The Glass is Half…

Lidor WyssockyBlog

Are you the type of person who sees the glass half full or do you tend to see the glass half empty? Which is better? Maybe you need to be a little bit of both. And maybe you just need to focus on the glass!

Many of us are obsessed with dividing the world into simple groups (I might have just done the same thing). You are either an optimistic or a pessimistic. You either see the glass this way or that way. But such clear-cut distinction prevents us from generating new ideas or creative solutions to whatever it is we are facing. The effective way to come up with an original thought about anything relies on your ability to continually change your perspective.

We tend to think about being optimistic or pessimistic as a mindset or even as a psychological trait. I believe that in many cases we can and should consider these views of the world simply as perspectives. The benefit of thinking and talking about optimism and pessimism as perspectives is that it enables us to play with them instead of being fixated on one of them. Instead of tagging people as one type or another, let’s encourage everyone to try being a little bit of both.

When you are free from the need to categorize yourself, you start to see other things as wellClick To Tweet

In a sense, such an approach sets the ground for divergent thinking – generating many ideas, without filtering and without being judgmental. Of course, this pool of ideas will have to be thoroughly analyzed and filtered later, but this initial step is essential to creative problem-solving. Being stuck in seeing the glass half empty or half full creates stagnation. It is the complete opposites of being able to generate many ideas.

When you are free from the need to categorize yourself, you start to see other things as well. The glass itself, or the surface it is placed on, or its shape when you look at it from above, or the watermarks left on the table. Anything can be used as a trigger for a potential idea.

By jumping between the two “traditional” perspective, we allow ourselves to see an infinite number of things between them, or even in a completely different dimension.

Now you try it. Pick a challenge you are facing and think of it as the best thing that ever happened to you. Think of it as an opportunity. What will you do next? What options does this view open?

Next, think of it as your worst nightmare. It is almost a dead end. What can you do about it if this is the case? How will you mitigate it? Can you make a detour? Are there any other options?

This is not an exercise in positive thinking. It is an exercise in switching perspectives and seeing things differently.Click To Tweet

Equipped with the ideas you wrote down following these two thinking modes, analyze the options, or maybe try to combine them, or come up with completely different options from another dimension. Whatever the result of this exercise is, it is bound to be far better (and much more interesting) than just sticking to one view of the situation.

This is not an exercise in positive thinking. It is an exercise in switching perspectives and seeing things differently. And this is to key to coming up with a creative solution.