A teacher stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, without saying anything he picked up a very large and empty jar and proceeded to fill it with some table tennis balls balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up some sweets and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The sweets rolled into the open areas between the balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The teacher next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

He then produced two bottles of juice from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed..

‘Now,’ said the teacher as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The table tennis balls are the important things—-your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favourite passions—-and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The sweets are the other things that matter like your job, your house and 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 sweets or the table tennis balls. The same goes for 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.

Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your partner out to dinner. Watch another world cup match on the telly. There will always be time to clean the house and cut the grass.

Take care of the table tennis balls first—-the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the juice represented. The teacher smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The juice just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of drinks with a friend.

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