The Story of the Professor and the Jar.
The story of the professor and the jar is a short story that has many messages about life and a few other hidden metaphors, the story goes something like this;
The professor stood before the class he was teaching, when the class became silent he reached down and picked up a very large empty glass jar.
He then proceeded to fill the glass jar up to the top with golf balls, after doing this he asked the class if the jar was full, the class agreed it was.
The professor then picked up a box of small pebbles and poured them into the jar which he shook gently. The small pebbles worked their way into the spaces between the golf balls, after doing this he asked the class again if the jar was full, the class agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar as he shook it gently, the sand worked its way in to the space between the small pebbles, again the professor asked the class if the jar was full, and again the class agreed that this time it definitely was.
The professor then took his cup of coffee and poured the whole cup into the jar, the students laughed, and when the students stopped laughing the professor started to talk.
He said “this jar represents your life”
These golf balls represent the most important things in your life; your family, your children and your health, because if you lose everything else, if these remain, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and other material things.
The sand represents the non important stuff, the stuff that fills your day and what makes most people stressed.
If you put the sand into the jar first, then there may be not enough room for all of the pebbles and there’s no way that the golf balls will fit into the jar.
Remember the jar represents your life so my message to you all is;
“Don’t spend all of your time on the small stuff, as if you do, you will never have room in your life for the things that really are important”.
“So take care of the golf balls, said the professor, “and never forget the people and the things that really matter”.
Then one of the students at the back of the class raised his hand and asked “what about the coffee”.
The professor expecting the question smiled. “I’m glad you asked he said”.
“No matter how full your life may be” said the professor, “There’s always room for a cup of coffee with friends”.
Here’s a link to an old you tube video where Stephen Covey gives his version of the story of the professor and the jar.