We all know this classic optimist/pessimist analogy. But once you find a way of looking at something it can be incredibly difficult to dislodge from your mindset. Creativity is about holding more than just one answer in your mind and keeping open to other possibilities.

But what would you say if you were given a pint milk bottle with a half pint of milk in it? Half full or half empty? Most would say it is half empty as they see milk as having value and it has been depleted. And what about if you had a half pint of water in a milk bottle? Would you see this as half full as the bottle has been refilled from empty? Your attitude to something quite often depends on your inbuilt perceptions and the context in which you place things.

Here are some other ways people might see half a pint of milk in a pint bottle differently:

  • A pedantic will see it half full of air
  • A chemist will argue it is completely full- half with milk and the other half with air
  • A value engineer may see the bottle as too big
  • A milkman may see a new order coming
  • An opportunist would drink it quickly whilst the others argue over the question
  • A schizophrenic would see both then quickly pour it down the sink to end the turmoil
  • A student wonders if it is still fit for his cereal
  • Lois Pasteur would have seen a preservation nightmare!

See if you can come up with any of your own

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Simon Jack

Creative Re-Director at Creative Encounters
Jack of all trades... master of a few too!

Creative communicator and consultant who likes to do things differently and empower others to come up with winning ideas and create a major stir.
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