A philosophy professor stood before his class with items on the desk in front of him. When the final student was seated he picked up a large and empty glass bottle and proceeded to fill it with rocks about 2 inches in diameter, he then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
He then picked up a box of pebbles, and added them to the jar, shaking it lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. “Is the jar filled now?” “Yes,” the students said.
But then he picked up a bag of sand and poured it into the bottle. The sand filled in everything else. Once more he asked if it was full and after some thinking they said it was.
The professor then took two cans of beer from a bag at the side of the desk and opening them both, poured their entire contents into the jar. The students roared at this demonstration.
After the laughter subsided the professor spoke again: “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things in your life; 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, and your car. The sand is everything else. The small stuff. 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. 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, or rewire the lamp. Take care of the rocks first...the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The else is just sand.”
After the impact of what he had said settled, one of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.
“I'm glad you asked.” He replied. “It just goes to prove that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers.