Jamming with Jason E138: The Glass Is Always Full

Science shows that optimists live longer and happier lives than pessimists do. With the world in the state that it is in today, it can be hard to
stay optimistic.

In today’s episode I discuss with you how we can see the sunny side of life, and always view the glass not only as half full, but overflowing!

Listen in at: http://www.jasonmefford.com/jammingwithjason/

Transcript

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Jason Mefford: Welcome to another episode of jamming with Jason. Hey. Today we are going to dig into the age old question Is the glass half empty.

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Jason Mefford: Or is it half full, and by the time that we’re dying, you’re actually going to realize that the glass is always full. And I’m going to explain exactly how to do that and give you a tip. In today’s episode. So with that, let’s cue that episode now.

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Jason Mefford: Alright so today’s discussion, let’s let’s talk again, you know, there’s that age old thing. And I’m sure you’ve heard this before.

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Jason Mefford: You know, you’re, you’re sitting there and you look at a glass of water or whatever you want to put in it right whiskey beer, wine water soda, whatever that we’re looking at.

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Jason Mefford: But you’re seeing this class, and it’s filled half with liquid. Now there’s, again, the age old thing, as well as the glass half full or is the glass half empty.

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Jason Mefford: Now, the way that you answer that usually has been determined on whether or not you consider yourself to be an optimist.

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Jason Mefford: Or a pessimist. Right. So if you’re an optimist and in theory they say, look, you would say the glass is half full, because you’re seeing what’s there.

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Jason Mefford: If you’re a pessimist, then you would be saying the glass is half empty. Okay, so that’s kind of the way that this is is normally kind of talked about. We’re going to dig into this a little bit deeper.

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Jason Mefford: And I know you might be sitting here at the beginning of this and thinking, Jason. Why are we actually talking about this today. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: Well, I went back and did did some different research. And again, you know, based on my training. I look at numbers. I look at at information that’s out there and I kind of scratch my head when things don’t seem to make a lot of sense.

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Jason Mefford: And so there’s some things that you see statistically out there that don’t make a lot of sense that I want to talk about today.

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Jason Mefford: But also there’s a lot of research out there that shows that the more optimistic, someone is the healthier, they are

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Jason Mefford: And in fact, on the inverse side pessimists on average die younger than people who are considered to be optimists.

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Jason Mefford: It also has a direct correlation back with some of the health issues that people deal with as well. And part of that is again based on how you view the world.

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Jason Mefford: What’s your interpretations are of what’s going on, but that it can actually have a real and scientifically proven impact on your health.

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Jason Mefford: So, you know, again, if you, if you want to be pessimistic. If you want to stay that way, always see the negative and everything. It’s your choice. You can do that.

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Jason Mefford: But I’m just here to tell you that it’s probably going to lead to some health problems if it hasn’t already, it may lead to some other mental illness issues as well. And we’re going to talk more about that as well. Now, part of part of the issue again kind of with this is that

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Jason Mefford: There’s been a lot of stuff going on. Recently, you know, really, for about the last year. In fact, you know, we’re here into, you know, towards the end of January.

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Jason Mefford: And I was talking to somebody yesterday. And they said, you know, it’s almost been a year that we’ve been living with all of this covert stuff going on in the world.

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Jason Mefford: And it kind of reminded me and stop me and went, Yeah, you know, our first shut down here in California was back in March of last year, so it has almost been a year.

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Jason Mefford: And what we’re starting to see as well is some of the impacts that that is having on people, people are feeling more isolated.

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Jason Mefford: They’re seeing a lot of negativity in the press in the national in the international news that you can see

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Jason Mefford: And really it’s our perspective on how we’re viewing the world around us that helps to determine how positive or negative or optimistic or positive or pessimistic.

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Jason Mefford: That we may actually be right. And what I’m seeing and what the numbers are starting to come back is, you know what, no matter how optimistic and positive you think you are.

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Jason Mefford: After a while, it just starts to grind on you okay it just starts to grind on you and it’s hard to keep the positive attitude.

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Jason Mefford: When you’re seeing a bunch of negative things around you and a lot of people have been feeling this this is leading people into, you know, some mild depression, some feelings of isolation and other things like that.

