Is your jar of life filled with the things that are most important to you in life, or filled primarily with pebbles and small stuff? Several years ago I made a change to my jar of life. I was stressed out and not feeling fulfilled, so I took a good look at the things in my jar of life. I decided some changes were definitely needed. Changes were made and I have been extremely happier since filling my jar of life with the important things first.
The Jar of Life and Two Beers
A professor standing in front of his philosophy class had several items in front of him.
When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students if they thought the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. Then he shook the jar lightly.
The pebbles rolled into the open spaces between the golf balls.
Then the professor again asked the students if the jar was full.
And again they agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of sand and proceeded to pour it into the jar.
As expected, the sand filled up the jar’s remaining space.
And once again the professor asked if the jar was full.
Once again, the students responded with a unanimous “Yes!”
The professor then produced two bottles of beers from under the table and poured their 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 — your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions — and 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 represents 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 life. If you spend all of your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. So pay attention to those things that are critical to your well-being.
Spend time with your children.
Spend time with your parents.
Visit your grandparents.
Take the time necessary to get your medical check-ups.
Take your spouse out to dinner.
Play another 18 holes of golf.
There will always be time to clean the house and to fix the disposal.
Take care of the golf balls — the things that really matter.
Set your priorities.
The rest is just sand.”
At this point one of the students raised her hand and asked, “What does the beer represent?”
The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked. The beer just shows that no matter how full your life may be, there’s always room for a couple of beers with a friend!!!”