If an 8 ounce cup has 4 ounces of water in it, it’s the same amount of water for the person who considers it to be “half-full” as it is for the person who regards it as “half-empty.”
The optimist and the pessimist aren’t having a debate about how much water is in the glass. The debate is about the kind of attitude one ought to adopt in response to the amount of water that he has.
Suppose, for instance, that I was to give one $100 bill to an optimist and one $100 bill to a pessimist.
The optimist may say “gee, that’s a lot of money” while the pessimist may ask “what am I supposed to do with a measly $100 bill?”
Both of them have the same amount of currency, but their difference is a matter of perspective. One of them gets excited over having $100 and the other isn’t impressed.
Does it matter?
Either way, both of them have to decide what they’re going to do with what they’ve been given. The cash-value of their philosophy can’t be determined until they start making choices.
What if, instead of debating differences in perspective, we simply asked the following questions:
1) What do I want?
2) What am I going to do with the resources that I have?
No matter what your opinion about the glass being half-full or half-empty is, you have a glass to debate about.
What are you going to do with that?