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Jason Mefford: That we weren’t experiencing maybe a year ago because we weren’t living with this current world that we are in

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Jason Mefford: So again, one of the reasons why I want to talk about this is, I mean, there’s obviously some health issues that can can relate to it. But also, you know, most of the people that listen to me.

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Jason Mefford: Actually also come from the internal audit risk and compliance area and professionally. We are usually taught to see on the negative side or be pessimistic be skeptical and what we’re looking at. In fact, when I was talking with somebody today.

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Jason Mefford: They actually shared a story with me. They were, they were having a disagreement with someone in the organization and other executive

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Jason Mefford: And the person was being overly optimistic in in in the way that this internal audit person was looking at and saying, well, you know,

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Jason Mefford: And that’s where they stopped and actually said, you know, you are a, you know, glass half empty kind of person. I’m a glass half full person. This is why we’re having the disagreement.

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Jason Mefford: And the person an audit said, well, that’s, that’s, I understand that because that’s my responsibility, right, is to look for the negative or that kind of side of it.

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Jason Mefford: And so I get it, I understand, you know, we have been taught that way. That’s really our, our, kind of professional training and what we end up looking at a lot of the time.

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Jason Mefford: Now the problem is because we have been taught to do that professionally and we get stuck into, you know, doing that so much professionally.

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Jason Mefford: That sometimes that ends up carrying over into our personal life as well. And so again, today I want to talk a little bit about and give you a tip.

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Jason Mefford: On how to get out of that. If you find yourself in that situation. Now again, I’m sure, as you’re listening to this, you’re thinking

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Jason Mefford: Jason I don’t have any problem with this. I’m a very positive very optimistic person.

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Jason Mefford: So let’s talk about some numbers here for just a minute. Okay. Because again, I told you when I went back and looked at the numbers.

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Jason Mefford: Some of the numbers don’t make sense, folks. So, so this is again where we’re going to, we’re going to kind of go through this

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Jason Mefford: So at least a study that I looked at here in the United States when people were asked, are you an optimist or a pessimist. Okay, so that was the question, are you up an optimistic person or a pessimistic person.

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Jason Mefford: 50% of the people said that they believed they were an optimistic person 50%. Okay, makes sense right 50% optimistic maybe 50% pessimistic. Right. That’s how you might look at it statistically

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Jason Mefford: Well, the interesting thing is 50% said they’re an optimist 43% said there somewhere in between and only four to 6% of people actually admitted that they’re a pessimist.

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Jason Mefford: Okay, those numbers don’t add up. Do you get that. Did you hear what I just said 50% think they’re optimistic 43% say there’s somewhere in the middle. So they’re neither pessimistic nor optimistic.

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Jason Mefford: And only about four to 6% of the people actually admit that they are on average more pessimistic those numbers don’t line up. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: You either are or you aren’t. It’s a binary thing. And yes, I understand why 43% of the people would say, well, maybe sometimes I’m optimistic.

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Jason Mefford: But sometimes I’m pessimistic. So I’m neither one all of the time. And I get that I mean that that happens all the time. We can be optimistic about certain things and pessimistic about other things.

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Jason Mefford: In fact, on average, people tend to be optimistic when they’re talking about micro things or things that relate to themselves, but very pessimistic when it’s about politics. It’s about national, international kind of things.

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Jason Mefford: Tend to be very pessimistic about those things instead. In fact, another study that I look like or looked at. And again, this is from

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Jason Mefford: Data all around the world. But what I will tell you is the average in the developing nations is very similar to this information that I’m going to share about the United States.

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Jason Mefford: There’s some that are, you know, higher, lower but on average the median for the developing world is about the same. And this was the question that was asked, there is

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Jason Mefford: Do you think the future is better financially for younger people, or is the past, better. So our younger people going to be better off financially in the future.

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Jason Mefford: Than their parents were and only 6% of people in the United States think that young people will be better off than their parents.

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Jason Mefford: That means 94% of people think they’re going to be worse off. So they have a very pessimistic outlook on the future financially for young people.

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Jason Mefford: Okay. And again, if 50% of the people are saying that they’re optimists those numbers don’t really line up right because 90 you know 94% of the people are being pessimistic about that particular

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Jason Mefford: Thing that we’re that we’re talking about. Okay, so why am I going to go into all of this. Well, part of it is just to shake you a little bit GIVE YOU A LITTLE BIT OF A love tap

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Jason Mefford: In that, you know, no matter how optimistic, you believe you are. You may not be as optimistic as you think you are. Okay. And so again, going back to cognitive biases.

