Those adherents of The Habit of the Glass Being Half Full will tell you that 2015 will be a year like any other year and they will do whatever they can, within their power, to make it the best, transformative life here of their lives.
Each of these affected folks will be faced with the same choices and the course of action each takes will be determined quite simply by the meaning they place on the level of water they see in the glass.
Exercise wisely your power of choice.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.
Till we read again.