Put the glass down

water_glassOnce a professor began his class by holding up a glass with some water in it. He held it up for all to see and asked the students, “how much do you think this glass weighs? ’50gms!’?…’100gms…’125gms’….

The students answered, “I really don’t know unless I weigh it.”

The professor said, ‘now, my question is: What would happen if I held it up like this for a few minutes?’

‘Nothing’ the students said.

“OK 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 & paralysis; have to go to hospital for sure! Ventured another student”, all the students laughed.

“Very good. But during all this, did the weight of the glass change?” Asked the professor.

“No” was the reply of all the students.

“Then what caused the arm to ache; the muscle to stress?” After a pause the professor asked “Before my arm ache, what should I do?”

The students were puzzled.

“Put the glass down!” said one of the students.

“Exactly!” said the professor, “Life’s problems are exactly like this. Hold it for a few minutes in your head; they seem OK. Think of them for a long time; they begin to ache. Hold it even longer; they begin to paralyze you. You will not be able to do anything.”

It’s important to think of the challenges (problems) in your life, but EVEN MORE IMPORTANT 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; strong; can handle any issue, any challenge that comes your way!

Remember to put the glass down everyday!


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  1. Anand
    August 3rd, 2007 at 09:20 | #1

    You don’t know one thing da.

    I posted the same in my college notice board when i was in 3rd year.

  2. August 3rd, 2007 at 10:22 | #2

    Is’t, I don’t know this. One of my friend sent this a long back. Just thought of sharing.

    By the way what was the response from your college?

  3. R. Janani
    August 26th, 2008 at 10:16 | #3

    Very True!!! If everybody starts following this, we will live in a peaceful world.

  4. Gumbo
    February 28th, 2009 at 00:32 | #4

    Dear Anand,

    If a lesson is a good one it’s usually worth repeating to others, thats how knowledge and understanding are passed on. As for having posted this in your third year, well arn’t you just the clever one.

  5. Susan
    February 28th, 2009 at 06:39 | #5

    I’m having to do this very thing. I’m having to lay a lot of things down so that I can be the wife my husband needs me to be and the mom my children need. How can it be good if I’m holding on to something and yet I loose the ones that matter most? Tough lesson but oh, so important!

  6. February 28th, 2009 at 07:00 | #6

    Nice thoughts, some stories are worth reading again, no matter how many times you have read them b4.

  7. sony
    February 28th, 2009 at 11:41 | #7

    aaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, this anecdote is so lame! if it wasn’t for paranoid and obsessive people, most of life’s challenging problems wouldn’t have been solved.

  8. February 28th, 2009 at 18:11 | #8

    @Gumbo
    I agree with you Gumbo. Though we know something, it is always good to share and repeat the same in our life.

    @Susan and @thekeybunch

    Thanks for your comment.

  9. Really?
    February 28th, 2009 at 21:04 | #9

    The mass does change… Water evaporates.

    I completely loss the message in this due to factual fallacies.

  10. halpe
    March 1st, 2009 at 02:54 | #10

    awesome story……some food for thought

  11. March 1st, 2009 at 14:00 | #11

    I agree with Susan, we make life miserable for our dear ones without thinking over the consequences of our obsession with problems which sometimes exist only in our head.

  12. bonnie
    March 2nd, 2009 at 11:59 | #12

    what about evaporation huh…
    lol. jk. i get the point.

  13. Auntie_Hosebag
    March 3rd, 2009 at 18:15 | #13

    I assure you, this will not work on chronic pain patients. I know because I am one. It’s a pretty sentiment, but it bypasses individual reality in service of a global platitude. If you truly need perspective in life and an exercise in putting trivial things in their proper place, try a near-death experience. Worked for me…

  14. bart
    March 4th, 2009 at 00:57 | #14

    Not to say anything but if you held the glass up for days the weight would change because the water would evaporate.

  15. missy
    March 5th, 2009 at 06:15 | #15

    this is the most genius thing i have ever heard in my entire life.
    :) it’s going to be my new motto

  16. steve
    March 7th, 2009 at 08:31 | #16

    Evaporation would not change the weight of the glass. It would change the amount of water in the glass.

  17. ramesh
    December 8th, 2009 at 18:04 | #17

    keka ra..

  18. aklyatne
    January 31st, 2010 at 19:51 | #18

    …or you could just continue to hold the glass up 24/7 – it’d be good exercise, and eventually, all of the water would evaporate. You’d be *really* good at holding up that empty glass, and your arm would be great for many other things, too. On the other hand, putting down that glass every time you get tired would leave you with a rather weak arm.

    Analogies can almost always go the other way. Be careful with them. They just make you look incredibly stupid.

  19. Steve
    August 9th, 2010 at 17:47 | #19

    Yes its Very True!!! If everybody starts following this, we will live in a peaceful world.

  20. abbas
    December 22nd, 2011 at 05:21 | #20

    “put the glass down” is a metaphor for stress management. As one does with meditation. Relieving our mind of thoughts of the day for a short period daily, makes mind more clear and focused and stronger. Let us not be preoccupied with the water evaporation, or else, you certainly have missed the whole point

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