Today’s Wednesday Wisdom story may sound familiar. Now, don’t go assuming you know this story. Read to the end.

A professor, after laying out a few items on his table, was waiting for his philosophy class to begin. His students filed in, looked at the table curiously, and took their seats. Without saying a word, he placed the huge empty jar in the center of the table. Then he filled it with golf balls.

He asked his students, “Is the jar full?”

They said, “Yes!”

Then he picked up a box of small pebbles and added them to the jar, shaking it lightly to let them fill the area between the golf balls.

He asked his students, “Is the jar full?”

They said, “Yes!”

Next, the professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. It filled every available space left by the golf balls and pebbles.

“Is the jar full?” he asked his students.

Just a little curious, they chorused, “Yes!” yet again.

The professor now picked up two cans of beer from under the table and poured their contents into the jar. It filled the leftover space.

Of course, the students laughed.

And of course, they were curious.

The professor proceeded to explain,

“This jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things: your family, your kids, your health, your friends, your hobbies—things that, if everything else was lost and only these remained, your life will continue to be full.”

“What about the pebbles?” piped up one student.

The professor continued, “The pebbles are the other things that matter. Your job, your house, your car. And the sand is the rest of it—the small stuff. If you had put the sand in first, there would be no room for the pebbles and golf balls. It is the same with your life.”

Smiling at the puzzled look on his students’ faces, he said, “if you spend your time and energy on the small stuff, you won’t have room for the most important things—the things that truly matter. Focus on the things that drive your happiness. Play with your kids. Take the time to get those medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. There will always be time to clean the house and do those routine things. Prioritize. Take care of the golf balls first, they are the things that really matter. The rest of it? It is all just sand.”

The class was quiet for a moment before starting to discuss among themselves.

The professor watched them, amused.

One of the students raised her hand and asked, “But what about the beer?”

Now it was the professor’s turn to laugh. He said, “Glad you asked. It just goes to show that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers.”

What more can I say?

Enjoy your golf balls and pebbles. In that order. The sand can wait.

Yes, little things matter, but only when founded on the important things–family, friends, your children, your health, your passion.

And do enjoy the beer!

Cheers!

Life is so much brighter when we focus on what truly matters #WednesdayWisdom #mindfulness

Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of stories, quotes, anecdotes, and humor.

9 Comments

  1. hehe…wise words. A good reminder, Vidya to focus on what’s important in life. Love your Wednesday Wisdom posts 🙂 <3

  2. Hahaha loved the ending. Haven’t heard this one before 😀
    There’s always time for some good drinks 😀

  3. Absolutely loved this one, VIdya!
    I read it some time back, but then forgot all about it, so read this post till the end and chuckled at the Professor’s sense of humour!
    Really worth remembering!
    Erm, do I say these exact same words after every Wednesday Wisdom post of yours? Can’t help it! All of these short stories are really so worth remembering always!

  4. Another one of my favourite stories 🙂 Making time for the things that matter, today and every day is what keeps me happy. Learning to prioritise people, relationships, personal goals over everything else has helped so much.

  5. I have heard about this before except for the beer part which is funny. This is very true and many times, people center on the small stuff ignoring what is really important.

  6. I had watched the video of this story as sent by someone on WA- one of the very rare times that I watched a forward sent to me. This story sits very well with me and I have been trying to do this only- pay more importance to the golf balls- rest all can wait.
    Love your Wed posts Vidya! 🙂

Write A Comment

CommentLuv badge
Pin It
%d bloggers like this: