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Hugging or Fighting? Empty or Full?

There's always this question of “Is the glass half empty? Or is it half full?”

I've been taking a look at this lately because I've posted several videos on LinkedIn that can be looked at in different ways. When I look at these videos, I see something super sweet. To me, these two lizards below, look like they are hugging. However, others see this and say “no, no, no, they are monitor lizards and they're actually fighting! You are wrong!”

It's like looking at the glass being either full or empty ... hugging vs. fighting … it's an interesting topic.

When we see something that we haven't seen before, and don't really know ALL the facts and ALL the details, how do we tend to think about it? Which emotion accompanies it? It's something to notice. And when we have a thought or an emotion, how strongly do we resist an opposite view?

Take this famous image for example:

Do you see an old or a young woman when you first look?

I used this image in a class I lead in Vietnam, where the image wasn’t so well known. Students were actually arguing, trying to convince the others that they were looking at the image correctly and the others were wrong.

Depending on our backgrounds, our experiences, our culture, and our language, we all see different things differently. Yet, we argue.

Going back to the first picture of the two lizards … how can anyone really be 100% sure what is going on in that picture? For all we know they are newlyweds dressed up in lizard costumes hugging, or a clip from a new Pixar movie, or it is a video of two monitor lizards fighting. But some see hugs and others see fights. Some see the glass half-empty, some half-full.

Which do you tend to see wherever you look? Oh and one thing to remember is a characteristic of water is that it is refillable, drinkable, spillable, and evaporates, so ultimately it will change.

Q & A


I am so frustrated that my partner doesn’t want to attend personal development programs with me and I feel like he doesn’t want to grow; what should I do?


First - Don’t DO anything until you have released your frustration and you aren’t frustrated anymore.

It is always helpful to really look at your own frustration and stop trying to change the external world so that you aren’t frustrated. In fact, feeling frustrated and then getting your partner to do something, so you don’t feel frustrated, is a missed opportunity to practice being responsible for your own emotions.

So many methods and meditation help do this, but they all boil down to observation and allowing. Can you just experience the frustration without trying to do anything to change the feeling or fix it? As you observe the frustration without judgment or resistance, it will dissolve.

Next - Once you are no longer frustrated or feeling anything other than love and acceptance for your own feelings, look at what it is you really desire.

Do you want your partner to change, not to be the way they are? You have to be really honest with yourself on this? Are you really thinking, “There is something wrong with you, and I want to fix you by taking you to this program?” Can you see why anyone might have resistance? If you are resisting your partner, try doing the same; keep deeply observing the resistance and allowing it to be until it dissolves on its own.

I know this sounds easier said than done. There are a lot of books that can help you with all the specific ways to do this; here are a few:

Also, you can follow me or DM me to get the date of my next LinkedIn Live where I share all these techniques and more, live on LinkedIn.


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