Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty?

glass half full

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How many times have you come across a great metaphor shown by Coaches, Motivational Speakers showing a half-filled glass of water and asking us to explain?

We listen to two different types of replies from the audience, and it is half-filled or half-empty. Both answers are correct, and the third answer is that the glass is half-filled with water and half-filled with air. A few trainers ask us to hold the glass of water and see how long we can hold it. This is a wonderful way to explain and instill in the subconscious mind how our attitude of looking at our life can change our lives.

But is it beneficial to listen, praise the coach and soon forget the concept?

My point is: is it of any practical use?

Surely yes, you just need to take the necessary action, which will come by accepting a challenge and taking responsibility for your actions and life.

It does not matter if the glass is half-filled, full, or empty, and we should start taking action whatever state we are in. Drip by drip fill the glass, and your glass will fill completely one day.

Even if you do not take any action, you will still survive. But you will never be able to discover and use the immense quality and talents you have; they will go unused and will go with you to the grave with your unfulfilled dreams.

To live a fulfilling life, make a habit of asking questions, analyzing yourself, and discovering your potential.

You are the pilot of your flight and can land your life in a happy and proud destination or in an unhappy land. The choice is yours.

I appeal to you to act, accept the challenge, and take responsibility to enjoy a meaningful life for yourself and others.


  1. Perception of life of every human on any aspect is reflection of his nature.
    I must say writer’s thinking is not only on glass full or empty but what is beyond that.
    Yes life is not copy paste but exploring inner talent and then follow path of life to enjoy its fullness .
    Appreciated to high vision.

  2. Is it a comment on the contents of the glass or the glass itself?
    1. Some might say it is indeed half full, but the water is evaporating.
    2. Engineers might look at it and say that the glass is too big–you can hold the same amount of liquid in a much smaller container.
    3. If you think of the glass as half full and hold it, it gets heavier by the minute. If you think of the glass as half empty it seems lighter. But if the point is HOLDING the glass, wouldn’t the prudent thing be to drink the water and hold an empty one?
    4. It is not a comment on the contents or the glass at all. It is a comment on your PERCEPTION and that changes when you know the purpose of the glass and the water. It is meant as a test to see if you are optimistic or pessimistic. As Tajinder Kaur says, “Perception of life of every human on any aspect is a reflection of his nature.” As coaches, we recognize this example by paid speakers is a very shallow approach to a very deep subject.

    You can look at the glass as containing your potential to influence the world and want to fill it. You can look at it as self-limiting beliefs and want to empty it. Every challenge you face you must decide what your perception is going to be before you walk in to face it. Even in the worst circumstances, there are those that come out on top. They look at every situation and think about how they can best benefit.

    If a person gets fired, he may look for another job in the same industry. He can look at a job in a related industry. He may see it as an opportunity to launch his own business. If a person gets sick, he can lie in bed and binge-watch all his favorite shows, or he can read a biography, or learn a new subject, or even create some art. It is his perception of his circumstances that influences his actions and the direction he wants to take them.

    I like your approach to this subject, Raminder! Keep thinking your deep thoughts!

  3. This “test” is bogus. In 9th grade my friend asked me this question. I answered, quite correctly, “It’s both.” She insisted I had to close either half empty or half full. I figured it was another one of her puzzles and the joke would be on me when I didn’t give the “correct” answer. So I pondered and pondered and she said, “You can’t think about it. Just say what first pops into your head.” (Remember, I had already done that when I said “both”.) In the end, I tossed off, “Ok, half empty” and she declared that I was a pessimist. In actuality, she was just bullying me and playing at being a pop psychologist.

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