The Happiness Connection  

How full is your glass?

What do you think of all the snow we've been getting? 

If you love winter, you may be jumping up and down with glee. If you aren’t so much of a cold weather enthusiast, you may be jumping up and down for very different reasons. 

If you are going to have a temper tantrum, you might as well jump up and down while you’re doing it.

How can the same snow make one person ecstatic, and another one outraged? 

Looking at the same circumstance from different points of view is known as perspective. You may love the snow, because you ski, board, or snowshoe.

You may hate the snow because it is cold, messy, and hard to wear flip flops in.

You might even have another perspective; there are many to choose from. Some perspectives make you happy, and others make you miserable. The important thing to remember is that you have choice over which perspective you adopt.

Is the glass half full, or half empty? This is a proverbial phrase that illustrates the same situation having more than one viewpoint, or way of interpreting it.

If 50 per cent of the volume of the glass has water in it, then it is both half full, and half empty. You are correct regardless of which perspective you adopt.

An optimist would see it as half full, and a pessimist as half empty. 

Which person do you think is generally more positive about their life, the optimist, or the pessimist? If you want to be happy, you should choose an optimistic perspective. 

Being optimistic doesn’t mean you have to suddenly love the snow, but rather than complaining about its existence, try not to focus on it and if possible think of positive reasons for it blanketing the view from your window.

In other words, you have at least three ways to feel more optimistic about something you don’t like.

  • Don’t focus on it. Try to ignore it as much as you can. I call this the Ostrich Strategy. Stick your head in the sand and ignore it as much as possible. Complaining about it isn’t going to take it away any faster. It will only serve to make you feel negative, and unhappy.
  • Laugh about it. There are some wonderful social media posts about the snow. My favourite is a letter from Vancouver to the rest of the country. Just thinking about it makes me smile.
  • Find reasons to appreciate it. Think about how beautiful it looks, how cozy it is to be snuggled inside on a snowy day, and how much fitter you will be with all that shovelling.

Becoming better at finding a funny, or sunny perspective just takes practice. If you catch your thoughts going over to the dark side, stop them and guide them back to the light.

I have chosen to be happy, even though the only snow I like is the stuff that falls between Dec. 24 and Dec. 26. As with everything else in life, this too will pass and it will be spring before we know it.

It’s not what happens to you that determines your happiness, it’s how you react to it. You have a choice, so why not choose to be happy.

More The Happiness Connection articles

About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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