A professor stood before his
Philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began,
wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to
fill it with big rocks. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They
agreed that it was.
So the professor then picked
up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The
pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the big rocks. He then
asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor picked up a box
of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything
else. He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with
a unanimous – – yes.
The professor then produced
two cans of beer from under the table and proceeded to pour them into the jar
effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
“Now,” said the
professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognise that this
jar represents your life.
The big rocks are the
important things – – your family, your partner, your health, your children,
your friends, your favourite passions – – things that if everything else was
lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.”
“The pebbles are the
other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is
everything else – – the small stuff.”
“If you put the sand
into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles
or the big rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and
energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are
important to you.
Pay attention to the things
that are critical to your happiness. Fall in love. Spend time with your
friends. Take your partner out for a meal. There will always be time to go to
work, go to the gym, give a dinner party and clean the car.
Take care of the big rocks
first – – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just
One of the students raised
her hand and inquired what the beer represented. The professor smiled.
“I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your
life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers!!”