Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Understanding Your Priorities In Life



A teacher stood before his class with some items on the table in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, about 2 inches in diameter. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.



So the teacher 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 teacher picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. 


Of course, the sand filled up the remaining open areas of the jar.

He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “Yes.”

“Now,” said the teacher, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. 

The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health and 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,” he continued, “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. 

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. 

Play with your children. Take your partner out dancing.

There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party, or fix the disposal.”


“Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is such a good and true message.

Anonymous said...

Great but God is first in our life.

Anonymous said...

Great message love this

Anonymous said...

very true and nice

Anonymous said...

I love this story and the message it carries.

Anonymous said...

This is true..but we all know you can't dare mention the word god in school..but ok to talk about sex ..drugs...sexual pref..and everything else

Anonymous said...

ya.. i lov dis msge..

Anonymous said...

Why what's wrong with talking about god in school? There's still schools out there even high schools that teach about god and understand that there are all different cultures but they all mostly believe in the one god. Why teach students about all the bad stuff and forget to teach about god? This is why the world is so bad and evil cos people is just forgetting about god and his good works. Then with people forgetting God that's why evil is doing so many bad things and we blame God for everything afterwards. Its just not fair. The older days were people were brought up old fashoin and properly were the better times because people were happier and more peaceful. It would be lovely if it could go back like that. Too much technology and voilence nowadays.

Anonymous said...

Knowledge is exceeding our love in todays world....something will have to give before anything changes....like that song 'what the world needs now is love sweet love" that's the only thing that there's just too little of!!

Anonymous said...

God doesnt exist. If he or she or it did exist, there would only be one. Not all these different ones per religion or faith. Because there are so many of them, it would be racist to pick one to tapk about in any school. Schools teach facts and avoid racism if it can.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes your rock can fall apart. So what's then? It cannot be rebuilt, and all that you have left are sand and pebbles....
And as for god, if he is so almighty and kind, then why does he allow certain people suffer throughout lives and others to have anything and anyone they wish??????

Anonymous said...

I hate the saying " god moves in mysterious ways". There wouldnt be all the trouble in the world if god existed. There wouldnt be famine etc. God was invented by dictators to control the masses.

Butterfly said...

God is all things, hopes all things, heals all things...all we need is faith, hope and love...it has to be all three...but the greatest of these is love <3

Anonymous said...

People need to learn.obstacles in life are like school examination. Like a teacher, God knows how strong our faith would be. How we trust Him admist adversities. How we love Him and thank Him for stormy moments of our life. A teacher won't just give an easy examination. He will let his students think and test if they've learn something from him. Would you imagine if all we need is just a snap away? Its chaos!

Anonymous said...

God does exist. You just have to believe it. We walk by faith not by eyes. Its not racism, its about respect, that other believe in a different way. God is love and love is God. it's just a matter of faith, trust, sacrifices, and hope then you will know what love is, what God is.

Anonymous said...

People used to think the world was flat. That man came from adam and eve. Every one knows these to be wrong these days. Eventually everyone will realise there is no such thing as heaven and hell. Its just what you make it. Then you die.

Anonymous said...

God is everything, he's day in night, he's air in heat in all the above. All it takes is faith and he will show you. I can't be a hell without heaven. God is very much so real, not only is he real he will make an example out of you.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff

sharen ramos adlaon said...

hmmmm..great and inspiring..it reminds for those who doesnt know or forget what is the most important in life..

Anonymous said...

God does exist and there is only one GOD - our Creator and Heavenly Father. Some chose not to believe because they can't bring themselves to believe what they cannot see or touch. We cannot see the air we breath, but can we say that it isn't there? Like the air we breath, GOD is there weather you believe or not. And if you have faith, you will be able to feel GOD's existence in your life and be touched by it.

Tammie Brock said...

Great story esspecially for the young kids that don't have no respest.

Anonymous said...

I read this as I am grieving the loss of my son George. As my 6 other children are in despair. I read this as I wondered where my Lord is on this 4th week without him in our world. I know now that my faith I have had and preached always to my children, is not my mere will or hope. I see the choice we all have. Live in despair and hopelessness. Or trust God that Jesus is who He said He is. And when we are put to this test in the way my family is today, we choose life, and life more abundantly through our Lord. I miss my son I need him, I grieve so heavy, yet though in my human body, as a broken hearted mother, I cry,I know that He is indeed with Jesus. His last day on earth July 14th he called and asked me about that mustard seed of faith. I explained it best I could, and then he said I hope your right ma. We all have that choice. Had both thieves on the cross asked to be with him in Heaven, they both would be today. Choose life that you may live forever.

Frances Lewis said...

So very true, that housework will always be there & our jobs whether at home or outside the home should not take the place of quality time with our loved ones. We can not get time back to tend to these precious moments.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

You can see air. You can touch the air. Wave your hand. You feel the wind right? When you inhale, your mouth can feel it. That is air. When the leaves blow off trees, your favorite hat tumbles from a gust, or a kite dances below the clouds, that is air. God may or may not exist. In my opinion, what people proclaim as god has taken a turn in time. We think of a man. We forget the idea of god was once purely existence. The bible was taught too literally, thus people take it literally. I personally do not care if a god in the literal sense exists. I am here, I am alive, I will go on in life knowing my own morals, chasing my own dreams, and living out my little joys regardless of gods existence. I am alive to live.

MG Gopalan said...

Hey Guys, what if God is the biggest rock in the Jar???? among the important stuff e.g. Parents, spouse/partner, children, siblings etc representing the rocks in life. God could be the bedrock.

Are we missing the point / moral of the lovely story somewhere? Thank you Dave Hedges for sharing.

Midknight76 said...

People/humans created all the different religions, doctrines and beliefs, NOT God. You are correct that "God" has had many different names throughout the history of the world. He has many names throughout the Judaic-Christian Bible, which actually coincide with some of the names used for Him in several of the other "religions" both past and present. http://www.unification.net/ws/wsintr4.htm. Choosing to believe in one God vs. another god is THE MOST IMPORTANT decision that anyone can/will make in their life and should be managed accordingly. I can understand how comparing this choice to "racism" would make sense to someone who may not have had much exposure/experience with "religion". Choosing how your immortal soul/spirit makes it to the afterlife and where it spends eternity is not even remotely the same as choosing to HATE simply because others are from another part of the world, speak a different language or have a different skin color. Racism is ugly, ignorant and frankly in my opinion, a way of thinking that should not be tolerated. God is not about "religion", customs, doctrines or anything else that "WE" have perverted Him into being. God is about relationship. He did ALL the work. He made ALL the sacrifices. We are saved, not by what we do or don't do. We are saved by GRACE, and GRACE alone. It is a gift. God loves us so much, that he chose to come here and die for us, rather than spending an eternity in heaven without us...

Not that you asked for any suggestions, but I am going to give you one anyway. Speak with people that you trust and respect about your beliefs, or lack there of. Educate yourself. Learn about some/all of the practicing "religions". If you don't feel like doing those things, simply throw a question to the heavens... "God, if you are real, let me know it" Have an open heart and an open mind. If you ask... He will answer. He ALWAYS does... God Bless You!

Anonymous said...

God is bull. all he does is punish people and mess with their life

Anonymous said...

God gave us free will that's why we have the trouble ,,,,, God saved me from myself , many times. Go outside, find somewhere quiet in nature ,,,,,sit down and be quiet; listen, pray, wait for the answers to come. I get very close to God in nature,,,,,,,,,, then see how u feel. Try it ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Anonymous said...

god is a loving God1 It's either our own choices or satan and his lies that mess up our lives.God gave us a free will,but He loves you!!

Anonymous said...

God is the jar

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, thoughtful, inspiring, and true .... One life, live, love, laugh xxxx <3

Anonymous said...

What an inspiring message . We ought to value life and take nothing for granted . Yes our faith sometimes waiver when things happen but we have to stand firm on Gods promise. What does any religion teach us ? To be and do good . If that's what we get up with in the morning and do we will make this world a better place . Unfortuneatly Satan have his angels too and even tempted Jesus . So its up to us to say Today we will defeat Satan and give God the glory. Let's fill our jars with rocks 1st nd know the Father the biggest rock in jar

Anonymous said...

Exactly!

Anonymous said...

yes... Very logic. GOD is the Jar that holds & assembled them in one whole ....Jar.

Anonymous said...

What a awesome and inspring message. Flip side - that teacher told those children something SO-SO important and LIFE is really about, but yet he more then likely makes $25-30K a year while some goofball on wallstreet ripping various poeple's life apart by trading stocks and sucking them dry makes millions.

It should be a teacher making double or even triple his annual salary of 25-30K.

Anonymous said...

Very touching!! I have failed GOD in so many ways and so many times, yet he has always been right there for me with open arms, so many things have happened in my LIFE and problems that I can't handle and GOD is right there waiting for me to turn it over to him and so many times I've said GOD I can't handle this please take it and and take care of it, but yet I've went right back and picked it right back up and tried to take care of it knowing there's nothing I can do about it except make it harder on myself and others. I LOVE my family more than I could ever begin to say, but I know I can't make them do good or serve the LORD all I can do is PRAY and THANK GOD for his LOVE and TRUST that GOD will take care of them and give me the strength and GRACE I need to get thru it, and help me to be for him what he would have me to be, and do for him what he would have me to do for his names sake!!! That's my prayer, and I THANK you GOD for this message, for it's just what I needed...

Anonymous said...

How come this beautiful little storey was hijacked by religious people. Dont try and change what that teacher did into all of you finding an excuse to preach or convert people. Maybe you could be humble and just accept it for what it is.Im not trying to be rude or insulting. Its just that jumping in and pushing like that can be really off putting.

Anonymous said...

I had a sunday school teacher right through my childhood. She had tought many children before me and many after me. A true christian woman that had bought many people to god. As this true deciple of god became elderly and needed care she became very ill and needed limbs removed and multiple hidious surgeries then with dementia and unable to do a thing for herself died slowly and miserably. I have battled for years with this.WHY

Anonymous said...

Cuz she was so special to you...God took my daughter before she was three. SHE was born with a part of her brain missing and when God took her it was very hard why me..Someone once told me that God takes the special one's first ..makes since..

Anonymous said...

Yet there was still room for water. Which means "into your life some rain will fall"!!!!

Steve s said...

yes, but remember, they were in a school environment. just saying

Anonymous said...

Love it

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story! Why clutter the simplicity by over analyzing.!?!

Anonymous said...

Jesus christ! The jar is 'you' not bloody god! Why do bible bashers have a way of turning everything around to 'must be about god' can't things just be a good moral story ffs.......

Anonymous said...

I think this is so true. And as for anonymous I encourage my daughter to pray at school if she feels she needs to before class, before a test, blessing at lunch, the bus ride to and from school. I love God n just because some woman wanted him out of her childs school doesn't mean everyone did. This us a true lesaon for all to learn. God is and will be everywhere. I for one want Him in my life n everywhere me n my family are. She also gathers at the flag to pray

Anonymous said...

No matter how full the jar with rocks, pebbles or sand, no matter which ones goes in first - There will always be room for BEER.

Anonymous said...

Thats kinda mean some people believe in God so don't judge by other people's believes or religions

Anonymous said...

The rock is the base and God is the rock - end of story. True message!!

Anonymous said...

Amen

Anonymous said...

AMEN! SO TRUE BUT ALL HAS DIFFERENT BASE'S TO THE STORY BUT GOD IS MY FIRST BREATH

Anonymous said...

Lovely teacher ASSALAMUAIKUM pls have any relax time to give for ur obedient. Student,BOTTOM my heart that was better teach for me.i believe that i m quick learner don't worry but confirm u anything also i always try i couldn't do any which can be effect urge image.

Anonymous said...


God is first in my life too but that's why i see God as the jar which contains all life

Anonymous said...

I believe God is the rock. And if you realize that then you'll realize what life is all about. If we choose to follow and fill the jar that's your life. But maybe I choose to not have little rocks. A soulmate and my dogs make me happy; that's OK too!