A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front
of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty
mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks about 2 inches 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. He then asked the students again if the jar was
They agreed it was. The students laughed. The professor picked up a box of
sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything
"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 - 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, there is no
room for the pebbles or the rocks. 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 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 sand."
An addendum added by another author
But then ... A student then took the jar which the other students and the
professor agreed was full, and proceeded to pour in a glass of beer. Of
course the beer filled the remaining spaces within the jar making the jar
Which proves that no matter how full your life is, there is always room for