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 two glasses of wine.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and he 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 and 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 an unanimous “yes”.
The professor then produced two glasses of wine from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling spaces in 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 health, your friends and your favorite passions; the 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 next, like your job, your house or your car. The sand is everything else; the small stuff of your life.”
“If you put the sand in 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 check-ups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18 holes. Do one more run down the ski slope. 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 two glasses of wine 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 glasses of wine with a friend.”
Obtained from Zendon Robinson