I read a good modern “fable” this week.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a 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 it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open spaces between the golf balls. He then asked them 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. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous “yes.”
The professor then produced two cups of coffee 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 golf balls are the important things like your family, your children, your health, your friends and your 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 job, your house, your car. The sand 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 your life. Pay attention to the stuff that is important. Play with your kids, listen to your wife, laugh with your friends at church, get your physicals, set your priorities. The rest is just sand.
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor replied with a smile. It just goes to show there is always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.
So, what goes into your life jar first?