Thursday, February 9, 2012

Focus on the Golf Balls

I found this story on a FB friend's wall yesterday and I wanted to share it with you. 

Life Lesson From A Mayonnaise Jar

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 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 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 - family, children, health, friends, and favorite 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 like your job, house, and car.

The sand is everything else --the small stuff.

If you put the sand into the jar first, 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.
Go for a run. (I added that one.)

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.Set your priorities.

Take care of the golf balls first --
The things that really matter.

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.
What an excellent example of how easy it is to not focus on what's really important.  The things that if they were the only things left in our lives--it would still be full. 
I may just print this out and paste it on the wall in front of my desk. 
Focus on the golf balls.  Thank you, Amy, for the reminder.


Lisa said...

I've always loved this story/analogy. Thanks for sharing...I hadn't read it in awhile.

Teamarcia said...

Love, love, love it. So true! thank you!

Unknown said...

What a great story! I'm so stealing this and posting on my blog

Christi said...

That is awesome!

a runner said...

This is one of my favorites :)

The Jesse said...

i love this story and i too haven't read it in quite some time. thanks for the reminder :)

i'm going to link to this tomorrow on my blog!

Ali Mc said...

Great post - found you through "the jesse" definitely coming back! my kind of positive, thought provoking person!