half full or emptySome people look at an 8 ounce glass of water that has 4 ounces of water in it and see it as half full. Other people look at the same glass of water and see it as half empty. On any given day, which type of person do you choose to be?

The answer to this question has a profound influence on how much meaning and joy you find in your life, and how well you can use that meaning and joy to balance out and deal with life’s inevitable aggravations and disappointments.

The crucial importance of gratitude is implicit in the commandment given to us in Psalm 118: This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it.

As Dr. David Steindle-Rest stated: Happiness is not what makes us grateful. It is gratefulness that makes us happy.

So how does cultivating an attitude of gratitude affect one’s communication skills? Does it in any way enable you to have more Vibrant Vocal Power? I would answer that question with a resounding yes.

Gratitude and joy in the positive aspects of your life affect every thought and idea you share with other people. You come across as a much more positive person.

Your mood also affects your tone of voice and body language, which in turn affect your presentation skills, which in turn affect the effectiveness of your message in influencing other people.

On days when you look at life from a negative perspective, you are much mor likely to end up being in a bad mood. That may work well for Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street, but it is much less attractive in real life. It is simply not pleasant to be around someone who complains all the time.

And you don’t even have to say a word for people to pick up on whether you come from a positive or negative space. They can see it in your face and body language!

If it is indeed true that what we focus on expands, then let us choose to focus on every positive thing in our lives, no matter how small it may seem to us.

Sometimes this may take a stretch of the imagination. For example, living in the northern United States, I am always grateful for a rainy day in winter. It means that I don’t have to shovel or drive in the snow instead.

I invite you join me in the quest to find the glass of life at least half full. As the lyrics of a very old song declare: You’ve got to accentuate the Positive, eliminate the Negative, latch on to the Affirmative, and forget about old Mr. In-Between.