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Rocks in the Jar

A Philosophy professor one day he picked up a large empty jar and proceeded to fill it with small rocks. He then asked his students if the jar was full? They unanimously agreed that the jar was full.

So 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 his students again if the jar was full. Again, they unanimously agreed that the jar was full.

Then the professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

"Now," the professor said, "I want you to recognize that this is your life. The rocks are the important things: your family, your partner, your friends, your health, your children, and 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. 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."

 

***


This story appears in many forms, though its original source is unknown.

An extension is that to the sand you can add water, and to the water you can add salt (indicating that there is always room in your life for a little more).

An entertaining variation is to add two cans of beer -- with the thought that there's always room for a couple of beers.

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