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The story of a mayonnaise jar and coffee


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The story of a mayonnaise jar and coffee. When it seems there's too much going on in your life, when 24hrs isn't enough... Remember the mayonnaise jar and coffee.

Once upon a time there was a philosophy teacher who, in front of his class, took a large empty mayonnaise jar and started filling it with golf balls.

Then, he asked his students if the jar was full. The students agreed that YES, it was.

The teacher then took a box full of marbles and poured it into the jar. The marbles filled the empty spaces between the golf balls. The teacher asked again if the jar was full. The students, again, said YES.

Afterwards, the teacher took a pouch filled with sand and emptied it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled the remaining spaces, then the teacher asked once again if the jar was full. The students unanimously replied YES.

Right after the teacher added two cups of coffee, which indeed filled all the remaining spaces. The students then started laughing.

When they stopped, the teacher said: "I want you to realize that the jar represents life.

The golf balls are the important things, family, kids, health, passions...

Our lives would still be fulfilled if we lost everything but them.

The marbles are the other things that matter like work, the house, the car, etc.

The sand is all the other things of life.

If we poured the sand first, there wouldn't be any room left for the marbles, nor the golf balls.

It works just the same way in life. If we spend all our energy and our time on trivial things, we'll never have enough for the really important ones. Hold on to what brings you happiness. Play with your kids, follow your passions, spend time with those you love. There'll always be time to clean your place, or fix the kitchen tap...

Take care of the golf balls first, what really matters. Know your priorities. The rest? It's all sand."

One of the students raised his hand and asked what was the coffee for.

To which the teacher smiled and replied: "I'm glad your asked! It's just to show you that even though your lives may appear full to the brim, there'll always be some place for a cup of coffee with a friend."


I had this story on a sheet of paper that was given to me by one of my teachers years ago. I found it tonight in one of my binders while getting rid of documents I no longer need. What I wrote is a (very) rough translation of the original which is in French.

I almost cried while reading this, 'cause damn, how is this true. All those years I spent giving importance to the wrong things and the wrong people. I almost dehumanized myself in the process. But it's time I start living again, and rise from the ashes, just like the phoenix.

Just something I wanted to share. smilies_msn_zorrito-21_zps90n7ugfe.gif


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