How to not get caught off guard when you are asked the “simple” questions


Pam Drzewiecki


I have always been a big thinker. Paying more attention to the full picture than the small details. What needs to get done for the project to be finished and not so much about hitting every detail in the process. Interesting though, when it comes to party planning, I am all about the small details….but this is more about as the title suggests, the “simple” questions.

Have you ever paid attention to what you think about or do you let the thoughts race in your head? Well – I wasn’t paying attention and my daughter helped me recognize where I needed to have a mindset shift.

On this one particular day, I found myself experiencing normal business experiences filled with coaching sessions, phone calls, marketing, community involvement, etc. Normal is also exciting to me. I love my life! This is how the concept of this blog came alive.

What do you think about and why?

So, that night I went to my daughter, Raygan’s room to say good night as I always do. Sometimes it is a quick good night, kiss and sweet dreams followed by prayers but sometimes she asks me to stay. This was one of those nights, she asked me to come and lay down with her and hangout for a while. I am always thrilled to be invited into this sacred space with her.

We laid there for a while not saying anything but laying in silence. The silence was then broken when she started asking me some questions, like what my favorite color was, my favorite song and what place I always wanted to travel to. I am sad to say, I couldn’t answer her questions. I spend most of my time thinking about the big things…my faith, my family and my business.

As I mentioned, I am a big thinker and I never made room for the small details. I always focused on either surviving the circumstances or just getting things done because that is what was expected. Either way, that mindset made me lose a significant amount of experience of the small things.

I was sad by the fact that I couldn’t answer these questions, especially as a personal coach that helps women develop their roadmaps to living a purposeful life. I didn’t even know where to start. HMMM.. The “teacher” is still learning.

My mindset shift story

The next day I woke up with this still on my mind, and it reminded me of this parable about the Pot of Jam – (The Important Things in Life) Translated from a French story – anonymous

It goes like this:

There once was a professor of philosophy, who in front of his Class, took a large empty pot of jam and without saying a word, began to fill it with golf balls.

Then he asked his students if the jar was full. The Students replied: YES.

The professor then took a box full of marbles and poured the marbles into the pot of jam. The marbles filled the gaps in between the Golf balls. The Professor asked the students again if the jar was full. Again, they replied: YES .

At that point, the professor took a bag of sand and poured it into the pot of jam. Of course, the sand filled all the remaining gaps and the professor asked again if the jar was full. The Students unanimously answered: YES.

The professor then added two cups of coffee to the contents of the jar thus filling the small gaps between the grains of sand. The students started laughing. After they stopped, the professor said: “I want you to realize that the pot of jam represents Life.

The golf balls are the very important things in Life such as family, children, health, everything you are passionate about. Our lives would still be full even

if we’d lost everything else and these were the only things that remained.

The marbles are the other things that count in our lives such as work, house, car, etc …

The sand represents everything else, all the small things in life.

If we had first poured sand into the pot of jam, there wouldn’t have been any room left for anything else such as the marbles or the golf balls.

It’s the same thing in Life. If we put all our energy and all our time into the small things, we will never have any time/space left for the things that really matter.

Pay attention to the things that are really important to your happiness. Play with your children, take time to go to the doctor, have dinner with your spouse/partner, exercise or take time to enjoy your favorite pass-times.

There will always be time to do the cleaning and fix the taps on the kitchen sink …

Take care of the golf balls first, of the things that really matter. Choose your priorities, the rest is just sand.”

One of the students then raised a hand and asked what the coffee meant.

The professor smiled and said: “It’s good that you ask. I only added coffee to show that although your lives may seem full and busy, there is always room for a cup of coffee with a friend. Good day to all …”

I’ll ask again: What do you think about and why?

I invite you to think about the following:

  • What are your golf balls?
  • What are your marbles?
  • What is your sand?

How would you fill your jar? Would you leave room for the coffee grinds to have coffee with a friend?

The way I see it, my golf balls are my faith, my family and my business.

My marbles are my self-care.

My sand will be understanding what is my favorite song, favorite color, and favorite place to travel.

Filling in the gaps and creating a full life. 

Being aware of these things helps us to create a life that we truly love. Giving ourselves permission to live it with purpose and not driven by circumstances. The awareness is the clarity! 

If you would like to think deeper into what this looks like for you and understand the big and small pictures in your life that are truly important, then let’s have a conversation. Here is a link to my calendar so we can schedule that conversation. In the meantime, download your Roadmap to Sanity to start outlining the feelings and thoughts that speak to you and will fill the jar. 

You have one life.

Live it to the fullest.

Live it for your purpose.

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