On Valentine’s Day, I attended a function where Doreen Blackman, another retired teacher, handed me a piece of paper containing the following story and suggested I might enjoy the message. After reading it, I knew I wanted to share it through a blog post. When I got home, I searched the web and found a variety of similar posts to the following:
“50 grams!” ….”100 grams!” ….. “125 grams!” … the students answered.
“I really don’t know unless I weigh it,” said the professor, “but, my question is: What would happen if I held it up like this for a few minutes?”
“Nothing” … the students said.
“Okay what would happen if I held it up like this for an hour?” the professor asked.
“Your arm would begin to ache,” said one of the students.
“You’re right, now what would happen if I held it for a day?”
“Your arm could go numb, you might have severe muscle stress and paralysis and have to go to hospital for sure!” ventured another student and all the students laughed …
“Very good, but during all this, did the weight of the glass change?” asked the professor.
“No” was the answer.
“Then what caused the arm ache and the muscle stress?”
The students were puzzled.
“What should I do now to reduce the pain?” asked professor again.
“Put the glass down!” said one of the students.
“Exactly!” said the professor.
Life’s problems are something like this. Hold it for a few minutes in your head and they seem OK.
Think of them for a long time and they begin to ache.
Hold it even longer and they begin to paralyze you.
You will not be able to do anything.
It’s important to think of the challenges or problems in your life, but EVEN MORE IMPORTANT is to …
“PUT THEM DOWN” at the end of every day before you go to sleep.
That way, you are not stressed, you wake up every day fresh and strong and can handle any issue, any challenge that comes your way!
So, when your day ends today, remember my friends to …
PUT THE GLASS DOWN!
I must admit that, as someone who can be somewhat perfectionistic at times, I often spend hours trying to complete a task to my high standards. My wife says in some cases, I may in fact perseverate when I cannot solve or complete a task to my self-imposed benchmark. I recall when I was an Educational Technology Consultant and was editing and writing my monthly “Bits and Bytes” educational newsletter, I often got home from work at 2:00 or 3:00 am. Such 18 hour days often occurred at the middle of each month when my newsletter submission deadline approached.
A colleague often asked me “When is the job good enough?” In other words, could I submit the newsletter after working a 10 hour day knowing that it was not still not up to my standards. I admit, that in those days, to use this water glass metaphor, I was reluctant to spill any water regardless if it would reduce the stress I was feeling.
When I look back at the efforts of our Educational Technology team, we were amazing, worked long hours both in the office and at home and were motivated from within to complete all tasks to the best of our abilities. We didn’t take short cuts, we didn’t spill any water, and and we rarely “put the glass down”. Now that I’m retired, I must take care to put the glass down each night, so I can focus on any time-consuming tasks with a fresh, new outlook each morning.
Take care & keep smiling 🙂
Credits: The above anecdote is modified slightly from the post “Put the Glass Down”.