• Bobby Dye

Glass half full

Our outlook often determines the path of our lives. The way you see things is the way they usually pan out. Of course, there are many variables in life that can alter this, regardless of what you think. Yet, by remaining positive despite your circumstances, you give yourself the best chance to find happiness.

Positivity looks good on you.


Staying positive can be tough, primarily through raw emotions and unusual situations. We’re typically hardest on ourselves when something happens to us out of our control. It’s in these times we must be most gentle with ourselves.


Life will go on


Think about it. Life has gone on for thousands of years, and it will continue to, with or without anyone. Therefore, we should remember this when we deal with anything out of our control. Several years ago, the alternator in my car went out. Unbeknownst to me, I was driving around with a broken alternator, and I made it just in time to the repair shop, according to the mechanic. He told me that at any given point while I was driving, it could have gone out, and I would have lost complete control of the car.


Hearing that scared me beyond belief. The fact that I could have gotten into an accident due to no fault of my own was horrific. However, it made me think of a few things. One, I counted my blessings. Two, it reinforced my ideals of positivity in life.


If you’re not positive in your own life, who will be?


Do you know what else was hard? I simply thought my battery went out. Instead, I found out it was my alternator. The cost difference was significant. I was then and still am, for that matter, a struggling college student. So any amount over 50 dollars withdrawn from my checking account is pretty detrimental.


After the mechanic took a look at my car, he gave me a quote. He told me the price for the alternator would be 400 dollars minimum. At the time, I did not have 400 dollars to pay for it. The mechanic proceeded to tell me that I needed a fuel pump replaced as well. Traditionally speaking, he said they only cost around ten bucks, which gave me a sigh of relief.


When it rains, it pours.


Or, it doesn’t. It depends on how you look at it. You have a choice.


The thought of paying even more money for a fuel pump upset me, so I was happy to hear the cost was relatively cheap. After waiting at the repair shop for hours, I quickly became agitated. Finally, the mechanic came back and told me he found out information about the fuel pump I needed. Much to my dismay, it wasn’t good news. At the time, I had a Volkswagen Jetta. He started the conversation by stating that Volkswagen will rip you off in any way they can.


I asked him what he meant by that, and he stated that he just had an 80,000 Lexus come in, and they also needed a fuel pump replaced. He said their fuel pump was 10 dollars because Lexus takes generic pieces, meaning any part will do. So, I said okay. He told me Volkswagen makes all of their parts so that no other generic part will work. That way, you have to purchase theirs, and they upcharge so you pay them more. He said my fuel pump was 80 dollars. I don’t know much about cars, but even I knew that was crazy. The total ended up over 500 dollars, and I didn’t have the money, so I swiped my credit card.


Positive thoughts lead to positive change


Given my example, I could have broken down at the thought of something terrible happening to me without any control of my own. Or, I could look at the situation for what it is, remain positive despite it, and press forward. Don’t get me wrong; I was very, very upset. I didn’t have any financial stability, and the thought of paying and ultimately owing 500 dollars scared me. A crucial part of keeping the glass half full mindset is the ability to let yourself be upset. It is the most underrated aspect of staying positive. Anyone who prides themselves on being positive will tell you this.


By this, I mean, initially, you must let yourself be emotional. When life happens to you, you need to allow yourself to feel any mixed whirlwind of emotions. Whether you are mad, sad, or happy, robbing yourself of this will only make the matter worse. You’re human; therefore, you feel. If you don’t feel, you run the risk of making any given situation worse. At the off the beaten path repair shop I was at, there was no waiting room. The only people who were there were me, the mechanic, and his family. No waiting room meant just a space with spare parts lying all over the ground and one chair in the middle.

So, I sat in the chair, allowed myself to be upset, and even drifted off into a 5-minute nap. I woke up, looked around, and thought about how much the situation sucked. However, I began to think about everything that happened that day. How the mechanic told me I could have lost complete control of the car and crashed. It all gave me perspective. It allowed me to see the events which happened that day for what they indeed were. I sat in that chair, and my mindset quickly shifted to a positive one.


After giving it some thought, I was not only thankful for nothing terrible happening but every little thing. I thought about how fortunate I was to have a credit card with a limit high enough to pay for the alternator. How, even though the fuel pump was overpriced, I could pay for that, too.


Make no mistake about it; positivity is a mindset. You can choose to be positive. Sure, our circumstances often dictate how things are going within our lives. Yet, you have a choice. You can see the good in everything, or the opposite. It’s by viewing the glass as half full that we realize it was never really empty in the first place.


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