The Mayonnaise Jar Of Life..Take a Moment to Read Please...

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty

Please take the time to read this story from a positive source for those who wish to remain positive.....

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 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 -- your God, family, your children, your health, your friends, and your 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, 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 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."


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Show All Comments
Jeremy Gryvatz
RealWorks Residential Brokerage - Manalapan, NJ

Great story. I would like to bring a similiar jar to listing presentations. I will first put golf balls in the jar and tell the seller that these balls represent your asking price...

Dec 15, 2010 09:13 AM #1
Jon Budish
Resident Realty - Fort Collins, CO

Great illustration of a values lesson. My favorite; play another 18 holes.

Dec 15, 2010 09:15 AM #2
Karen Baker
Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty - Sunset Beach, NC
Professional Help with Rapid Responses...

Very good analogy Jeremy!!

Frank agrees also on the play another 18 holes Jon *smiles*

Dec 15, 2010 09:21 AM #3
Menlo Park Real Estate and Homes for Sale
Wende Schoof - Menlo Park, CA - 650.504.0219 - SF Peninsula

Though I heard this story before (coffee can instead of Mayonnaise Jar), it had been awhile and am truly glad to hear it again.  It's one worth pondering ever so often!  Thank you for sharing!

Dec 15, 2010 09:23 AM #4
Karen Baker
Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty - Sunset Beach, NC
Professional Help with Rapid Responses...

Thank you for stopping by Wendy to ponder with us!!

Dec 15, 2010 09:28 AM #5
Debbie Summers
Charles Rutenberg Realty - New Smyrna Beach, FL

Frank - 

I've heard the story before, but it's a great reminder to keep the right perspective in your every day life...

Dec 15, 2010 09:41 AM #6
Karen Baker
Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty - Sunset Beach, NC
Professional Help with Rapid Responses...

We all should keep the right perspectives in our everyday life. Thanks for stopping by Debbie!

Dec 15, 2010 10:46 AM #7
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Frank and Karen, I too have heard this story before and it is certainly worth repeating over and over

Dec 15, 2010 11:22 AM #8
Cindy Marchant
Keller Williams Indy NE 317-290-7775 - Carmel, IN
"Cindy in Indy" , Realtor, Fishers Real Estate

Perspective is always essential; especially in our business.

Cindy in Indy

Dec 15, 2010 01:39 PM #9
Karen Baker
Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty - Sunset Beach, NC
Professional Help with Rapid Responses...

This story is worth repeating and truly meaningful, Thanks Charles

You are so right, Cindy..and especially in our business!!

Dec 15, 2010 01:56 PM #10
Kenneth Cole
Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, - Staten Island, NY
NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

Hello from Staten Island;  I love this post.  Received it before but always like reading it again.

Let's stay connected, you never know when we can do some business.

Dec 19, 2010 06:06 AM #11
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Karen Baker

Professional Help with Rapid Responses...
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