The Mayo Jar

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a
day are not enough, remember the story of the mayonnaise jar and the two beers.

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

The professor then 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.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of
course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar
was full. The students responded with an unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two beers from under the table and poured the
entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the
sand. The students laughed.

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize
that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important
things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your
favorite passions---and 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, your house and your car. The sand is everything else---the
small stuff.

'If you put the sand into 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 on 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. Spend time with your children. Spend time
with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical
checkups. Take your spouse 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

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.
The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.' The beer just shows you
that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple
of beers with a friend.'

1 comment :

  1. I have heard this one before, but it's still a powerful message. I hope you are having a great start to 2010.