“A teacher stood in front of his philosophy class and without saying a word, took a big glass bottle and filled it up with golf balls. Afterwards he ask the students if they thought the bottle was full, to which they said yes. The teacher took a box full of beads and emptied in the bottle. The beads filled up the spaces between the golf balls. The teacher asked again his students if the bottle was full, and they said yes again.
After he had done this, he took another box, this time full of sand, and again, he poured it inside the bottle. The sand filled up the remaining spaces between the golf balls and the beads. He asked again to his students if they thought the bottle was full, and they answered ‘YES’. At the end, he took to cups of coffee and emptied them inside the bottle while the students started laughing.
When the laugh stopped, the teacher said:
‘I want you to take a close look to the bottle. It represents life. The golf balls are the important things in life such as your family, kids, health, friends, love, things that you are passionate about. They are things that, even if you lost the rest and you only had them, your life would still be full. The beads represent the rest of things in life that are important like work, the house, the car…and the sand is the little things’
‘If we filled up the bottle with the sand first, there would be no place left for the beads nor for the golf balls. The same thing happens in life. If we spent all our time and energy in little things, we would never have place for the real important things. Pay attention to the things that are more important for your happiness. Go out to dinner with your couple, play with your kids, give yourself time to go to the doctor, do some sport, enjoy your hobbies…’
‘There will always be time to clean the house, to repair the water tub. Take care of the golf balls first, take care of the real important things. Make yourself a list of priorities, because the rest is just sand’
One of the students raised up his hand and asked what did the coffee represent. The teacher smiled and said:
‘Im very happy that you ask me that! The coffee is just to show you that even when you think your life is completely full, there is always space to take 2 cups of coffee with a friend’. “
Thanks to my friend Pippa on http://somewherealongthisline.wordpress.com/ I read this story and it really struck a chord with me.
My golf balls are my family and The Boy Wonder as well as reading. I know reading might sound a bit of a funny thing to be so important but if I don’t have anything to read, I feel at a complete loss. Without books, I would not know how to function. Reading not only entertains me but it informs me and gives me a purpose.
I’d say the beads are my writing. I don’t write every day but I know I can pick it up where I left off and still feel happy when I do.
This story illustrates perfectly how you can get hung up on the big things and not realise that a lot goes into having a fully rounded life. And a cup of coffee with friends is an absolute godsend. It can solve a lot of life’s ills and even if it’s not a cure, it’s guaranteed to make you smile. So even if you don’t feel like it, it’s worth pushing yourself to meet your friend even if just for a quick cuppa – it’s good for you.