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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Golf Balls and Mayo Jars

I got this story in an email today. In the past, my inbox has been overrun with forwards and advertisements - and my best friend is often the Delete key.

Today though, I decided to read this forward. I've read it in the past but it hits home with me today, more than ever before.

Starting a business, by myself, with little to no business knowledge has been the most time consuming and taxing thing I have done in my life. It has also been the greatest leap of faith I've ever taken.

There are times that I feel like I don't have enough time to do everything I need to do or that I want to do. I feel like those remaining tasks on my to-do list are screaming at me from the other room as I try to shut my eyes and go to sleep at night. I have a terribly hard time turning off my mind, even if I'm just trying to watch a movie or go to dinner with Matt. The 'small stuff' threatens to become big stuff, and invade my peace of mind.

I needed to read this today.

Maybe some of you do too.

The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle,
When 24 hours in a day is not enough;
Remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of 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 start 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
It 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 an 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 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 - God, family,
Children,Parents,Sisters, Brothers, health, friends.
Things that if everything else was lost
And only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, 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 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 or that you will miss when they are gone.


Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play with your children.
Call your Mother.
Spend time with your sisters and brothers.
Take time to get medical checkups.
Take your wife/husband out to dinner.

There will always be time
To clean the house and fix the dripping tap.

'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.'

Today, let's make a conscious effort to put the golf balls in first. Family - Faith - Friends - Health... let's focus on those before we tackle the laundry and the to-do list, and the emails and voice mails.

Today is going to be a good day.

Every breath is a gift,


1 comment:

  1. Laura,
    Beautiful words, beautiful analogy! Thanks for connecting with me. Maybe we will have to meet for a couple of cups of coffee! It was great meeting you, congrats on your new journey and faithful walking!


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