Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year: Rocks, Pebbles and Sand

I read this story many years ago. I loved it then. I love it now. It really does signify how I like to live my life. Of course, no one is perfect and even now I make a lot of mistakes. I've made a lot of mistakes in the past. But I like to look upon them as lessons. It's only a mistake if you don't learn from it.

So, Happy New Year (it is year and not years...unless you're special and several years attack you at once), take care of the big rocks first, pebbles when you can, and forget the sand.

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 mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks about 2" in diameter. 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 recognize that this is your life. The rocks are the important things - your family, your partner, your health, 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 put the sand into the jar 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."


  1. Good New Years resolution - more rocks and pebbles, and less sand. Also, concentrate more on the things you do have control over (love, family, personal interests), and less on the things you don't (current affairs, politics, media).

  2. Always!
    The way I see it is a person can always do what's easy. Yell and scream at kids, give money to charity, etc.
    However, it takes more effort to do what is right. Talk to your kids, volunteer your time, etc.
    To me, rocks are people, family. Pebbles equals your time to others.
    More rocks & pebbles. Less sand.
    To my way of thinking, when you focus on the rocks and pebbles, there is automatically less sand.

  3. Wow! I've arrived late to the party, but what a wonderful treasure to take away. Thank you, sincerely.