A meteorology professor stood before his Meteorology 101 class and had some items
in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very
large and empty glass mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a jar of pebbles and poured them into the
jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open
spaces between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar
was full. They agreed it was.
The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar and
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 cans of beer from under the table and
then proceeded to pour the entire contents into the jar, effectively
filling the empty space between the grains of 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 partner, your health, your
children, your friends, your favorite passions -- 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," he continued, "there is no room
for the pebbles or the golf balls. 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.
Play another 18.
"There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner
party and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first -- the
things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer
represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to
show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room
for a couple of beers."