The fucking glass half full/half empty bit.
A total cliche by now, right?
Except someone just powerfully reframed this for thousands if not millions of people. Mo Gawdat, a Google exec, shared his ‘algorithm for happiness’ with a news anchor. You may have seen the Facebook video.
It fleetingly caught my attention the other day when I saw it in my news feed. And then I moved on.
But as I was journaling this morning about how to turn up the volume in my life and business, I came to some realizations...
Did you know I studied journalism at college? Yup!
Writing always came easily to me. Not that I was always great at it, but I was motivated to grow my skills and absorbed as much knowledge as I could by reading lots and having my mother, a professional editor, proofread my stuff. I started by turning a school assignment in 6th grade into a short story. (Actually, I guess it started earlier than that when I wrote a children’s book about a couple who met at a candy shop and fell in love and got married -- the ultimate fairy tale, right?!) After that, I was obsessive about writing. I churned out more short stories and novels between 6th grade and high school graduation than I can count.
Somewhere along the way, I read Linda Ellerbee’s Girl Reporter series and I fell in love with the idea of exposing toxic chemical dumping (or did I just want to be a fashion editor at a magazine? I waffled a bit). In junior year of high school, a student teacher with fond memories of her own years at my high school led her to seek students who wanted to resuscitate the school newspaper, which had been defunct for three years.
My friend Sam and I jumped for joy and we became co-editors of the newspaper, which we brought back for one edition that year. That seemed to seal my fate as a journalist. I got accepted to a summer camp for aspiring journalists run at that time by the staff of the Philadelphia Daily News, and then I went to Temple University with my major declared from day 1: journalism.
This gave me an education in truth…
At least the way it’s defined by journalists. See, journalists see FACTS (not the alternative kind *ahem*) as TRUTH. And I guess you could say they honor each source’s take on the facts as that individual’s truth… But as a journalist, you’re not allowed your own personal truth. Not really. Instead, objectivity reigns. Or, it would if humans were capable of such a thing.
I honestly don’t fucking think humans are capable of objectivity.
Subjectivity is truth, which means there are billions (or multiple billions) of truths.
Or are there a few Universal truths and everything else is just a variation on those core truths?
I’ve been journaling a lot lately about TRUTH. In fact, I woke up from a nap this week with the words, “Truth Apprenticeship,” in my head. The name for a coaching program? Perhaps…
I see all of these blog posts and every page in my journal as my truth. And I think that my truth, same as yours, is ever-evolving. I aspire to, in any given moment, share my absolute truth, knowing it could all change in a moment. In fact, many times, HOPING it will change in a moment.
Look, the most amazing thing in the world to me, is when someone else shares their truth.
You can usually tell. There’s a dynamicness to it, a real spark, and you know it’s their truth because you can’t look away. (When someone’s content bores me so much I can’t keep reading, I take that as a sign that it’s not their truth; they’re usually regurgitating the crap that other people are telling them.)
And my current understanding of truth feels so much different from what I learned as a journalist.
Like I said, I don’t think objectivity is actually achievable… I think I always secretly disagreed with it, though I felt I couldn’t admit it to the serious journalists who were my professors and editors. I didn’t just want to report facts or chronologically retell the happenings of a community meeting. I wanted to LIVE a life, not report on others!
Also, as a “recovering journalist,” I’ve come to realize the true occupational hazard of that work: skepticism & suspicion. I used to be skeptical and jaded about life. Things were horrible and they’d never get better, no matter how much ink was spilled about the horribleness. (This is still truth to me, but I simply see it as proof of the Law of Attraction: you get what you focus on.) That was super fuckin’ depressing.
Now? I’m unabashedly happy to see POTENTIAL everywhere around me.
I appreciate what exists and improve upon it if I can.
I no longer understand those who simply write about the glass being half-empty, as if pointing it out to others to say, “Hey, this needs to be fixed but I won’t dare try fixing it myself.”
Before I’d ever heard Mo Gawdat describe his algorithm for happiness, I’d started to see the world that way.
I appreciate what’s already in my cup.
And I ask myself if I can do something about the part that’s empty.
I always believe I can do something about the part that’s half-empty. I take that action myself, or ask for help from those who know better.
And look, I don’t want to fill up everybody else’s cup for them.
I want to show YOU how, if you don’t know, to fill up your cup, so that you can do it again and again and again.
One of the most powerful ways I can show you how to fill up your cup is to keep mine topped off.
So, that is, quite simply, what my gift for writing is meant to help me do: Show you my cup, my TRUTH, and dispense from my life whatever wisdom I’ve gathered that can help you fill up yours and live your own desired truth.
How am I doing so far?
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