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 golf balls.
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.”
The professor then brought to bottles of beer onto the table. The students anonymously laughed with some of them pointing at the beer. He opened on of the beer bottles and poured onto the jar.
He smiled and continued, “Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls 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 golf balls. 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 balls first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”
One of the students raised his hand and the professor gave him the chance to speak. “Professor, what does the beer represent?”
The professor smiled “I’m glad you ask” and continues, “No matter how full your life is, there is always time for you to drink some beer with your friends” and the class totally turned into loud laughs.
It’s easy to get caught up on the less important things in life and lose focus on what matters most. To live a happier life we need to work on our perspective and priorities. When I was younger I heard a beautiful parable on the topic of prioritizing the things that truly matter and decided to bring the message through the medium of video. I hope this inspires you and like the Professor says ” we can truly accomplish anything if we use out time wisely.” Focus on what truly matters and life will have a way to be that much brighter and fulfilling.
Source: Meir Kay