With regard to the eternal question about the fullness of the proverbial glass, I have lived the majority of my life as a member of the “half full” brigade.
This was especially apparent during my years as manager in a large corporation where undertakings of all sizes are conceived, planned, and initiated on a regular basis. Most such undertakings require a diverse team of specialists with varied functional backgrounds. As one would expect, assembling a group of diverse people brings a splendid mix of attitudes and beliefs to bear on a common course of action. Since the modern corporate model is to compensate employees, to the extent possible, based on direct measures of success, the dialogue at a team meeting would effectively sort the optimists (who would advocate that the team aim for the "difficult but possible") from the pessimists (who would lobby for the "certainly achievable" so as not to fail).
While I enjoyed my share of satisfying successes, I also lead teams that fell short of lofty goals from time to time. Through it all, I never considered that there might be a third perspective on the glass.
For the past seven years I have worked in a smaller company with limited resources. In this environment, the impacts of both right and wrong decisions ripple immediately and palpably through the organization. The challenges seem more daunting, the daily fires are hotter, the wins are sweeter, and the failures more painful. It has been through this experience that my perspective on the glass has changed.
Now, while still an optimist, I see the glass as neither half full nor half empty. With an eye for efficiency, cultivated in the under-resourced environment of an emergent corporation, I have come to view the partially filled glass merely as an asset with excess capacity. I now see the glass as two times bigger than it needs to be.