“Is the glass half full or half empty? I’ve always taken the attitude of, “The glass isn’t half full or half empty. The glass is overflowing.”
Harry Kraemer, author of From Values to Action, Becoming the Best, and Your 168, joined John Morales on Morning Air to discuss what it takes to live life positively and joyfully, even amidst the struggles and obstacles of everyday life.
On paper, it should be easy for us as Americans to live life on the bright side. In the words of Creed Bratton, “I already won the lottery. I was born in the US of A, baby.” Nowhere else on earth do human beings have the rights and freedoms that the citizens of the United States have. Nowhere else on earth do humans have as much access to job opportunities, wealth, material goods, technological innovation, or artistic evolution. America is the melting pot of the world and we have so much to be thankful for.
But it’s also easy to take those things for granted. Living day after day in such a privileged life can become second nature to us. Waking up in a bed for twenty years, you stop taking notice of the fact that you’re waking up in a bed at all. Eating three square meals a day, you stop thinking about the fact that you never go hungry. With all of these blessings in our lives, it’s preposterous to even think about complaining, but we do it every day anyway.
Kramer suggested a new philosophy to employ when we think about complaining: “The glass isn’t half full or half empty. The glass is overflowing.” It could always be worse. Sure, things may not be perfect right now, but look at how many things are going well. I have a roof over my head, I can afford my food and clothes, and I’m not in life-threatening danger. There are literally millions of Ukrainians being forced to migrate from their home country with only as much as they can carry, and we get upset because our plans fell through.
Thinking about the events of one’s life like a graph, nobody’s life goes up and only up. It isn’t always chock full of increasingly happy or enjoyable moments.
Rather, things are more like a sine wave: there are ups and there are downs. That’s how things go for literally every person on the planet earth.
So, when we realize that things are going well, we should also understand one thing: It won’t last forever, and things won’t always be this enjoyable or easy. Kraemer offered a few tips for dealing with the sine wave of life and how to maximize our happiness.
- Be extremely grateful – Acknowledge that things are good. Don’t let it pass you by without recognition.
- Say a prayer – Go to God. Thank Him for the good things and ask Him for more.
- Thank every single person who contributed to the success of this moment – It wasn’t just you, no matter how much you think it was.
- Live in the moment – Celebrate for a moment. Enjoy the good things with the people around you. Throw a party or do something special.
- Ask yourself what you’re going to do when things start trending downward – It will happen. So how can you prepare your body and mind for that? Consciously make the decision to:
- Try to do the right thing.
- Try to do the best you can do.
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