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Jason Mefford: It’s very clear for people, you know, for 50% of the people to say, well, yeah, I think I’m optimistic, right, because again,

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Jason Mefford: That is a cognitive bias that ends up creeping into where we believe that we’re much more optimistic than we are. Okay, so, so let me just ask a few questions. Right. And again, it’s, it’s nothing. You know, good or bad.

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Jason Mefford: That I’m trying to get out here. But what I’m, what I’m trying to teach you and show you is a way that you can change the interpretations that you have of what is going on around you.

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Jason Mefford: Because the thing is, a lot of people get into a victim mentality when they are feeling pessimistic and they think things are happening to them and they cannot control these things.

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Jason Mefford: Where again a different interpretation would be things don’t happen to me things happen for me and I can control and have influence over the circumstances and conditions in my life.

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Jason Mefford: And that’s where I want to help you get to so that you get out of being pessimistic about the future is going to be crap you know things are actually getting worse.

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Jason Mefford: And there’s a reason why a lot of people feel that way is, you know, in a lot of the different media that we consume. So, for example, another thing that’s out there is

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Jason Mefford: A lot of people believe that crime and violence is going up. Now, why would they believe that

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Jason Mefford: And part of the reason is there’s a lot of TV shows. There’s a lot of news. There’s, it’s 24 seven now where they choose to

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Jason Mefford: Focus on a lot of the stuff that leads to fear. And so a lot of the things that are reported on are these negative things that put people in fear.

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Jason Mefford: And so the, the, you know, criminal activity violence, other things like that are showing in the media, but it’s actually a very, very small percentage of what is actually going on.

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Jason Mefford: Because again, if you go back and you take a look at the data in fact criminal activity has in violence has decreased steadily for many, many years.

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Jason Mefford: Even though. Again, the perception by a lot of people is, oh it’s becoming a more violent world in general. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: And so part of the reason why a lot of people feel pessimistic is again because they’re getting fed all of this stuff. And that’s what they’re seeing all of the time. Okay, so one tip for you is

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Jason Mefford: If you’re feeling stressed out. If you’re feeling fearful. If you’re feeling anxiety because of all of these bad things that you’re afraid are going to happen.

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Jason Mefford: Just stop listening to everything. Now I quit actually listening to the news. Many, many years ago I quit reading the newspaper.

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Jason Mefford: I do, actually, you know, stay current on some of the on some of the current events. But the reality is most of it does not affect me. It doesn’t actually apply to me.

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Jason Mefford: And I think I shared earlier on the podcast. You know, when my when my father in law was still alive. He used to like to watch the evening news.

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Jason Mefford: And so when we would go up and and be with them in the evening. A lot of times I would sit there and watch the news with him.

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Jason Mefford: And you know, we live in the Los Angeles area. There’s, there’s, you know, 20 plus million people in the Los Angeles area. So a lot of people

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Jason Mefford: But if I were to watch just what was going on on the news, they’re, you know, they’re reporting a break in and they’re reporting a, you know, car chase and something else and the 30 minute segment. Most of the stories are going to be kind of negative in in that regards right

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Jason Mefford: And when you consider the percentage of that in comparison to the 20 plus million people that are here. It’s a very, very small percentage of what’s actually going on.

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Jason Mefford: Right. In fact 99.9% of the people that are out there are doing good things are good people and we have nothing to worry about. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: So again, a lot of this that comes back to your interpretation and your perspective on things as well.

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Jason Mefford: So, you know, again, don’t feed yourself necessarily with things that do not relate to you that do not actually help you

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Jason Mefford: And later on, I’m going to talk about a thing called seven interpretations. That’s a tool that you can actually use for this.

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Jason Mefford: Now again, as I told you, I understand that many of you are trained to always look for the risk look for problems because that’s what we do in our profession. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: But again, just like I was talking about from the, from the media or anything else like that when you are constantly hearing about negative things

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Jason Mefford: That ends up carrying over into your emotional state and how you feel, as well. So again, you have to be able to flip the switch and and and separate business from your personal life.

