Monday, July 18, 2011

The Mayonnaise Jar & Two Cans of Beer

A professor of philosophy at a major university stood before his new freshman class and, without saying a word, he picked up a large, empty mayonnaise jar and filled it with golf balls.  He set the jar down and asked the students in his class if the jar was full.  All the students agreed it was.

The professor then picked up a plastic container full of small pebbles and tipped it over the jar, shaking it lightly.  The pebbles all rolled down into the open spaces between the golf balls.  He then asked his class again if the jar was full. Unanimously, they all agreed it was.

Next the professor picked up a large canvas sack containing fine white beach sand which he poured over the jar.  The sand immediately filled up every void between the golf balls and the pebbles.  Once again, he asked his class if the jar was full.  Again all the students responded with a unanimous "yes".

Finally, the professor popped the tops on two cans of beer and  poured the entire contents of the two beer cans into the jar.  The students were all amazed and began to laugh.  After their laughs subsided, the professor said, "I want you
to think of a jar as your life.  The golf balls represent the important things in your life - your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions.  Should everything else in your life be lost and only these remain, your life would still be full."

"The pebbles, on the other hand, are the other things that matter to you like your job, your house and your car.  Finally, the sand represents everything else, all the small stuff you have in your life."

Now understand if the sand had been poured into the jar first,
 there would not have been room for any pebbles or golf balls.  The same is true with your life.  If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for things that are really important.  So always, always pay attention to the important things - those things that are critical to your happiness.  Remember, there will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.  Take care of the golf balls first- then set your priorities."

A student in the back of the room raised her hand and shouted out, "Professor, you never told us what the beer represented."  
The professor smiled and said, "I'm glad you asked.  The beer just represents that no matter how full your life may seem, if you have set your priorities, there will always be room for a couple of beers with a good friend."