Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Mayonnaise Jar + 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 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 a 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

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