Your glass isn’t half full or half empty

A few years ago, an engineer I was coaching told me, “The glass isn’t half full or half empty – It’s the wrong size container.”  I love it.

Some years ago I was getting some help the past few weeks from Ray Ortega, a web engineer.  We were  preparing to make a few upgrades to the Kai Chi Do website.  I would send him a long rambling list of questions and he gives me back a workflow.

“Do this.”

Not an explanation of why it works, which is something that 1) I don’t really need to know, 2) would only confuse me, and 3) would take me off track from what I really want – which is to fix the problem.

I think most of us could use a little more mental engineering.

“Do this” because it works.

Don’t come up with all the reasons why the glass is not full.  And all the reasons you can’t fill it.  And all the reasons why it’s never been full.  And how someone else’s glass is more full than yours.  How someone told you that you don’t deserve to have it full.  Or try to trace it back to who made this rotten glass.  Or even all the reasons that half full is good enough.  How this glass is all you’ve ever known and using it has become something of a habit.  Or why you are fortunate because there are so many thirsty people who don’t even have a glass.

Give up the judgment and analysis and just use the right size container.

Skip right past all the emotional charge.  Neutralize it.

Dissolve the avoidance and the procrastination and the internal debate.  Make a new container.

Think of your self-care as a workflow.

Ask yourself  “What works?”  (to take precious care of your mental, physical, social, emotional, financial, spiritual well-being).  Design the workflow.  And then follow it.

Half full Half empty photo by William Burnett at


1 thought on “Your glass isn’t half full or half empty

  1. Jessica

    This is awesome! Exactly what I needed to hear. It’s so interesting because everyone needs a different container yet we all try to fit into that cliche container that is successful life – simply put this is a perfect example of the change everyone needs.

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