In the past I kept a stiff upper lip and claimed my glass was always half-full and never half-empty. I realize now that was not always reality.
I chatted about half-awake vs half-asleep the other day with my friend Angie Sorge on Twitter. It was early in the day and she commented that when she is just waking up she is half-awake and when she’s ready to go to sleep for the night she is half-asleep. It was a fun conversation that got me thinking about my perspective on the glass being half-full vs half-empty.
When business was on the upswing all I saw was potential and future opportunity for growth. It never mattered that there was not quite enough money in the checking account to make those things happen. At those moments I was sure the glass was half-full. The opportunity had yet to be realized.
When business was not going so well, there was still be plenty of money in the checking account from the last boom, but I did not see much future opportunity for growth, in fact I saw the exact opposite. At those moments the glass certainly seemed to be half-empty because it felt like it was draining and I could see no way to refill it.
The key is in knowing and understanding how you react to the upswings and the downswings in your life. When the glass is half-full are you over-zealous and over-optimistic like I was? When the glass is half-empty do you get down in the dumps and not immediately start looking for opportunity like I used to?
A downswing in your life has more potential for growth and improvement than an upswing. I’ve figured out that when I see the glass as half-full it’s already on it’s way to being half-empty. Conversely when I see the glass as half-empty it’s already gotten as bad as it’s going to and the upswing is beginning.
By listening to and understanding your feelings you can get ahead of the way you (and most other people) are thinking about the current situation. Therein lies the opportunity. As this most recent economic downturn began and most others had their ears tucked, in I sat down with a business associate whom outsiders viewed as my competitor. Together while business was slow and we had the time, a strategy was forged to help each other grow.
That was over six months ago and now as the economy begins to swing back up we are perfectly positioned to help our industry recover. While our real competitors cut back and cut head count we figured out ways to offer better service and work together. There is real power in community and what Bruce and I have begun to form is a community that we and our customers will be a part of together.
Through my active involvement in the social media movement I have learned much about community in the last year. In what areas of your business or personal life are you discovering new communities?