IS your glass half full or half empty?

Or is it cracked and slowly leaking, the level already below the halfway mark?

You have a choice in life don’t you? You either let worries and anxieties get you down or you keep your head up and believe things will get better.

Winston Churchill said: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

I was thinking about this as I watched news coverage of the terrible earthquake in Nepal and they pulled out the few survivors. I wondered what keeps alive a person crushed and trapped for days under tonnes of concrete, steel and earth without water or food?

Survival instinct for sure but attitude has to be important too.

I thought it too as I watched the centenary commemoration of the Battle of Gallipoli and the VE Day 70th anniversary services. What was it that kept surviving service men and women of both wars going when all around them their comrades were being killed?

I can only conclude that it was optimism. A belief that things would be OK in the end.

In Les Miserables, Victor Hugo wrote: “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”

History is strewn with examples of people who never gave up, who kept going because they believed success was just around the corner.

Abraham Lincoln was beset by failures for much of his life. Over the years he foundered in business, his sweetheart died, he suffered a nervous breakdown and he was thwarted in his political efforts. He never gave up, however, and his achievements stand as a memorial to optimism.

Helen Keller did not allow being blind and deaf to stop her. She became one of the 20th century’s greatest humanitarians.

She had this advice for others: “Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.”

Your frame of mind is so, so important. It affects everything from your body language to the path your life follows, I believe.

As Henry Ford put it: “If you think you can do a thing or you think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

I’ve thrown a few inspiring quotations at you this week so before I sign off I’d like to share one last one, which my daughter showed to me recently. It made me smile.

Dear Optimist, Pessimist, and Realist. While you boys were busy arguing about the glass of water. I drank it.

Sincerely, The Opportunist.