In a recent seminar, one of the keynote speakers shared a story about a glass half full. He picked up his glass of water and looked at the audience for confirmation that the glass was indeed full. Everybody nodded. He then drank from the glass, sufficiently enough to let the water drop below the half level. Now the speaker asked the audience whether the glass was half full, or half empty. Most of the people in the audience said it was half empty.
The speaker did not agree with the audience. He explained that even though this glass was perhaps less than half filled with water, it still offered more than half of the glass to fill it with something else. In other words: look for the opportunities that present themselves, but might not be so obvious.
It is easy to focus on the things that are right in front of us. Thus we tend to focus on problems and obstacles instead of the possibilities a challenge might offer. The real opportunities lie in the not so obvious elements, the empty part of the glass. In my work it is often my role to help clients find the opportunities that present themselves as part of a challenge. I ask questions and let my clients have a look in the proverbial mirror of the situation. It helps them to see new opportunities as part of the challenge.
Try it yourself this week and utilize the empty part of the glass: be creative and search for the opportunities in a problem. Handling problems might actually become fun!