A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items on the table 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 rocks, about 2 inches in diameter.
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 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 the remaining open areas of the jar.
He then asked once more if the jar was full
The students responded with a unanimous “Yes.”
“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.
The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children – 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 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.
Play with your children
Take your partner out dancing
There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party, or fix the disposal.”
“Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter
Set your priorities
The rest is just sand.”