shuffling the jar of life

25 Jul

Sometimes you realise that your life is full of pebbles.

So, take the opportunity to re-evaluate what is really important in your life.  What are your big rocks?  You control your life, you can choose the priorities it will follow.  Anytime you want to shuffle the jar, focus on your rocks first and the rest will fall into place around them.

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A professor stood before her philosophy class with some items on the desk in front of her.  When the class began, she wordlessly picked up a very large and empty jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks as big as golf balls.  When she could not fit any more rocks in the jar, she asked the students if the jar was full.  They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.  She shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the rocks.  She then asked the students again if the jar was full.  They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.

Of course, the sand filled up everything else.  She asked once more if the jar was full.  The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two beers from under the table and poured the entire contents 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 recognize that this jar represents your life.  The rocks are the important things in your life—your family, your health, your beliefs, your friends and your favourite passions— 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 and your car.

“The sand is everything else—the small stuff.  If you put the sand into the jar first,” she continued, “then there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks.  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.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

“Play with your children.  Spend time with your parents.  Visit with grandparents.  Take time to get medical check-ups.  Take your partner out to dinner.  There will always be time to clean the house and fix the light.  Take care of the rocks first—the things that really matter.  Set your priorities.  The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised their hand and inquired what the beer represented.  The professor smiled and said, “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 drinks with a friend.”

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One Response to “shuffling the jar of life”

  1. Fred May 12, 2013 at 12:43 am #

    Powerful message

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