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 class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty Mayo jar and started to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full and they agreed it was.
He then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar, shaking it gently. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked again if it was full, and the students said it was.
He then took 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 and got a unanimous “Yes”.
The professor then took 2 cups of coffee from under the table and poured it all into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between. The students laughed!
“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you recognize that the 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 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.”
“So pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children (and grandchildren!!), take time for medical check-ups, take your partner out to dinner. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping faucet. Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter. The rest is just sand.”
One of the students raided her hand and asked what the coffee represented.
The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked that. 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!”