Is Your Glass Half Full?

We have seen too much defeatism, too much pessimism, too much of a negative approach. The answer is simple: if you want something very badly, you can achieve it. It may take patience, very hard work, a real struggle, and a long time; but it can be done . . . faith is a prerequisite of any undertaking. . . .
—Margo Jones

I work to keep negative thoughts out of my head, or to prevent negative things from pulling me down.  That isn’t always easy and I sure I’m not alone when I say it is often a struggle.  This morning, I read the quote shown above in my daily meditation book.  It really kicked my brain into high gear on the subject of negativity and its detrimental effects, particularly when it comes to creativity.

The universe works in mysterious ways.

When we’re buried in a morass of heart-breaking, disturbing, pessimistic, depressing, pick your favorite negative adjective, news, or immersed in a toxic situation, it becomes easy to lose hope.  It becomes easy to beat ourselves up and tell ourselves that we’re not good enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough, or creative enough.  We can get sucked down into a fiery personal hell where the loop in our brains keeps spinning with self-esteem shattering thoughts.

Kind of like this...

...followed by this.

So much of the negativity we’re exposed to comes from an external source.  The US economy.  Protests in Egypt.  Disaster in Haiti.  Hurricane Katrina.  Iraq and Afghanistan.  Darfur.  I’m not saying we shouldn’t feel for those stuck in the midst of these crises.  I’m not saying we shouldn’t do what we can to support and assist.  But if we allow ourselves to wallow in the misery that is the world we live in, how will we ever pull ourselves out and be productive?

Closer to home, our loved ones may leave us.  The economy may have us scrambling to find work.  Or, if we’re fortunate to have a job, it may suck the ever-loving life out of us.  Our kids get sick.  Our parents show their age.  Some jack-off cuts us off in the parking lot and takes the last spot on a bitter cold rainy day.  There are a million reasons we might find ourselves falling into a pit of despair.  And it’s okay to give into that from time to time.  It may even be necessary in order to heal the damage, but staying there is the problem.

It takes hard work, a concerted effort, to push up and out when all we want is to sink.

Writing is similar.

Whether we’re writing a blog post, a poem, a short story, or a novel, there will always be days when we question why we’re doing it.  We’ll question our talent and our motivation.  We’ll try to convince ourselves that we don’t have the skill.

But here’s the thing —

As the quote above so eloquently states, if we want something very badly, we CAN achieve it.  We will need patience, hard work, struggle, and time, but it IS possible, provided we have faith in ourselves.

Because we are good enough.  We are talented enough.  We are creative enough.

Books need conflict and the world is full of conflict.  Why not use that in our writing?  If we look at things from a “glass half full” perspective, maybe, in addition to opening our eyes to ways to help those in need, we’ll find a story or scene idea.

It’s possible that some would say I’m too Pollyanna-ish in my outlook.  I believe in peace and love, sweetness and light.  My brother and sister-in-law call me the “hippie dippy aunt” to my niece and nephew (they say it with love).  I’m okay with all of that because I spent two decades letting negativity and pessimism do a number on  me, thoroughly overwhelming my core optimist and suppressing my creativity.  No longer.

Today, writing gets me through it all.  I see the positives hidden within the negatives and I use that.  In my opinion, we all should.  It might just result in our best work.

Is your glass half full today?

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2 thoughts on “Is Your Glass Half Full?

  1. My glass is almost always half full. Writing can be an exception, though.

    For a while, I was pretty wrapped up in the publication thing and it was an emotional drain. There are thousands of people with the same dream ready to tell you to give it up because it’s nearly impossible. I’ve moved my focus back to the act of writing and it feels much better.

    Even if I’m never officially published, a few people read the stories/poems I put on my blog, so I feel okay with it. I’m still sharing, and I’m finding other writers who get the emotions that come with the process. Maybe my glass isn’t half full after all….it may be overflowing 😉

    I’m not a proponent of violence, but continue beating negativity!

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    • I like what you said about not worrying about publication. I find that I write because I need to. In the back of my mind, I think being published would be great, particularly if I could make a career at it. However, I cannot control that; I can only write what I write to the best of my abilities and trust in God.

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