Rock, Pebbles and Sand

"People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges." 
-  Joseph F. Newton

Once upon a time, a philosophy professor stood before his class placing down some items on the table in front of him.

When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty glass jar and proceeded to fill it with large rocks. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They all agreed that it was, since no more space for rocks remained inside.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the glass jar. He shook the jar lightly and the pebbles rolled into the open areas between the rocks. He once again asked the students if the jar was full. Again, they all agreed it was.

Lastly, the professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up every open area in the jar. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a thunderous "Yes."

"Now," said the professor, "I want you to imagine that this glass jar represents your entire life. The rocks within are the most important things - your family, your partner, your children, your health - 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 told them, "there is no space left for the pebbles or the rocks. The same thing happens with 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 vital to your happiness. Play with your children and talk to them. Take your partner out or to the picnic. Find time to visit a doctor for periodic health check. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party or fix the disposal.”

“Take care of the rocks first - the things that really matter in your life. Set your priorities. Everything else is just sand."

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