A story...


Here is a story I like:

A professor stood before his Philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty bucket and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the bucket was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a jar of pebbles and poured them into the bucket. He shook it lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open spaces between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the bucket was full. They agreed it was.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the bucket and of course filled up everything else. He then asked once more if it was full. The students responded with an unanimous yes.

The professor then produced a cup of tea from under the table and proceeded to pour the entire content into the bucket, effectively filling the empty space between the grains of sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this bucket represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - your family, your partner, your health, your children, your friends, your favourite passions - 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 bucket first," he continued, " there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. 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. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner dancing. Play another match chess. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first - the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand." After a few moments of silence in the classroom, one of the students raised his hand and inquired what the tea represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a cup of tea."