Countless times, we spend all of our energy on small things and material possessions, I do not say that it is bad, but what about the things that really matter, like the important stuff, our family, health, friends or helping someone going through a rough spell?
Often times, we tend to overlook them and take these things for granted.
Shouldn’t we be active? Have an evening with our friends? Spend time with our family? Get some rest? Actually, we should because all of these things do matter. Your business or learning is always important of course, but how could you live a fulfilled life if you put aside what really matter?
This ensuing story is a tale that some of you may have heard before but I believe it contains a real essential message concerning the facts on how to set the main priorities in your life.
The Jar Story.
“One day, a university teacher stood on front of his students with some objects on his table. To begin the lesson, he silently took a large empty glass jar and started to fill it with stones about 2 inches in width. He then interrogated his students and asked: “Is the jar full?”
They answered: “It is full.”
So the teacher picked up a little container with small rocks and dispensed them into the glass jar. He then shook the jar amusingly and observed the pebbles roll into the open parts between the stones. He then enquired his students a second time: “Is the jar full this time?”
The students giggled and approved: “Yes, it is definitely full this time.”
The professor now took a bag of sand and emptied it slowly into the glass jar. The sand slid in the remaining cracks and filled the jar.
“Now,” said the teacher, “I want you to understand that this glass jar suggests your life.
Things that Really Matter.
The teacher continued: "The stones represent the real important things, such as your family, relationships and health. If you lose everything and only the stones remained, your existence would still be significant. The small rocks embody other things that do matter in your life, like work, business or school. And the sand indicates the remaining small things and your material possessions.
If you place the sand into the glass jar initially, there would be no room left for the stones or the small rocks. In a similar way, this could be applied to your lives. If you spend all your energy and time on the small things, it would be impossible for you to have room for the stuff that does actually matter.
So take care of the things that really matter in life such as your happiness and well-being. Take time for your family, spend some time with your friends, go for a run, etc. Time will always be there to go to work or acquire material possessions. Put the “stones” in first, the things that really matter. Take care of your priorities. What remains is just small rocks and sand.”
Take the Time and Enjoy Life.
Today, you might constantly strive for success, but do not forget to strive also for a well-balanced life. In work, business or study, there shouldn’t be room for mediocrity, but take time for activities, your health and your social life because your life outside work, business or study is not a thing you should neglect.
In the long run, you will not remember all the things you believe are important today. The likelihood of you remembering small things will probably be very low. But the ethics and skills you develop along the way, the care for your loved ones and about yourself will always remain.
Remember, your work, business or studies aren't the things that really do matter. Nor are they the only things that make you the person you are or want to be.
Finally, keep in mind, that this is no reason for you to slack off and get behind. It is your responsibility to do your best in your work, business or studies. Approach life in a more holistic way, this means, you recognize that there is much more to life than just having a job, business or grades, but at the same time, keep on working and studying.
Just try and do your best, and give yourself some credit. You deserve to live a life you don’t need a vacation from. Take care of the important things because in the end they are the stuff that really matter.
Sergei VanBellinghen, Founder & CEO of First-Class Lifestyle and sergeivanbellinghen.com, Success & Self-Improvement Coach, Freedom entrepreneur & business partner of Stuart Ross, also counselor in East Europe-West relationships, a passionate Globetrotter and an avid audio booker