The empty jar. And life.

A story from my college days.
This lesson is fairly common, but it’s always new to students.

ball-jarThe Professor was standing before the philosophy class and had a bunch of stuff on the table in front of him.

Without a word, he picks up a very large, empty jar and fills it with golf balls.

He asks the students if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.

So he then picks up a box of small rocks and pours it into the jar.
He shakes it a bit and the rocks fill the open areas between the golf balls.

He asks the students again if the jar was full.
They agreed it was.

The Professor next picked up a box of sand and pours it into the jar.
Of course, the sand fills up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full.
They agreed it was.

Finally he reaches under the table and comes up with a couple of beers and pours them into the jar.
It fills the empty space between the sand.

Everybody starts laughing, thinking this guy was wacko.

Where was he going with this?

Simple, really.
The jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things – your family, your children, your health, your friends, your favorite passions.

Things that if everything else were lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The rocks are the things that matter a bit less – like your job, your house, your car.

The sand is everything else – the small stuff.

If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the rocks or the golf balls.

The same goes for 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.

The lesson that day was to pay attention to the things that are most important to your happiness.

Be around good people, play with your kids, take care of your health and relationships.

There will always be time to clean the house, and fix the walls.

Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter.

Set your priorities.
The rest is just sand.

Primo BeerBut what about the beer?

The Professor looked at everyone and said – no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers.

Class dismissed.

I liked that guy.

One thought on “The empty jar. And life.

  1. My Chocolate Lab Maggie with her head on my knee as I read this, wants to be considered in the “golf ball” category. Thanks for the reminder of the important things.

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