A lesson in life

Here is a little story that says a lot about life. It is originally in norwegian, but I translated it to english for everyone.

A philosophy professor stood in front on his class with a bunch of ‘random’ things in front of him. When class started, without saying a word, he took a large, empty glass container and started to fill it with golfballs. When there was no more room, he asked his class if the jar was full and everyone agreed that it was. He then took some small rocks and began to dumb them into the same jar. The small rocks began to fall between the golfballs. When there was no more room for them he asked if they thought that the jar was full, everyone said yes. He then took some sand and began to empty that into the jar as well. When he was done the sand had taken up the small spaces between the small rocks and golfballs. He then asked the class if the jar was full. Once again they all said yes. After that he took 2 cups of coffee and dumped them into the jar, now the jar was effectively full. The professor then said “Now you guys have to picture that the jar is your life. The golfballs represent everything that you hold dearest in your life. Your family, friends children, health etc. The things that if everything else was lost, your life would still have meaning if you still had them. The small rocks represent the small things that you appreciate in life. Your job, car, house etc. The sand is everything else. All the superficial things in life that we like to have but don’t necessarily need.” The professor continued by saying “If you start out by putting the sand in the jar first you have no room for the golfballs or the small rocks. Its the same with life. If you use all your energy and time on the small superficial things, you’ll never have room in your life for the things that are most important. Pay attention to the important things, because they decide your happiness. Play with kids. Watch your health. Take your partner to dinner. There will always be more time to clean your apartment and do chores. Take care of your golfballs because that what really matters, everything else is just sand.” One of the students then raised their hand and asked what the coffee represented. The professor smiled and said “I’m glad that you asked. It is to show that no matter how full your life gets there is always room to have a couple cups of coffee with your friends.


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