The Philosophy of Life

The philosophy professor had a few things lying in front of him on the desk. When class began, he took a big empty jar and filled it to the brim with stones. He asked the students whether or not the glass was full; they assented.

Then, the professor took a box of pebbles and emptied it over the jar. The pebbles, of course, filled the space between the stones. He asked the students again whether or not the glass was full. Some of them laughed, but all of them said yes.

Now, the professor took a box of sand and poured it over the jar. Naturally, the sand filled the remaining space between the pebbles.

"Well", the professor said, "I want you to perceive that this glass is like your life!
    The stones are the important things in your life: your family, your partner, your children, your health - things which, if your life would be deprived of everything else, would still make your life complete and fulfilled.
    The pebbles are less important things, such as your work, your house, or your car.
    The sand are all the little details in life. If you would fill the sand first into the glass, then there would be no room left for the important things. It is the same in life: if you spend your energy first on the minor things, then you won't have any left for the important things.
    So, first pay attention to the important stones in your life, they are the only things that really count. There will always be time left for work, household, and parties."

After class, one of the students took the glass, filled with stones, pebbles, and sand, and poured a mug of beer into it. Now it was really full.

And the morale is: no matter how filled your life is, there is always room for a beer.

This was sent to me by my friend Harald Holz, I just tried to translate it to English. (The German version of the text actually looked like it was translated from English, but I couldn't find it on the net.)

Gabriel Zachmann
Last modified: Wed Aug 16 18:09:55 MDT 2006