The Half-filled Bottle


Stress Test Addis Ababa


The half-filled Bottle

Recently, I ran a workshop for a section of The United Nations at their World HQ in Addis Ababa. In this amazing place, I ran a session that starts like this:

How heavy is the bottle of water in front of you?

Answers ranged from 4oz to 10oz.

Then I asked them if this is heavy. Naturally, they said no.

So I asked them to stand up and hold the bottle out in front of them, see picture.

Even now, it wasn’t a problem to do this.

I then went on to explain that we all hold onto things that appear light at first, however the longer we hold onto them, the heavier they become. As I did this, I would point out when arms started to drop and insisted that they remain outstretched.

After a while, the participants started to make faces and struggle to hold their arms straight. The bottle weight was now too much to hold onto and they would collapse under the strain of holding on to the bottle.

It is often the smallest of things that can cause us to build up stress and unwelcome feelings. What are you holding onto that is causing you stress?

Take time everyday to offload your “baggage” so that you are not carrying it around.

Take care

Mervyn Murray

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