42-Set Your Priorities
Once an A professor
stood before his Philosophy class and had some items in front of him.
When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very 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 that 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 areas between the
He then asked the students 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 a 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.
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 - 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, and your car.
The sand is everything else--the small stuff. If you put the sand into the
jar first," he continued, "there will be no room for the pebbles
or the golf balls. The same goes for 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 to dinner, play another 18.
"There will always
be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls
first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just
One of the students
raised her hand and inquired what the coffee 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 cup of coffee
with a friend."
Set your priorities, and find time for entertainment too to drive your life