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June 11, 2021

Is The Jar Full?

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I wanted to share a story and metaphor with you that I think illustrates a really thought-provoking point.

There once was a philosophy professor who was giving a lecture. In front of him, he had a big glass jar, a pile of rocks, a bag of small pebbles, and a tub of sand. He started off by filling up the jar with the big rocks and when they reached the rim of the jar he held it up to the students and asked them if the jar was full. They all agreed, there was no more room to put the rocks in, it was full.

“Is it full?” he asked.

He then picked up the bag of small pebbles and poured these in jar. He shook the jar so that the pebbles filled the space around the big rocks. “Is the jar full now?” he asked. The group of students all looked at each other and agreed that the jar was now completely full.

“Is it really full?” he asked.

The professor then picked up the tub of sand. He poured the sand in between the pebbles and the rocks and once again he held up the jar to his class, showing how it was even more full than before.

The lesson of the story is to relate this idea back to the fullness of your own life. When it comes to the way you spend your time, prioritize the big things first and let the other smaller things fill in the gaps. If you do the opposite you’ll neglect some things that are really important because you won’t have the room to incorporate them. You can do this by being more intentional about designing your priorities into your life - schedule times to speak with family, schedule your exercise, allocate the time you need for self-care, because when you have the major pillars of your life accounted for you’ll be able to show up more completely for everything else.

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