Friday, November 2, 2007
When new students arrive at a dojo it is customary for the Instructor to give them one of his pep talks on the meaning of life in general. One of these talks went as follows:
The new students sat on the mat eagerly awaiting the arrival of their Instructor. The Instructor walked in and wordlessly picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks about 2 inches in diameter. He then asked the new students if the jar was full?
They agreed that it was.
The Instructor 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 new students again if the jar was full.
They agreed it was.
The new students laughed. The Instructor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course the sand filled up everything else. “Now” said the Instructor, “I want you to recognise 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 in 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. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the leaking taps. Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities."
"The rest is just sand.”