I recently read a beautiful, wisdom-packed book titled The Mindful Kind by podcaster Rachael Kable.
In the book, the author narrates a story about a glass jar. On reading the story, something clicked and I decided to share the story on my blog.
A teacher once brings an empty glass jar to his class. First, he fills it up with big rocks until it is full. He then fills the jar with smaller rocks and mixes them well to combine the big and small rocks. Then he empties a bag of sand and pours it into the jar filled with rocks. Finally, he pours a glass of water into the jar and proceeds to mix all the contents together.
He then asks the class, “If this jar represents your life, what do you think it means?” He listens to different interpretations from the students. Afterwards, he goes on to share another perspective. The large rocks represent all the big things in your life. Your family, your purpose and dreams, your health and wellbeing. The smaller stones are some of the other areas of your life which help to give it meaning. Your work, friendships, money, home and hobbies. The sand and water are like everything else which fill up the rest of your time, such as vacuuming the floor, watching television, going shopping and running errands. But what would happen inside the jar if we started with sand and water?’ The water and sand (the less meaningful activities in life) would fill the jar and wouldn’t allow room for anything else.
This story got me thinking deeply about what my jar of life forms. Do I ensure there is room for the rocks and then fill it up with sand and water? Or is my jar full of sand and water, leaving little to no room for rocks?
This exercise is necessary to understand what are our priorities. It brings in a lot more intention to the life we are leading. As the author of the book states, we need to be conscious about how we fill up our jars, such that our day is spent on meaningful activities.
Of course, this is not to say that we should stay away from ‘sand and water’ activities. They are important too. But what matters is how we prioritise the ‘rocks’ in our life. That is to say, our family, friends, health and wellness, finances, career, and recreation all constitute the most essential areas in our lives.
If you do not decide on your priorities, you will find that you do not ever find time for what matters to you.
In the end, it is all about balance. We need everything in the right proportions to lead a fulfilling and intentional life. Priorities can differ from person to person and that’s absolutely fine. To each, his own.
A question for you:
What does your jar of life look like?
Think. Ponder. Reflect.
Until next time, stay blessed and stay safe.