One morning the dentist says you need a new crown—$1,000 please. That afternoon you land a job that pays $1,000. These are the facts.
How you choose to see the facts will determine how you feel.
If you see the crown as an opportunistic thief stealing money needed elsewhere you’ll feel frustrated, angry perhaps. If you see the job as a timely provision for the unexpected expense, you’ll feel relieved, happy even.
What you initially feel depends on whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist.
An optimistic attitude is largely inherited, and it is part of a general disposition for well-being, which may also include a preference for seeing the bright side of everything. … A disposition for well-being is as heritable as height or intelligence. —Daniel Kahneman
Your disposition is set by nature and reinforced or moderated by nurture. Knowing your default setting helps you understand why you see things the way you do.
The Glass Test reveals who you are:
An optimist says the glass is half full.
A pessimist says the glass is half empty.
A fatalist says, “It is what it is.”
An engineer says the container is twice the size it needs to be.
A Republican says, “Who’s been drinking out of my glass?”
A physicist says the glass is completely full, half with water
and half with air.
I’m a physicist.
What are you?