One of the best ways to create more happiness in your
life is to get more pleasure and enjoyment out of each day.
A fun way to do this is to remember the 1000 marbles story.
This was written by Jeff Davis many years ago and has
now been reprinted thousands of times.
Here’s how Jeff Davis’ 1000 Marbles story goes …
I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band
on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning
Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap,
with a tremendous signal and a golden voice.
He was telling whoever he was talking with something
about “a thousand marbles”.
I was intrigued and stopped to listen.
“Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job.
I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to
be away from home and your family so much. Hard to
believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or
seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad
you missed your daughter’s dance recital.”
He continued, “Let me tell you something that has helped
me keep a good perspective on my own priorities.”
And that’s when he began to explain his theory of
‘1000 marbles.’ “You see, I sat down one day and
did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about
seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some
live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.
Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900
which is the number of Saturdays that the average person
has in their entire lifetime. It took me until I was fifty-five
years old to think about all this in any detail”, he went on,
“and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight
hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be
seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left
So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble
they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to
round-up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put
them inside of a large, clear plastic container right
here in the shack next to my gear.
Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble
out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the
marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important
things in life. There is nothing like watching your time
here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.
This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container.
I figure if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given
a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little
It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time
with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the
band. This is K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!”
I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then
I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next
club newsletter. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife
up with a kiss. “C’mon honey, I’m taking you and the kids
“What brought this on?” she asked with a smile. “Oh,
nothing special, it’s just been a long time since we spent
a Saturday together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a
toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles.”
Work out the number of weekends you potentially have
left to enjoy. When you realise how limited this is, you
tend to value each day a lot more.
At Resilient Minds we help our clients grow their resilience
so they can perform at high levels on the really important
things in all aspects of their lives.
Increase your Resilience:
Our next open resilience development programme is on at the University of Auckland on November 26th and 27th.
Thought Leaders in Resilience, Productivity, and Wellbeing