Tuesday, August 31, 2010


is your life full
is it over full
are you spread too thin
can you possibly put anything else on your to do list

it is all about priorities
demonstrated in this story
received via e-mail
filed under 'e-mail worth saving'

you've probably read it before
take a minute
stop and think about it

The Mayonnaise Jar

A professor stood before his Philosophy class and had some items in front of him. He picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

He picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. The sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “yes”.

The professor then produced 2 cups of coffee from under the table and poured the contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now”, said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "This jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – your God, family, children, health, friends and your favourite passions – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house and your car. The sand is everything else – the small stuff".

“If you put the sand in the jar first,” he continued “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy over the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical check-ups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a cup of coffee with a friend.”

now how about that cup of coffee, friend?


The Calico Cat said...

coffee sounds nice...

Here is my mayonnaise jar story.

I am so forgetful that I stand in front of the open refrigerator door with a jar of mayonnaise in my hand - wondering... Am I supposed to put it away or do I still need to use it?

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I'll be there soon... I'll bring some goodies to go with the coffee!!!!!! ha

Great post. I had read that story before--but it's good to read it over and over... We do need to set our priorities in this busy life...

AND--as I say in tomorrow's blog, be sure and take time to 'smell the roses'...