Living a “full life” and deciding what’s most important in yours (a motivational story)

Posted on April 7th, 2013 by BreAnn

Nǐ hǎo!  Greetings from Hong Kong!

Sorry… you may be confused as to our whereabouts (if you haven’t been “stalking” our RTW map, haha!!) The last blog post was from Japan, and I still have a couple more Japan posts I’m currently working on . . . I’m just a little behind in my writing and wanted to say hello and share a little inspirational story with you.

Before that, though, here’s an update to just let you know we arrived in Hong Kong on Friday, 4/5, and will be here probably through Thursday, 4/11 or so… then onward to China!  I’ve been diligently updating our RTW map with our current location, our upcoming routes, and possible upcoming cities. In addition, for the PAST cities we’ve been to, I’ve actually added photo thumbnails and links to our Flickr photos as well… so if you click on any of the BLUE little markers on that map, a box will pop up with a photo, dates, and a flickr link for that city!! (In case you need the larger version of our RTW map, click here.) Also, be sure to check out our fun YouTube videos— see us “in action” and talking to the camera about our adventures, and showing you views of different cities we’ve visited.

Anyway…. on to the inspirational story.

***NOTE*** I didn’t write this, I’m simply re-posting, as I thought it was a good read! 🙂

Some of you may have heard this story already, as it was floating around facebook the past year or so, but even if you have read it, please read again!  It’s a very cool way to look at life and setting priorities. Do you feel like your life is constantly BUSY and STRESSFUL and you never seem to have time for everything??  Read below and really think about what’s most important in your life, and where your main priorities should lie.

I personally try to live my life this way as much as possible, and I hope you do too 🙂


“A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.The students laughed..

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—-your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—-and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else—-the small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.

Take care of the golf balls first—-the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.”


Something to think (deeply) about.

Stop stressing. Stop working so hard. Stop putting off that extra time spent with family. Use those vacation days, even if it’s just to relax at home!


As for me, my “golf balls” would definitely be family and friends, James, my dog, my health, working out/exercise, and travel.  In “travel mode” at this time in life, though, I guess I could also include our personal safety, and stress the HEALTH aspect!  As for “pebbles”, I actually don’t really have any at the moment!—- no (full time) job, no car, no house (which is WEIRD to say!!!) and the sand would be all the time I “waste” on the internet, and time spent worrying about the future and things I can’t control.

What are the golf balls in YOUR life?  I would love to hear from each of you about what yours are, so please take a moment to comment if you’d like!


3 responses to “Living a “full life” and deciding what’s most important in yours (a motivational story)”

  1. Julie says:

    Hi Bre,
    I haven’t seen this one. I like it! It definitely reminds me I need to re-prioritize a few things.

  2. Deb says:

    Our dear BABY BOY DAINE is our GOLF BALL! Loving being a Mommy and treasuring every day with our little miracle! Thanks for posting this story Bre. So moving and true. We all need remiders like this…and often!
    Be well. Be safe.

  3. Ann says:

    I’ve seen this before and absolutely love this analogy, thanks for re-posting it! 😀 xoxo

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