Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand

Inspired from a story that makes people wonder…

At the beginning of a philosophy class, a professor stood with a few items at the table. There was an empty mayonnaise jar, some rocks, some pebbles and some sand. Everyone was curious to understand what was the point of all these items.

Without giving any explanation, the professor started filling the jar with the rocks that were at the table. Once the rocks were filled till the brim of the jar, he looked at his students and asked, “Is the jar full?”. All the students gave a unanimous answer, “Yes!”.

Without saying anything else, the professor picked up the pebbles and started putting the pebbles in the jar. The pebbles rolled over and found place for themselves between the large rocks. The professor picked up the jar and shook it lightly, and there was more space for some more pebbles. He put them in and again asked the class ,” Is the jar full?” All the students agreed and said “Yes.”

Now, catching on the students became aware what was coming next but could not understand where the professor was going with it. The professor picked up the sand and poured it into the jar. The sand, as expected, filled up the gaps present in the jar. The professor asked the students for the last time, “Is the jar full?” and students agreed again.

The professor then explained that the mayonnaise jar was an analogy for life.

Empowering Buzz takes a diversion in the story from this point onwards. Let’s assume the jar is your mind controlling how your life unfolds. Let the rocks be the beliefs you have been induced with. Let the pebbles be the impactful experiences you have faced(negative) and let the sand be the life changing experiences faced(positive).

The story tells us how everyone comes into the world like the empty jar – a fresh, blank slate that is just open to anything that comes his/her way. With time,  gets filled with rocks that are the beliefs, ideas and philosophies taken from someone else which become the strong foundation of how one is to the world and how one feels internally. The small pebbles are the experiences that have scarred one leaving them with hurts that molds the mind around the rock of beliefs. The sand represents the happy memories each one experiences when living fully and enjoying life; the sand wraps itself around all the rocks and pebbles. There is always more space for the sand, BUT WHAT DO YOU CHOOSE TO FILL THE JAR WITH?

What do you will your jar with? Rocks of beliefs and ideas that do not truly belong to you OR with pebbles by focusing only on all that is wrong OR are you choosing the sand which takes less space and allows more and more into your life?

Are there times when you feel that you have too much in your mind and there is nothing more that you can take..in the form of emotions, scars, love, satisfaction, success, knowledge? When you feel this way, you start experiencing stagnancy in your life and feel your wandering aimlessly in life or looking for a new purpose.

Your jar can never be full. You can always choose to fill with it more and see what result it creates. Every day spend some time filling your jar with some sand by doing something that internally drives you and makes you happy. Make sure you do something which allows you to create a feeling of satisfaction before the day ends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *