Saturday, September 4, 2010


I saw this posted over at View From the Hamster Wheel. I think it will be a big help to me when I'm trying to decide what really needs to be done that day and in which order should it be done.

The Mayonnaise Jar and the Coffee

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

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with 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 them 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 if the jar was full. The students responded with a infamous "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. Your family, your children, your faith, your health, your friends, and your favourite passions. Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. 
The pebbles are the other things that matter. 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 the 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.

Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner 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 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. Beautiful and true. A modern parable.

    Thank You,Trudy

  2. This is so true and inspiring!!! Definitely food for thought:)

  3. So true, and so difficult to remember when the sand gets deep....

  4. I heard that in church years ago and always thought it was so wonderful. Thanks for posting it here, Trudy.

  5. So true! So easy to get caught up in "the sand". I luv the coffee part, too. Of course, I AM a coffee ADDICT{{{GRIN}}}
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. I haven't read this story in a long time and it was just what I needed to read today! Thanks!

  7. Thank you for sharing Trudy. This is something I really needed to read today. x

  8. In my part of the world, we have the same story, only it is a glass of beer and and not coffee. :-) Tak care.

  9. Thanks for reposting this Trudy. I enjoyed seeing it pop up in my blog reader. Thanks for the link too x

  10. Lovely post and thanks for sharing.

  11. I have added you to my blog roll.

  12. He he, still so relevant after all these years, I love this parable! Of course, I'm very partial to a few cups of tea with a friend, anytime...!

  13. Dear Trudy, That is one of my favorite parables! I've thought of it often but it's a long time since I read it. Thanks for the reminder!

    Please keep Baby August in your prayers. His breathing problems have continued and A and E took him to Texas Children's last night. I've got Lena. We will be going up to see them this evening so they can visit with her.

    BTW, I also did a sewing post on the couch cushion covers and some sewing organization ideas. Just wanted to let you know. :o)

  14. I've heard that one before and love it. Altho it makes me a bit guilty with the amount of work I have to do around here...

  15. Thanks for posting this - I'm definitely feeling the stress lately and this is such a good reminder of what should come first. Tha ms Trudy!

  16. Hi! Thanks for visiting my little blog. I know we are going to get along just fine! I like to sew too. I mostly make baby quilts (pieced) anymore.

    I'm following you now - lets stay in touch.

    Tina "The Book Lady"

  17. Hi Trudy, thank you for stopping by, I love your blog too... I'm following you now, and vote for you!

    I'm a full time mommy, Christian, love handmade and love books.

    Hey, in your art blog, I love that 'unfinished look' chair you sited on, it so artistic!

    looking forward to read your next post!


  18. Hi, Trudy!
    I'm paying a visit after you dropped in on my blog. I think both of the headers on your blogs are super-great photography. The one in the rocking chairs is so sweet. I'm a home school mom and I've sewn since birth (well, not quite)! I will be back again.
    Have a goos weekend!

  19. What an inspiration! Thank you for the reminder. You have a great blog and a beautiful family. I'm a new follower and look forward to getting to know you. Thank you for stopping by to see me. I hope you will stop in again and again.

    Have a great weekend,

  20. I've read this before, but it's a good one so it's always nice to read it again. A very good thing to remember.

    Thanks for your visit. I've sure enjoyed mine here.


  21. This is great! Do you mind if I use it as a blog post on my blog in the future?

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm following you now!

  22. I love this post. That is what's happening the past two weeks here, almost unbearable but hopefully things can calm down and I can find myself again.
    Thank you for stopping by and following me, I am returning the favor and think I just might of gotten the better end of this deal.
    I too am a Christian, love sewing, crafting and I have a daycare with 2-7 kids a day.
    Take care and have a blessed weekend.

  23. Beautiful! Thanks for the inspiration.

    Have a blessed weekend!

  24. just loved it! so true and easy to understand. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Hope to see you again ;)

  25. I am a little late doing the Friday blog hop, but I just became your 300th follower Yippee :). Hope you will hop over to my blog and check it out.

  26. Ah, that's great! I read an analogy similar to this but with various sizes of rocks instead, from large rocks to tiny pebbles. Of course the sand and coffee really do fill in all the cracks. Thanks for sharing this Trudy!


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