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Object Lesson About Priorities of Life

A philosophy professor once greeted his new class with this object lesson:
He had an empty, clean quart mayonnaise jar that he held up to the class. In this he poured some rocks about the size of a half dollar. He poured them in until the jar was full. Then he asked the class was the jar full indeed. They all answered that it was full.

The professor then took a bag of smaller pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook it so they would fall into the spaces between the larger rocks. The class laughed.

Once again, he asked, "Is the jar full?"

The class all answered again that it was full.

This time he picked up a cup of sand and poured it into the jar. Naturally, it filled up any left spaces as he shook it.

He told his class to recognize that this represented their life. The rocks are the important things such as your family, your partner, your children, your health, or anything so important to you that you would be nearly devastated if you lost it.

The pebbles are the other things in life that matter such as your house, job and car. The sand is everything else. The small stuff in life.

If you put the sand or the pebbles in the jar first, there will be no room for the rocks. Same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on small stuff (material things), you will never have any time for the things that are truly most important. Pay attention to the things that are most critical in your life. Tell your spouse you love her, spend time playing with your children, take your spouse out dancing, take time for medical checkups. 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 to you. Set your priorities. The rest is just pebbles and sand!