The Mayonnaise Jar


When things in your life seem

Almost too much to handle,

When 24 Hours in a day is not enough,

Remember the mayonnaise jar

And 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class And had 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 an unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced

Two cups of coffee 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 – God, family, children, health, Friends, and 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, house, and 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 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 couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

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