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“Is the glass half full or half empty? This proverbial expression has been used by many as a litmus test to show one’s individual cognitive orientation about a particular situation. For example, some individuals may see a certain situation in a negative light (half empty) while others may see the same situation in a positive light (half full).

Words have power. Speaking words cannot change reality, but they can change how an individual perceives reality. Words and thoughts are interlinked. One affects the other.

If I were to mention that a person that you were going to meet was lazy, you would be predisposed to view that individual as lazy. This would be regardless of how hard the individual actually worked. Everything that the person did would be viewed through the lens of them being a lazy person.

Conversely, if I were to tell you that the individual you were going to meet was a hard worker, you would be predisposed to view them as a hard worker. If the person you met were lazy you would look for an excuse as to why they were a hard worker. “Maybe they worked hard the day before,” “Maybe they are tired,” or “Maybe they are just having an off day.”

That is just an example of how we use perception and words to mold our viewpoints. I hear so many times athletes complain about the fact that they have to do something. We all say it to some extent but I believe that saying you have to do something gets your mind to look at the situation in a pessimistic way. It makes it seem as though you are being forced to do a task rather than having an opportunity to complete a task.

On the other hand, if you use the phrase that you get to do something then you are viewing it in an optimistic manner. Your brain perceives it as an opportunity to do something. The simple change from “have to” to “get to” is huge.

We should relish in the fact that we get to do things. This means that you get to accomplish something. You get an opportunity to practice a skill and become better at that skill. I always hated making my bed until one day I viewed it as an opportunity to start off my day with a successful act. Now I make my bed everyday.

The only way you get better at a skill is by practicing that skill. Whether it is something that you are good at or bad at, you should try to have an optimistic view.

In the words of the infamous violinist, Jascha Heifetz, “There is no such thing as perfection, there are only standards. And after you have set a standard you learn that it was not high enough. You want to surpass it.”

I challenge you to change your perception and start to see situations as things you get to do and not have to do.

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