I know many, if not most, of you will have seen this in one version or another over the years, but I still think it worth seeing again so please bear with me.

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 as below.

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 began to fill it with golf balls to the top. 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 gently. The pebbles rolled into the open gaps between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They again agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a bag of sand and poured it into the jar. The sand, of course, filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “Yes”.

He then produced two cups of coffee from under the desk and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling all the empty spaces between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now”, said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognise that this jar resembles your life. The golf balls are the really important things in that life — your family, your children, your health and your favourite 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 — all 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 your grandparents. Take time to get medical check-ups. 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 their hand and enquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked.”

“The coffee just shows that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always time for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”


To your success


    1 Response to "Food For Thought – The Mayonnaise Jar"

    • Hector Diaz

      Love the post! Especially the title. It really is food for thought! A lot of times we lose focus on the most important things in life, because we are just to busy! Thank you for sharing!

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