A Mayonnaise Jar & Two Beers

Have you ever had a message delivered to you at just the right time in your life?  Well, a while ago, I was really struggling with balancing work,  my fitness, and my family.  And this story, sent to me by a very dear friend dealing with much more serious issues than those with which I was dealing, was just what I needed to remind me to keep things in perspective.

I still take a peak at it now and again to once again get grounded.

A Mayonnaise Jar & Two Beers

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle and when 24 hours in a day are not enough, just remember the mayonnaise jar and the two beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had a few items laying in front of him.

When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it to the brim with 7-8 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 these 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 bag filled with 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 beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the balls, pebbles and 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—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 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 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 beer represented.

The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked.”

The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers with a friend.”

 

Have you ever have a message delivered to you at just the right time in your life?  Well, I’ve been struggling with balancing work,  my fitness, and my family.  And this story, sent to me by a very dear friend dealing with much more serious issues than those with which I am dealing with, is just what I needed to remind me to keep things in perspective.

A Mayonnaise Jar & Two Beers

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle and when 24 hours in a day are not enough, just remember the mayonnaise jar and the two beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had a few items laying in front of him.

When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it to the brim with 7-8 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 these 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 bag filled with 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 beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the balls, pebbles and 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—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 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 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 beer represented.

The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked.”

The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers with a friend.”

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About bbluford
I am an executive finance professional with a love for process and application development (MS Access, Excel, Quickbooks), mostly as it relates to Accounting and Business Functions. I also love to write and share ideas with other people in this world. I'm an admitted Gym Rat who works out excessively. The best summation of me is that I love to teach and to learn.

One Response to A Mayonnaise Jar & Two Beers

  1. Jimmy says:

    I like this story a lot. In fact, everytime I’m at a crossroad in life where I’ve to take on something new, or if I begin to get worked up about sometime, I ask myself, “is this a golf ball? or beer?”

    -Jimmy

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