The Weight of the Glass

A psychology lecturer walked around at the front of the auditorium while teaching stress management principles to the lecture hall filled with students.  As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the typical “glass half empty or glass half full” question.  Instead, with a smile on her face, the lecturer asked, “How heavy is this glass of water I’m holding?”

Students shouted out answers ranging from 250 grams to a couple of kilograms.

She replied, “From my perspective, the absolute weight of this glass doesn’t matter.  It all depends on how long I hold it.  If I hold it for a minute or two, it’s fairly light.  If I hold it for an hour straight, its weight might make my arm ache a little.  If I hold it for a day straight, my arm will likely cramp up and feel completely numb and paralysed, forcing me to drop the glass to the floor.  In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it feels to me.”

As the class nodded their heads in agreement, she continued, “Your stresses and worries in life are very much like this glass of water.  Think about them for a while and nothing happens.  Think about them a bit longer and you begin to ache a little.  Think about them all day long, and you will feel completely numb and paralysed – incapable of doing anything else until you drop them.”

I had to share this well known story as I think it speaks for itself. The moral of the story is that it’s important to remember to let go of your stresses and worries.  No matter what happens during the day, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down.  Don’t carry them through the night and into the next day with you.  If you still feel the weight of yesterday’s stress, it’s a strong sign that it’s time to put the glass down.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Saurab says:

    I’ve heard this story for the first time. It’s beautiful; very sensible and a fresh lesson from a worn out concept!

    Liked by 1 person

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