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Published:November 26th, 2008 15:28 EST

Here's a Special Jar for Your Thanksgiving Dinner Table

By Joel G. Block (Mentor/Columnist)

At this time of the year we are especially appreciative of what we have, such as our families, our friends, our health and other worldly objects. Of course, we should be thankful all year long but the holiday season does a good job of reminding us to pay attention to what is important.

This is not a time for me to provide another critical business or entrepreneurial success story or lesson. Instead, I`d like to share a little story that has been around for a long time " although I don`t know its origin. I like it a lot and hope that you too will find meaning in it.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he 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. So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, 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 picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous yes. The professor then produced a large bottle of water from under the table and proceeded to pour 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 partner, your health, your children, your friends, your favorite passions " things that 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, 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 your 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. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out dancing. Play another 18. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first " the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

All of the members of the Growth-Logic team wish you and your family the warmest and happiest of holidays this season. Make sure that you take time to notice those around you and let them know how much you appreciate them. And let me be first to reach out by acknowledging the great work of my teammates: Matt, Mark, Andy, Gina, Diane, John, Peter, Alan, Judy and the rest of the crew! The contribution of each of these talented and devoted people makes it possible for us to bring you the best that entrepreneurship has to offer.

I thank them for their tireless devotion to the cause of Successful Entrepreneurship. And I thank you, our readers, for your efforts in working toward the goals of self improvement with us. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a special holiday season.

About Joel G. Block, President of Growth-Logic, Inc.
Often dubbed a "Growth Architect" by his clients, Joel Block advises companies on explosive growth strategies by driving revenue and sales. Well known in the capital markets, Joel is a successful entrepreneur, speaker, advisor and faculty member of the iLearningGlobal community. To bring Joel into your company, please visit or Also, be sure to check out our newest project: a blog to organize the blogs that cover entrepreneurship - And finally, for film makers: - our newest project.