Mayonnaise Jar of Life

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle,
when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise
jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

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 that 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, 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. Play
with your children! 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 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.”

Feel free to share this with those you care about. I JUST DID… Have a
wonderful life!

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