A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some
items in front of him. When class began, wordlessly he picked
up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with
rocks right to the top, rocks about 2" in diameter. 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. The students
laughed. He asked his students again if the jar was full? They
agreed that yes, it was.
The professor then picked up a box of sand and poured it
into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
"Now," said the professor, "I want you to recognize that
this is your life. The rocks are the important things - your
family, your partner, your health, your children - anything
that is so important to you that if it were lost, you would
be nearly destroyed. The pebbles are the other things in life
that matter, but on a smaller scale. The pebbles represent things
like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything
else. The small stuff."
"If you put the sand or the pebbles into the jar first,
there is no room for the rocks. The same goes for your life.
If you spend all your energy and time on the small stuff, material
things, you will never have room for the things that are truly
most important. Pay attention to the things that are critical
in your life. Play with your children. Take time to get medical
checkups. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be
time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and
fix the disposal."
"Take care of the rocks first - the things that really matter.
Set your priorities. The rest is just pebbles and sand."