The Priority Jar

This story will really make you stop and think about how you chose to prioritise your life, and what values you’re truly living.

Project You

The Priority Jar

A philosophy professor once stood up in front of his class with a large empty jar. He then took a container of large rocks, filled the jar to the top with them and asked his students if the jar was full. To this the students responded yes, the jar was indeed full.

The professor then surprised his class by pulling our another container, only this container was full of small pebbles. He added the pebbles to the jar of large rocks, gave the jar a bit of a shake so the pebbles could disperse themselves among the larger rocks and again asked the students, “Is the jar full now?” The students agreed that this time the jar was definitely full

Yet the professor took out one more container, his time full of sand, and poured sand into the jar, filling up any of the remaining empty space.

The professor went on to explain that the jar represents everything that is in a person’s life. The rocks are equivalent to the most important projects and things you have going on, such as spending time with your family and maintaining good health… the things that give you meaning.

The pebbles represent the things in your life that matter, but that you could live without such as your job, house, hobbies, and friendships…. The things that give your life meaning but are not critical for you to have a meaningful life as they may often come and go, and are not permanent or essential to your overall well-being.

Finally, the sand represents the remaining filler things in your life and material possessions such as watching television or running errands… The things that don’t mean all that much to your life overall, and are usually done to waste time or accomplish small tasks.

The metaphor???

If you start by putting sand into your jar, you will not have room for rocks or pebbles… or in life terms, if you spend all of your time on the small and insignificant things in life, you will run out of room for the things that are truly important.

Distributed to email subscribers on Wednesday, 26th September 2018.

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