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Jason Mefford: Now I know you know it’s easy to say, well, I do that already, but it’s it’s much more difficult than that. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: And and I will, I will, you know, totally understand that because I’ve had the same thing, you know.

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Jason Mefford: You come home after a hard day at work, a lot of stress. A lot of negativity, you’re not feeling so good and and something ends up going wrong and you end up

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Jason Mefford: Maybe not acting the way that you normally would. Under a normal situation and and this ends up happening a lot when whenever we’re hungry. If we’re feeling anger.

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Jason Mefford: If we feel lonely or if we feel tired. Those are all things that end up causing us to kind of, you know,

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Jason Mefford: Leak our personal power and leads us to sometimes doing things that we don’t want to do or don’t intend to do that. We usually have to go back and apologize about afterwards.

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Jason Mefford: So again, as, as I’m going through this and talking to you about it, optimism versus pessimism. Right. And I’m going to

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Jason Mefford: Get my words out a little bit here. So let’s go back again to the whole you know is the glass half full or is the glass half empty.

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Jason Mefford: Now a lot of times in life we end up creating kind of binary decisions like that.

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Jason Mefford: And so again, if we were to sit down and argue about this. Well, it’s either the glass is half full or the glass is half empty. There’s two truths, one is true and one is false.

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Jason Mefford: And we could argue back and forth and maybe I, I believe that the glass is half full. You believe that the glass is half empty.

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Jason Mefford: But what I want to stop here and ask you is, are those the only two interpretations that we can make from what we’re looking at.

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Jason Mefford: Because what ends up happening a lot of times is a lot of the the arguments that we have with people the things that are that are going on.

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Jason Mefford: There’s not just one or two options. There’s usually a multitude of different options that we can consider

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Jason Mefford: And so when we get in and talk about the seven interpretations. That’s going to be one of the tools that you can use.

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Jason Mefford: To help you, especially if you happen to be interpreting something that is going on. And maybe it’s negative or not something that you want to actually happen.

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Jason Mefford: Is, is there another way for me to look at this in a different way. Okay, so again, let’s go back to our is the glass half full or the glass half empty.

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Jason Mefford: Well, what I would tell you is the glass is always full. The glass is always full. Regardless of how much liquid is in it.

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Jason Mefford: Because there is space within the cup. And in fact, there’s a ratio of liquid to air in that cup.

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Jason Mefford: So again, the cup is neither half full, nor half empty. It’s actually always full. It’s just the ratio of liquid to air within that glass.

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Jason Mefford: So stop and think about that for a while. Right. That may be the first time that you’ve actually heard a different perspective on that old thing.

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Jason Mefford: And why am I telling you that because again you know if we’re arguing about the glass is half full or the glass is half empty, and you don’t really like either of those stories.

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Jason Mefford: Maybe there’s a different story or a different interpretation that would serve you better than that.

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Jason Mefford: And so, again, the interpretation that I have taken is the glasses and either half full or half empty. It’s always full. It’s full of air and it’s full of whatever liquid happens to be in there.

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Jason Mefford: So let’s get in now and and talk about, you know, as I kind of wrap up here, this little tip or hack that you can use.

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Jason Mefford: When you find yourself in a situation where maybe you’re starting to become more pessimistic or you’re starting to look at things in a negative way.

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Jason Mefford: And you want to get yourself out of it. Okay, so again this is a tool to help you change your interpretation, change the way you’re thinking about it.

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Jason Mefford: If you want to think everything is horrible and negative, then you can just keep on doing that. But if you actually want to change your emotional state.

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Jason Mefford: If you want to grow and you want to get out of those feelings, maybe a fear and anxiety related to a particular thing. Here’s one way that you can do that.

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Jason Mefford: And it’s called the seven interpretations. Okay, now this is the kind of thing that I share with people in the briefing leadership program that I run all the time.

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Jason Mefford: But as I told you before, you know, I want to give you a little tips here. Each week, but if you want all of them.

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Jason Mefford: There in the briefing leadership program. So, but this one the seven interpretations. Here is how this would work. So again, let’s say that something ends up happening. I’m going to come up with kind of a generic

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Jason Mefford: generic thing.

