The Magic of the Marbles

He was fifty-five years old, had a bowl full of marbles, and felt terrific. It was unknown territory for Bill, who for years had been unhappy with his life and didn't see any hope for a brighter future. Today he is a changed man. It doesn't matter what happens to him, Bill responds to it calmly and smiles. Nothing can get to him, and everything makes him feel good about his life and his future.

Back to the marbles...

On average, people live to be seventy-five years old. Some longer, some shorter, but the average person will reach this age. Realizing this, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, Bill did some simple calculations to figure out that the average person has 3,900 Saturdays in his or her lifetime.

Being fifty-five, Bill had 1,000 Saturdays left to live. He went to a small toy store in town, and bought every marble they had, 1,000 in all. Later that night, he placed all of the marbles in a large glass bowl that he placed in the living room.

As each Saturday passed, he would take one marble out of the bowl and throw it away. Bill watched as the bowl's contents shrank, and he realized that he didn't have forever to create a happier life. Each day he felt negatively about his life was one less day he had to be happy.

One day, his last Saturday will come. 

Bill never looked at his life this way. He never faced the fact head-on that life was short and there is a limited amount of time to make the most of it.

He looked at his current priorities and did some rearranging. At the top of the list he put spending time with his family and friends, appreciating what he had, and enjoying each moment he was alive.

Without changing his external world, Bill's life was completely different. He didn't earn more money, lose weight, or create new relationships. He simply took what he had and looked at it in a whole new light.

After making the marbles a part of his life, his new attitude enabled him to fix the areas in his life that were lacking. Before, he felt powerless to change anything, and only wished for things to improve without doing anything. Now he was taking positive actions to create a life that made him feel good.

We all know that we can't live forever, but thinking of it in these terms can really help to put things in perspective. It makes you realize how valuable each day is, and what a loss it would be to not enjoy each one.

Depending on your age, you have a certain number of marbles left in your jar. If you haven't created the life you have always dreamed of yet, at which point will you decide to make the change? How many marbles have to be thrown out before you enjoy your life?