jar of rocks – food for thought

6 Feb

Dad sent me this today when he was at work…and it actually made me stop and think about things…

A professor stood before his philosophy class on the last day of their university life.
He had some items in front of him on a table – a large empty glass jar and 4 plastic buckets, one of which was upside down.

“On this, your last day”, he said, “I want to leave you with something that will help you live a successful life.”

He picked up the empty glass jar and started to fill it with rocks, taken from the first bucket.

When the last rock was placed in the jar, he then asked the students if the jar was full.They agreed that it was.The professor then picked up the second bucket, in which there was gravel and poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly.

The gravel rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was although some were wondering what was in the next bucket.

The professor lifted it up to reveal that it was full of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up all the remaining crevices between the rocks and gravel.

He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then lifted the bucket that was upside down to reveal a cup of coffee. He lifted the cup and poured the entire contents into the jar, and the class watched as the coffee was soaked into the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,”said the professor, as the laughter subsided,”Here’s the message. I want you to recognise that this jar represents your life.

The rocks are the important things – your self-expression, family, children, health, friends, and favourite passions.Things, that if everything else was lost, and only they
remained, your life would still be full.The gravel represents the things that matter like your work, house, and 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 gravel or rocks.” The same goes for 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.

So.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 to dinner or for a walk and chat. Focus on your passions. Do something you love every day.

There will always be time to paint the house mend that
dripping tap.

‘Take care of the rocks first. The things that really matter. Set your priorities. “The rest is just sand,” said the professor.

One of the students raised her hand and enquired what the cup of coffee represented.

The professor smiled.

‘I’m glad you asked’.

“It’s there to remind you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a chat and coffee with a

Everyone can be ‘busy’, but are we busy focusing on the things that really don’t matter?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: