The Last Word

By Charlie Marsh | Posted: Tuesday February 12, 2019

Each week at senior assembly one of our Prefect's present their "Last Word". We would like to share these with the school community.

Morning lads, firstly, welcome back. I hope you all had a relaxing break and are rearing to get back into the swing of things.

Starting a new school year there is always a mixture of excitement and nerves. It is important for us all to break down the year into small manageable and achievable chunks rather than worrying about all the tasks ahead which may be a bit daunting. It is important to be positive and enjoy the challenges of each day.

My close mates would say I worry way too much. And maybe they’re right.

However, I don’t think a little bit of worry is that bad. Sometimes worry is an indication that you care, it can also be a form of motivation - it’s just trying to find the right balance that’s the challenge.

In the holidays, I was strolling down my Facebook feed as you do, and this short story pops up. After reading it, I thought it would be good to share with you.

It is called, 'The Weight of the Glass', and it fits this “worry” topic really well. It goes like this.

There was a professor who taught stress management principles to a bunch of students. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they would be asked the typical “glass half empty or glass half full” question.

Instead, the professor asked, “How heavy is this glass of water I’m holding?”

Students shouted out answers they thought were pretty accurate.

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, my arm will likely cramp up and feel completely numb, and I may even drop the glass. 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 nodded 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 little 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 may start to feel numb and incapable of doing anything else until you drop them.”

The moral of the story is that it’s important to acknowledge worry and concern but then let it go. No matter what happens during the day, in the evening try to put your stresses and worries away. Try not to 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.

When our NCEA exam results were released a few weeks ago. I was quite looking forward to checking them out, as I thought I would be reasonably proud of them. I got a bit of a surprise when some of them weren’t up to the standard I was expecting. Usually, I would worry and beat myself up about things I perhaps should have or could have done. But with two weeks left of the holidays I didn’t want this to be my focus, so I tried to change my reaction.

Obviously, it would have been nice to achieve a few more exams at a higher standard but if I don’t regret anything about my preparation, and I gave them my best crack at the time, I guess that’s all I can expect of myself.

Because I can’t change these few results, I have just had to accept them, put them in perspective and move on. I held the results glass, talked about it, got some reassurance from some people in this room, and have put that glass down and are ready to tackle some new stuff!

I guess having an understanding of the weight of the glass, and how long you’ve been holding it for, and knowing it's ok to put it down is important for all of us.

So, try to start each new day positive, the sun will always come up in the morning and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

I would like to finish with a quote from Zig Ziglar, a former American author, “When you focus on problems, you will have more problems. When you focus on possibilities, you’ll have more opportunities”.