A friend recently sent me the story about the college philosophy professor who presents his class with a jar filled with golf balls and asks them if the jar is full. After they all agree, he adds pebbles to the jar and shakes it up so that they settle into the gaps. Again, he asks if the jar is full and again the class heartily agrees. So he adds sand and shakes it around so it settles into the gaps. Once more he asks the class if the jar is full and once more they are convinced that it is. Now here’s the twist in my friend’s version. The professor pulls out two cans of beer and pours them into the jar where they soak into the sand.
Instead of asking if the jar is full, the professor makes his point. The jar is our life. The golf balls, he says, are the important things in your life. The pebbles are the other things that matter. The sand is all the rest – the small stuff. If we start filling our lives with the small stuff, there will never be room for the things that matter, much less the truly important things.
At this point a student asks, “What about the beer?”
“I’m glad you asked”, replied the professor. “That’s to demonstrate that no matter how full your life is, there’s always room for a couple of beers with a friend.”