14 October 2007

Monday's Musing

This is one of my favorite stories that I've seen floating around the internet. Jen D. posted a story in last Monday's comments that got me thinking about this one. So then I couldn't wait until the next Monday to post it! Author unknown.

A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks of golf ball size. He then asked the students if the jar was full? They agreed that it was.

So the professor 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 students laughed.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

"Now," said the professor, "I want you to recognise that this is your life. The rocks are the important things - your family, your partner, your health, and 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 fill the jar with sand 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 things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical check-ups. Take your partner out dancing. 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. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

What do you think? True? Overly simplistic?

I found the following addition to the story as well (here) and had a good laugh! :)

But a student took the jar which the other students and the professor agreed was full, and proceeded to pour in a glass of beer. Of course the beer filled the remaining spaces within the jar making the jar truly full.

The moral of this tale is: no matter how full your life is, there is always room for a beer!

Have a wonderful week!



Blogger sophanne said...

Today I will look at each situation as it arises and ask myself "are you sand, pebbles, or big rocks?"

I don't think it's too simple.

3:31 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

I've always liked this story. I think it might sound simple, but it's a nice reminder about the really important things in life.

6:16 AM  
Blogger Laritza said...

What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing.

6:38 AM  
Blogger Yarnhog said...

I think I first heard this story when I was in college. I think my golf balls have filled all possible space, though.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Tiny Tyrant said...

This is my husband's favorite story.

He always tells me I'm his biggest rock.

It's not always something that I can keep my focus on. I tend to let the little stuff get to me.

But I'm learning.

He forgot to make knitting one of the big rocks. ;-)

8:43 AM  
Blogger Sereknitty said...

Not overly simplied ... hit the nail on the head!

8:53 AM  
Blogger LesleyD said...

Love it!!! LMAO!! Especially the beer addition. I try to remember that story daily.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Dr. Steph said...

mmmmm Guiness.

12:26 PM  
Blogger . . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

This really made me smile. Thanks!

4:22 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I have always liked that story too. The simple ones really drive home the point don't they?

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always liked that story but this is the first I heard of the beer, LOL! I definitely agree, we sometimes spend too much time worrying about nonsense. One reason I'm so determined to continue working at home is because I want to be here for my kids...my mom worked outside of the home my entire childhood, although she didn't have to (my dad makes decent money), so I always said I'd be there for my own kids. They'll remember playing games with us in the backyard, not how clean the kitchen is!

2:50 AM  
Blogger Valerie said...

I have heard this one several times. It's awesome that a story can make a person relax, breathe and think about life. Sometimes you get so caught up in it you don't realize how lucky you are. Good Story!

3:24 AM  
Blogger lv2knit said...

Sand has taken over my life! Actually, I think some of my big rocks have gotten even bigger. Less room for pebbles and sand at this point!

4:30 AM  
Blogger Beverly said...

I love it! I"d never heard the beer addition before, but it's perfect!

5:47 AM  
Blogger the boogeyman's wife said...

i've always liked that story too, but the beer was a new addition.
often we take the rocks for granted and spend more time on the sand and pebbles. they seem more urgent somehow, with deadlines, and we know the rocks will always be there. and yet, if we don't pay enough attention, they won't be.
the balancing act of life, i love it. trying to keep things in their proper perspective and not be drowned by the sand.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Jen D. said...

Some one once told me never to sweat the small stuff. This is simple - a foolproof litmus test if you will - to ask yourself "is this worth my time or my energy?" Do the things you love. Treasure family and friends. Rock your babies to sleep. In my world these things are the true measure of happiness. And without love and happiness, what else is there?

3:55 PM  
Blogger kathy said...

This story is one of my all time favorites too. Good to read it again, as a reminder, as I make so many changes in my life...

9:00 PM  
Blogger fleegle said...

Thank you so much for posting this. It gives a perspective that we rarely, in our rush around the sand dunes, stop to consider.

5:18 AM  
Blogger The_Add_Knitter said...

Love this story!

1:06 PM  
Blogger Marianne said...

I will hold on to the rocks, the sand will only slip through my fingers.....

12:18 PM  

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