The Mental Game in Two Words - Page 4
It is clear to me from observing athletes in action that some are helped by seeing the glass half full (positive) and some are helped by seeing the glass half empty (negative). It probably depends on the person's history of managing situations where call for improvement.
One of the best reasons for thinking positively that I have seen came from self-help guru Depak Chopra. He said that if you can manage a problem by either seeing the glass half full or half empty, seeing it half full will lead to a better quality solution to the problem. At first, I thought, "what difference does it make if you can manage it either way?" Then I realized that simply managing it doesn't mean equal quality of the final solution. The implication of seeing it half full is that (1) your muscles will be more relaxed, (2) you won't have to divert any mental energy to managing any stress that might result from seeing the glass half empty, and (3) you will have more of your mental capacity to devote to the task at hand.
The above advice was based on a person's ability to see it either way. If a person is unable to see it half full, then the improvement he/she can get by seeing it half empty may surpass what he/she can gain by trying to see it half full. One of those zero-sum games in life, but even zero sum games can be overcome by adding resources.
Twenty years ago, I would have considered this as psychology mumbo jumbo, but I gained some wisdom in those twenty years. My career was in one where the ability to see the glass half empty was important.
I ran into this at a mixed format 3 day tournament. It was down to me against someone that I was well matched up with. We were in match play and I had to win for my team to win the tourney. My opponent had the honor and he duffed it right in the water. Of course the first thing I thought of was just get it over the water. Took the pressure (as my drives were less than great the previous two days) and smacked my drive about 260 dead center of the fairway. Wound up pretty much winning the tourney with that drive as his next drive was in the woods so ended up laying on the green putting for birdie and 4 strokes to win.