A lecturer placed some items on the table in front of him. When the class began, he picked up a very large empty jar 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.
So the lecturer, 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 the students again, if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The lecturer then picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up the remaining open areas of the jar.
Once again he asked , if the jar was full? The students responded with a unanimous “Yes.”
“Now,” said the lecturer , “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your life partner, your health, your children, things that if everything else was lost, 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 your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party, or fix something up.”
“Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter, set your priorities, and the rest is just sand.”