The following is a vitally important life lesson a philosophy professor taught his pupils.
The teacher emptied his desk and put a few items on top of it, one of which was an empty jar. He filled up the jar with golf balls to the brink.
He turned to his students and asked them whether they agree that the jar is full. They all agreed that the jar can indeed hold no more.
He then took a box of little pebbles and poured them into the golfball jar. The pebbles filled the small openings between the balls. The teacher asked if the jar was full, and once again the students agreed that it was.
Next, the teacher poured a box of sand into the jar. The sand filled the emptiness between the pebbles and golf balls. He then asked the class once again whether the jar was full. And the students agreed that technically it was full
In the end, the teacher poured two beers into the jar filling the remaining space between the contents. And now the students started laughing while wondering how far this would go.
The teacher waited patiently until the laughter stopped.
“I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life,” he started. “The golf balls represent the important things. Your family, children, health, friends, and passions. If everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles represent the other things in life that matter, such as your job, house and car. The sand—that is everything else. The small stuff. If you put the sand in first, there is no room for the pebbles or golf balls.
The same goes for life. If you spend all of your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are most important. Pay attention to the important things in your life.
Enjoy time with family. Go to dinner with your spouse. Play games with your kids. There will ALWAYS be time to clean the house or take yourself shopping.
Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter. The rest is just sand. You are dismissed.”
Before the class left, one student shouted out:
“You never mentioned what the beer represents!”
The teacher smiled and said,
“Well I’m glad you asked. The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room to have a beer with a friend.”
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