Rocks, Pebbles and Sand

I like this story a lot. It’s a great metaphor with a powerful message about time management and priorities.

 

ROCKS, PEBBLES AND SAND

jar-of-rocksA philosophy professor stood before his class with some items in front of him. When class began, he wordlessly picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks about two inches in diameter. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles, poured them into the jar and lightly shook it. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. The students laughed. He asked his students again if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then 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 recognize that this is your life. The rocks are the important things—your family, your partner, your health, your children—anything that is so important to you that if it were lost, you would be nearly destroyed. The pebbles are the other things in life that matter, but on a smaller scale. The pebbles represent things like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else—the small stuff.

“If you put the sand or the pebbles into the jar first, there is no room for the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your energy and time on the small stuff, material things, you will never have room for the things that are truly most important. Pay attention to the things that are critical in your life. 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 and fix the disposal.”

Wise words. In your own life, be sure to take care of the rocks first—the things that really matter. Remember, the rest is only pebbles and sand.

Anonymous






ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA

Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the one book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.

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Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents.

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SiSe_fullcover_final.inddPhil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent authors and thought leaders he interviewed. The roster of storytellers includes Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, Larry Dossey, Rachel Naomi Remen, Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish, and Christiane Northrup. Sixty Seconds has been translated into four languages: Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories.

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6 Responses to “Rocks, Pebbles and Sand”

  1. darcyp Says:

    I’ve always loved this one…very nice to read again…

    Thanks and hope all is well in Bolsta-land!

    Darcy

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    You’re very welcome, Darcy! I think of my blog as a repository for all manner of interesting items—personal essays and reflections, videos and stories from authors I admire, favorite stories I find elsewhere, and whatever else I find of interest. It’s nice having one central place for collection and sharing.

    Phil

  3. Nelson Uriel Patiño Says:

    ROCKS, PEBBLES AND SAND

    Really, my life is formed for the three things (rocks, pebbles and sand), for me, all is very important, from the big things to the smallest things, actually, my parents taught me that the life, we build it with the small details that happen day to day.

    On the other hand, I think that we often neglect our families when we give too much importance to routine things, for example, we prefer to work rather than spend time with our family.

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Yes, Nelson. Balance is critical. If you always keep that in mind, happiness is assured.

  5. Jeff Says:

    And after putting in the sand the professor poured in a glass of fine wine and spoke again. “No matter how full your life seems to be, there’s always room for a good glass of wine. When the rest of life has been managed, we cannot forget to take time to relax and enjoy all that we have been given.”

  6. Phil Bolsta Says:

    A nice ending, Jef. Thanks!

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