Holding on is believing that there’s only a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future.
Daphne Rose Kingma
One of the great lessons that come with age is understanding that you cannot change what has already happened and understanding that much of the time you cannot change what is. I really feel empathy for so many of the people I visit with who let their misery linger not understanding that if they let it go they could move on to things that would make them happier. There is a lot to be said for realizing that everyday provides us with a new start and that there is little value in letting the past drag us down.
Not long ago I got this story from Mark and Angel Chernoff that I think is worth reading as it does help us understand the value of letting go.
The Weight of the Glass
Once upon a time a psychology professor walked around on a stage while teaching stress management principles to an auditorium 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 professor asked, “How heavy is this glass of water I’m holding?”
Students shouted out answers ranging from eight ounces to a couple pounds.
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 paralyzed, 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 shook 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 paralyzed – incapable of doing anything else until you drop them.”
The moral: 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.
Letting go helps us to to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us. This frees us from unnecessary stress.
The controller was working a busy pattern and told the 727 on downwind to make a three-sixty (do a complete circle, usually to provide spacing between aircraft). The pilot of the 727 complained, “Do you know it costs us two thousand dollars to make a three-sixty in this airplane? Without missing a beat the control tower replied, “Roger, give me four thousand dollars worth!”
There are two ways to write error-free programs; only the third one works.
“The airlines are facing strike threats from a number of key unions, including the Brotherhood of Luggage Misplacers; the Airline Seat Shrinkers Guild; and the International Association of Workers Who Make Sure That No Coach Passenger’s Inflight Snack Packet Contains More Than Four Pretzels.”
“The day I worry about cleaning my house is the day Sears comes out with a riding vacuum cleaner.”
A young man who was an avid golfer found himself with a few hours to spare one afternoon. He figured if he hurried, and played very fast, he could get in 9 holes before he had to head home. Just as he was about to tee off, an old gentleman shuffled onto the tee and asked if he could accompany the young man.
Not being able to say no, he allowed the old gent to join him. To his surprise the old man played fairly quickly. He didn’t hit the ball far, but plodded along consistently and didn’t waste much time.
Finally, they reached the 9th fairway and the young man found himself with a tough shot. There was a large pine tree right in front of his ball – directly between his ball and the green. After several minutes of debating how to hit the shot, the old man finally said, “You know, when I was your age I’d hit the ball right over that tree.”
With that challenge placed before him, the youngster swung hard, hit the ball up, right smack into the top of the tree trunk and it thudded back on the ground not a foot from where it had originally lay.
The old man leaned back on his golf bag and said, “Of course, when I was your age, that pine tree was only 3 feet tall.”
I stayed in a really old hotel last night. They sent me a wake-up letter.
When I arrived for my daughter’s parent-teacher conference, the teacher seemed a bit flustered, especially when she started telling me that my little girl didn’t always pay attention in class and was sometimes a little flighty.
“For example, she’ll do the wrong page in the workbook,” the teacher explained, “and I’ve even found her sitting in the wrong desk.”
“I don’t understand that,” I replied defensively. “Where could she have gotten that?”
The teacher went on to reassure me that my daughter was still doing fine in school and was sweet and likeable. Finally, after a pause, she added, “By the way, Mrs. Johnson, our appointment was for tomorrow.”
“I had a friend who was a clown. When he died, all his friends went to the funeral in one car.”
A blonde was shopping at K-Mart and came across a shiny silver thermos. She was quite fascinated by it, so she picked it up and took it over to the clerk to ask what it was.
The clerk said, “Why, that’s a thermos….it keeps hot things hot and cold things cold.”
“Wow,” said the blonde, “that’s amazing….I’m going to buy it!”
So she bought the thermos and took it to work the next day. Her boss, who was also blonde, saw it on her desk. “What’s that?” she asked.
“Why, that’s a thermos… it keeps hot things hot and cold things cold,” she replied.
“Wow, that’s amazing,” said the boss, “what do you have in it?”
“Two popsicles and some coffee.”
One problem with gazing too frequently into the past is that we may turn around to find the future has run out on us.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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