“Is the glass half full, or is the glass half empty?” This question aims to demonstrate that any given situation may be seen differently depending on one’s point of view. As the economy recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps now is the time to ask yourself, “Is my glass half full or half empty?” Your viewpoint could hold you back or propel you forward. If you are struggling right now, please read this article.
Psychologists use simple tests like this to determine whether a person tends to be an optimist or a pessimist. Optimists will usually say the glass is half-full, whereas pessimists will usually point out that it’s half-empty. Optimists tend to focus on the good: water is still available to drink. On the other hand, pessimists see the negative: there is water missing from what otherwise could be a full glass.
The scientific fact is that the glass is 100% full. The glass contains either a liquid or a solid that you can see, and the remainder of the glass contains air or a gaseous substance that you cannot see. The fact that the glass is 100% full with something and you can only see half of 100% is the proof you have more to work with than meets the eye. That realization is the motivation you need to take action steps to improve your personal life, your family life, and your business life for the better.
Everyone will face obstacles as they journey through life’s adventures.
Optimists tend to see obstacles as opportunities. Pessimists often see obstacles as roadblocks.
What you can see in the glass, the water, or the solid is only one-half of your current situation. The other half of the glass which is filled with air represents what is possible, what you can imagine for yourself, what you can imagine your future can be.
In 1988, I was faced with such an obstacle. I had achieved success in the Radio and Television Broadcast space as an entrepreneur. I built a Radio Broadcasting company and sold the assets to Mel Tillis, the Country and Western musician. I also built a Television Broadcasting company and sold those assets for a profit. At 38 years old, with two successful projects under my belt, I was ready for my next big project.
However, the Radio and Television business was quickly changing. The future wasn’t going to be led by entrepreneurs like me. The future was going to be driven by Wall Street entrepreneurs, Harvard MBAs, private equity money, and corporate CEOs who saw the future of Radio and Television differently. These firms were lobbying the Federal Communications Commission to remove ownership limits so the future of broadcasting could be dominated by big consolidated companies with hundreds of properties.
I was having trouble finding my way into this new world of corporate Radio. I was perceived as too entrepreneurial. These companies didn’t think I could “fit in” or conform to a corporate way of doing business. My options of getting in on the ground floor of the future of the new era of Radio and Television broadcasting were quickly evaporating.
One day, my mother gave me a copy of the book, What Color is Your Parachute by Richard N. Bolles. This book changed my life.
First published in 1970, and regularly revised annually since 1975, What Color is Your Parachute is promoted as a guide to a lifetime of meaningful work and career success. I want to recommend the Parachute book to you today in my blog.
Fast Company Magazine calls the Parachute book, “One of the first job-hunting books on the market. It is still arguably the best. And it is indisputably the most popular.”
The Parachute book now comes in editions for teenagers, college students, adults, and people nearing retirement.
Here is what I got out of the book.
- Don’t let other people or circumstances define who you are.
- Use the tools and exercises in the book to rebrand yourself as you see fit.
- Go interview the companies, don’t let them interview you.
- You pick the company and the type of work you want to do that will make you happy and fulfilled.
As I began my new journey with the Parachute book in hand, I found myself doing a complete 180-degree turn in the opposite direction from which I was already going. I thought I should be with the big players in the larger cities. But the guidance in the Parachute book sent me to a smaller player in a smaller city. That’s where I found a company that reflected the same values and principles I held. That’s where I found a mentor who forever changed everything I thought I knew about the Radio and Television business.
From that experience, I ended up getting a job with one of the big companies in the business. I enjoyed my time as a senior manager working with thousands of salespeople all across the country. I’ve grown and prospered all because the Parachute book helped me redefine myself on my terms which leads to a more fulfilling personal life, family life, and business life.