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Jason Mefford: To be able to help explain this idea

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Jason Mefford: Because we end up in relationships with people all the time every day that we’re that we’re relating to somebody. And so again, let’s let’s assume I’m going to use my wife and myself as an example. Okay. Is is let’s say that

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Jason Mefford: You know her, and I end up out on our back patio or sitting down and we’re just enjoying some quiet time and I can sense that she’s annoyed.

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Jason Mefford: By at something. Okay, I don’t know what it is. And so at that point. Right. I can start making different interpretations about what’s going on.

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Jason Mefford: This is our glass half full half empty, kind of thing, right. I could sit there and say, Oh, you know, my wife is a little annoyed.

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Jason Mefford: What did I do wrong today or what did I do that may be annoyed her and now she’s mad at me. Okay, that’s an interpretation that I could start to make my wife is annoyed, therefore I must have done something to annoy her and maybe she’s mad at me now. Okay, that’s interpretation.

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Jason Mefford: And I could go with that. And all of a sudden I could start, you know, feeling like she doesn’t like me right now. I’ve done something wrong.

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Jason Mefford: And you can end up going down a whole rabbit hole of and you can see how that could end up affecting my emotional state. Right.

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Jason Mefford: Because now all of a sudden, I’m thinking, Oh no, you know, maybe I did something wrong. I’m not feeling that great about myself. What did I forget to do this time. Oh, dumb Jason, whatever. Right.

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Jason Mefford: It starts going through my head coming out of my mouth and me being worried or in some sort of fear or anxiety that she’s mad at me for some reason.

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Jason Mefford: Now, that’s one interpretation. Are there any other interpretations that could be there. Well of course there are right.

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Jason Mefford: Someone else could have annoyed her. Maybe she just got off the phone with one of her friends or a family member.

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Jason Mefford: And that annoyed her and it had absolutely nothing to do with me. Maybe she just has a headache and it’s not, I’m looking at her thinking that maybe she is annoyed, and instead she just has a has a headache right

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Jason Mefford: You can see where this could end up going right. So the idea with the seven interpretations is if you are in a situation

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Jason Mefford: And you don’t really like the interpretation that you’re getting or that you’re seeing from this

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Jason Mefford: sit down and write out seven other interpretations that could relate to this. So again, right, maybe I didn’t do anything. Maybe you know she talked to a friend or family and they annoyed her

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Jason Mefford: Maybe she has a headache right there’s there’s three go through until you get through to seven and then stop and take a look at that and think about

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Jason Mefford: Which of those interpretations actually serves me the best. And that’s the one that you go with okay because the reality is, I mean, I know I’ve done this myself sometimes.

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Jason Mefford: I just get annoyed, and I don’t know why. Right, something

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Jason Mefford: Something happened. I don’t even remember. But maybe all of a sudden, I’m kind of feeling a little bit of a funk and people do that right

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Jason Mefford: I might not even realize. And so again, there’s no reason for me to worry and fret about that because it’s probably not true anyway.

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Jason Mefford: And so what we can do is actually come up with interpretations that serve us better. So again, if I if I sit down and I see that my wife is annoyed.

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Jason Mefford: I’m not going to pick an interpretation that says, Oh, she must be mad at me because I did something wrong.

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Jason Mefford: That doesn’t really serve me it doesn’t really serve her either as well. Right. And again, I can start asking questions, we can kind of see what’s going on at that point.

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Jason Mefford: But, you know, sometimes. And let’s take this back to what I told you before, is a lot of times when we, when we start feeling pessimistic or we’re worried about things, or we’re fearful about things.

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Jason Mefford: A lot of times it’s because of an interpretation that we are making about something that is going on.

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Jason Mefford: And again, a lot of times we feel like, Well, things are happening to me. And instead, change your interpretation to it’s not happening to me. But it’s happening for me. And so as an example right if if

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Jason Mefford: You know we happen to be working on something we’re working through something or maybe

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Jason Mefford: Yeah.

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Jason Mefford: As an example right you know somebody that you may be talking to

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Jason Mefford: And they’re really struggling with with something that’s going on in their life.

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Jason Mefford: You know, and again, it’s what is it you know that’s going on in their particular mind that’s leading them to feel that particular way. Right.

