A Valuable Lesson for a Happier Life

EQ Durban, EQ South Africa
Written by: Avril Kidd
Category: Life Skills
This article is dedicated this to a friend who so sadly succumbed to Covid in January 2021 and will forever hold a place in our hearts.

To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. [Dr Seuss]

I am dedicating this post to a friend who so sadly succumbed to Covid in January 2021. Keith Bentley was a legend, an amazing father, husband, friend, and icon in the hospitality industry. The world will be a less vibrant place without you. RIP Keith, you will forever hold a place in our hearts.

I know that I am not alone in having lost a loved one during these difficult times and, as much as we wanted to start off on a positive note this year and in this newsletter, we are all hurting in some way: emotionally, financially, or possibly in some other way. So I wish you strength, healing and courage to face whatever this year has in store for us.

 There is an amazing video called A valuable lesson for a happier life, which I encourage you to watch or re-watch (if you’ve already seen it), and I want to focus this article on that lesson.


As the Professor fills a jar, which represents your life, with stones, pebbles, sand and even beer, he explains some basic fundamentals. He says the stones which he places in the jar first represent the important things in your life: your family, friends, health and passion. Next, he puts the pebbles in the jar and these represent the other important aspects like: your work, home, car, etc. Then he adds sand, and this is everything else – just the small stuff.

 By putting the golf balls in first, followed by the pebbles, he is able to fit everything in as the sand fills up the spaces between those. However, if you put the sand in the jar first, then you won’t have time for all the important things in life as the jar will be too full and there won’t be space for the golf balls and pebbles. So pay attention to the golf balls first, the really important things, and always make time in your life for the important people and your health and passion. Then pay attention to your job, home, etc, and don’t waste time on the small stuff.

 When asked what the beer was for, which he poured into the jar on top of everything else – he says, “… and always make time for a beer with a friend”.

 This video has been circulated on Facebook and social media for many years and yet its message remains as powerful as ever. Learn to prioritize the important aspects of your life, don’t get caught up or waste time on the smaller, less meaningful things. One of the things we never get back is time, so use it wisely.


There are 2 other thoughts that I want to leave you with…

Thought 1

The greatest gift that you can give to another human being is to be truly present when you are in their company – so put away the cell phones when you are having coffee or that beer with a friend or family member, and be truly present. Just enjoy their company and the moment.

Thought 2

There is a famous quote from Carl W Buechner that says “People may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” I challenge you to make someone feel special today. If everyone can focus more on those golf balls and also reach out to others who maybe lonely, overwhelmed, or facing their own unique struggles, and just let them know that you care, we will have a better chance of making it to the end of these challenging times, happier and mentally healthier.