When things in your life and business seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day isn’t enough, remember the mayonnaise jar.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and started to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed 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 asked the students again if the jar was fully. The agreed it was.
Next, the professor 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 remaining empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognized that this jar represents your life.” The golf balls are the important things (family, children, spouse, friends, passions, etc.); things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life wouild still be full. The pebbles are the things that matter, like your career, 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 sames goes for life. If you spend all of 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. 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. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”
One of the students raised her hand and asked what the coffee represented. The professor smiled, “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple cups of coffee with a friend.”