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Jason Mefford: And so again, you know, I’ve seen this in my life, certain things that are happening to where

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Jason Mefford: You know, it just feels like something is really, really hard. As an example, right, that I just can’t get something done.

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Jason Mefford: Well, what’s the interpretation that I’m putting on that.

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Jason Mefford: Am I putting an interpretation on it that you know because it’s really hard. And because I’m having a hard time doing it.

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Jason Mefford: That it’s not something that I should do or that it has something to do with me as an individual that I have no worth that I’m stupid that I’m whatever right

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Jason Mefford: And I’m saying some of these things and you know again what we don’t realize is, a lot of times we are actually saying things like that in our head right

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Jason Mefford: Well, what’s the interpretation that I want to put on it. Is it instead. Is it going to be hard is that the interpretation that I want to put on it.

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Jason Mefford: Or do I want to put a different interpretation on it like it’s easy. You know, it’s something that I can actually work through or maybe it’s actually something that I no longer need to pursue myself right

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Jason Mefford: And so again, sometimes we we can we can push, push, push, push, push, and we end up hurting ourselves more let me, let me give you an example of this. Right.

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Jason Mefford: When I was a teenager, I wanted to play professional basketball. I love basketball. When I was a teenager.

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Jason Mefford: I wasn’t very good. I’ll give you that. Okay, but I really enjoyed playing basketball. The problem was, I stopped growing at about five foot nine. So I’m only five foot nine

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Jason Mefford: That’s not a very good height to play in the National Basketball Association. Okay, you need to be much much taller than that in order to be able to play in the NBA. Now, at that point, you know, again,

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Jason Mefford: I have to decide and make a different interpretation is that something that I want to continue trying to pursue, or is there another path that I should go down, you know, and again

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Jason Mefford: I’m not going to beat myself up over the fact that I didn’t become a professional basketball player that would not do me any good. Right.

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Jason Mefford: There’s other things that I’m good at. I don’t have to play in the NBA. And so the fact that I can actually make a different interpretation about that and choose to move on and do something different is what we need to do, right. So again, there are things that we can do.

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Jason Mefford: To move on to change and to just leave the past behind us, because as I talked about to begin with, you know, when I see this in so many people is

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Jason Mefford: In. And again, as I said, especially now because of a lot of the things that we’re going through a lot of people feel like we’re never going to get out of this coven thing, right.

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Jason Mefford: A lot of people are starting to go down that path and feel like it’s going to, it’s going to take forever. This is never gonna. This is never going to change.

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Jason Mefford: Things are getting worse and oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh. Well, again, we can just stop.

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Jason Mefford: And choose to change our interpretation choose to change our perspective as well. Right. And so again, there’s always opportunity and everything that’s going on.

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Jason Mefford: Hopefully, you know, you’ve seen, and I know I’ve seen this in my family and with others is

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Jason Mefford: This has been an opportunity right to see the the optimistic, the positive side of this in that, you know, I think now we all appreciate the people in our lives a little bit more

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Jason Mefford: We, we, you know, are getting a little bit out of the rat race and realizing and starting to focus more on what is actually important to us.

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Jason Mefford: And again, that’s really what we should be getting out of anytime things like this are coming along.

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Jason Mefford: So don’t don’t think that the world is falling all apart, it is not things are actually good if we can, you know, continue to stay positive and in really kind of

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Jason Mefford: Keep that positive optimistic attitude. Again, if you feel like you’re you’re having struggles with that. Then again, stop.

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Jason Mefford: Think about what are some other different interpretations that you can put on this and try to find an optimistic or positive spin about it.

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Jason Mefford: And what I’m, what I’m telling you, I’m not telling you not to be realistic. But there’s a lot of stories that we tell ourselves that don’t service. And so again,

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Jason Mefford: Let’s be more positive. The glass is always full and try to find again other interpretations for you to be happier to have a more positive mental attitude.

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Jason Mefford: And to actually go out and get the things in life that you want. Because I’ll tell you, being a pessimist and being a victim. Just keep us stuck where you are.

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Jason Mefford: And it’s only by trying to break through that and get moving forward that you can actually have a life that you want. That’s beyond your wildest dreams. And with that, I’m going to wrap up for today and I’ll catch you on the next episode of jam room with Jason. See ya.

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