"The Mayonnaise Jar" - An Inspirational Story for Sunday, October 6th

"The Mayonnaise Jar" - An Inspirational Story for Sunday, October 6th


A professor stood before his class with 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 some golf balls until he could not fit in any more golf balls.

He asked the students whether the jar was full or not. All the students unanimously agreed that it was full.

The professor then picked up some small pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly for the pebbles to settle down. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. When he thought he could no longer add more pebbles, he once asked his students whether the jar was full or not. All the students agreed it was full and he could no longer put more of the pebbles.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. The sand settled between the spaces left by the pebbles. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

“Do you think I can fill this jar anymore,” asked the professor. “No,” answered all of the students.

He then took his coffee mug and poured the coffee into the Jar. The sand soaked up the coffee and any space left was filled with the coffee .

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 represent the most important things in your life - your family, health, friends and favorite passions. If you are left with only them, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like job, house and car. The sand is everything else - the small stuff.

“If you put the sand into the jar first there will be no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all the 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 family.

Spend time with your parents.

Visit with grandparents.

Follow your passion

There will always be time to do petty things. Take care of the golf balls in your life, other things can easily be adjusted into the life. Set your priorities, give time to the important things in life because the rest is just sand!”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the water represented. The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked. The water just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of coffee with friends.”

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