The Jars of Life

A friend of mine once told me that I have two jars in life and only so many marbles to divvy up each day.  One jar represents my dreams and the other represents everything else in life.  Each marble represents a piece of my time, money and effort while words, in this case, are worth nothing.  Keep in mind, that dreams, as I’ll refer to them here, can represent whatever it is in life that you seek.  The word “goals” would probably be best to describe this, but the word “dreams” sounds and feels so much better – almost magical.  Each day you have a set amount of marbles that will end up in one of your two jars before your head hits the pillow at night.  Going to work at your job counts as one marble and this one, for most of us, will probably go into the “Life” jar.  Even something as great and as fun as a family vacation or playing catch with your son, although a very good thing and extremely important in life, that marble still goes into the “Life” jar because it’s time and effort being spent on something other than your dreams/goals.

So I think we got the two jars thing figured out, now stay with me!

Dream with me, will you?

Think about your life for a moment and let’s look at that dream of yours.  Some of us may have to dust it off a bit because we’ve tucked it so deep into the far corners of our hearts and minds over the years and that’s okay!  Be honest with yourself and let your heart dream again for a moment.  That feeling you get by allowing yourself to imagine that you have it and your living your dream is a great one, isn’t it?  What a feeling!  Well, Buzz Killington, also known as reality, is what brings on the sting when you have to accept the fact that you’re not quite there yet.  Now I ask you, why?  Why are your dreams not your reality?  Why is that when you think about your goals in life you quickly have the urge to force them back into hiding?  Only you can answer that question, but I can certainly share with you why I haven’t achieved some of my goals and maybe you can take away something positive that can help you get there sooner than later.

Why did my friend tell me about the Jars of Life?  To me it’s obvious, I do a whole lot of talking about what it is I want to do in life, but my dream jar gets little to no marbles in it each day because I fail to actually put any of my time, money or effort towards achieving it.  Sure, it stung a little when he said it – okay, it stung quite a bit.  In fact, it knocked the wind out my sails.  Let’s face it, I didn’t even have my sails open!  I’ve gone to sleep countless nights with my dream jar completely empty.  I think it’s largely due to the fact that I’ve been giving my words, thoughts and ideas more value than I should.  Like I said earlier, words are worth nothing when it comes to the Jars of Life and rightfully so.  Words, thoughts and ideas are great, sure, but until my dream jar starts getting some marbles in it, they’ll remain just words, thoughts and ideas – nothing more.

I have recently begun to change that.  I’m not dumping a ton of marble into the jar every day, but a few hear and there adds up quickly!  I like being able to envision my Jars of Life at the end of each day and know that I was able to deposit at least one of my marbles into my dream jar that would have otherwise gone into my life jar.  I like it because it means I’ve actually put time, money or effort toward what it is I really want.  Have you ever heard of celebrating the small wins?  Marbles in your dream jar are definitely worth celebrating!  Although, you may want to avoid telling your friends that you got to put marbles into your dream jar unless they are familiar with what you’re talking about.

This blog and my writing this at this very moment will be worth one marble that I can place into my dream jar for today.  Woohoo!  I’ve made it a goal to put at least one marble into my dream jar every two days.  It’s a start and it’s really made chasing such a big dream so much simpler.  It’s funny how rearranging my thoughts and how I frame those thoughts can have such an impact in activating real action.

Fear is a liar.

Stay encouraged and please don’t be afraid to dream.  We all have the God-given ability to dream and dream big.  We’re not supposed to settle and buy the lies that fear sells us.  We’re meant to go after our dreams and goals until we’ve made them a reality and the challenges, mistakes and even backwards steps are all going to be the things we’re most thankful for once we’ve made it.  So what’s keeping you from putting a marble in your dream jar today?  Tomorrow?  This week?  Remember, you always have everything you need to take the first step.  Fear is the only thing that says otherwise.


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