Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Mayonnaise Jar

The Mayonnaise Jar

When things in your life seem 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 has some items in front of him.
When the class began, wordless, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and started to fill with golf balls.
He then asked the students if the jar was full and they agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured it 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 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 Family, children, health, friends, and favourite 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 sand into the jar first, “ he continued, “there is not room for the pebbles or the golf balls. .

The same goes for life.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups
Take your partner to dinner.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap.
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.


  1. I want my jar full of chocolate. :)

  2. Ain't it the truth! Sometimes i see my kids and gkids getting it a little mixed up at times. I hope they'll all figure out before it's too late the importance of the right things at the right time.