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» Priorities of Life
A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items in front of him. When the class began, he picked up a very large, empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, approximately two inches in diameter. He then asked the students if the jar was full and they agreed that it was.
Next, he picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
So, he picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He again asked the students if the jar was full. They responded with a unanimous "yes".
The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and proceeded to pour their entire contents into the jar - effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
As the laughter subsided, the professor said, "Now, I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things - your family, your partner, your health, your children - 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 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. 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. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the faucet. Take care of the rocks first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
At that point, one of the students raised her hand and asked what the beer represented.
Smiling, the professor replied, "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."
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