By Robert I Holmes
The trainer at the stress management conference was a confident young lady. She was explaining stress management to the audience, then turned to pick up a prop: a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘Is this glass half empty or half full?’… but she didn’t. Instead she asked with a twinkle in her eye, “How heavy is this glass of water?” 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.Whatever burdens you’re carrying now, let them down for a moment. Relax, pick them up later after you’ve rested. Let each day’s worries take care of themselves, and stop being concerned (picking up) tomorrows!”
Then she penned these axioms on the board:
1 . Learn to accept that some days you’re the pigeon; some days you’re the statue.
2. Drive carefully… It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.
3. Remember, it’s the second mouse gets the cheese.
Robert is an expert in the science of human behaviour and performance enhancement with a passion for neurology, leadership and the psychology of potential. He believes it is important to bring hard science to coaching, and that coaching practices be evidence based and research backed. Robert is a founding partner at Frazer, Holmes Coaching and current Director of Brand and Marketing for the International Coach Federation Australasia (ICFA). Robert is a professionally certified coach (PCC) with over 20 years of business experience and an ICF Accredited Mentor Coach. He is an Associate at the National Speaker's Association, a member of the Coaching Psychology interest group at the APS, a certified Action Learning Coach, a Member of the Australian Institute of Management Consultants.