Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee

The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee

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 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. 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 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.