A college classmate of mine sent this to our class email distribution list recently. Attribution unknown.

A young lady confidently walked around the room while explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘half empty or half full?’…

She fooled them all…. “How heavy is this glass of water?” she inquired with a smile.

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. To 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it.

If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem.
If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm.
If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance.

In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.  “She continued, and that’s the way it is with stress.”

If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.”

“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden – holding stress longer and better each time practiced.

So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down.  Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night… Pick them up tomorrow.

The email went on to include this list of life advice:

  1. Accept the fact that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue!
  2. Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
  3. Drive carefully… It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.
  4. If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
  5. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
  6. It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
  7. Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.
  8. Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.
  9. When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
  10. Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
  11. A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

And my personal favorite:

12. We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some look pretty, and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all must live in the same box.

As leaders, it is sometimes difficult to gauge the weight of our own glass. If you or your team are facing stressful organizational challenges, set that glass down and shoot me an email. We’ll talk!

You Worked Hard To Reach The Top

You Worked Hard To Reach The Top

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