Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Mayonnaise Jar

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

A professor stood before his philosophy class
andhad some items in front of him. When the class
began, wordlessly, he 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 a unanimous
The professor then produced two bottles of beer
from under the table and poured the entire
contents into the jar, effectively filling the
empty space between the sand. The students
"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 God, family, your
children, your health, your friends, and your
favorite 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, 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. Play
with your children. Take time to get medical
checkups. 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 beer 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 couple of beers with a friend."

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