Women Over 50—Remember Your Priorities

Posted on May 9, 2008. Filed under: Inspiring Each Other | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 I came across a simple demonstration that really hit home. Some of you may have seen this before but it’s one of those important messages that bears repeating.

The Mayonnaise Jar and Two 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 two 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. 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 hobbies. The sand is everything else—the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there’s 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’ll never have room for the things that are important to you. So… pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness:

·      Enjoy your children and grandchildren

·      Make special time to celebrate with your partner

·      Play every day.

·      Be grateful for your blessings.

“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.”

A very happy Mothers Day to each of you. This is a grand golf ball indeed!


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9 Responses to “Women Over 50—Remember Your Priorities”

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Very nice reminder Eileen. The last part gave me a much needed chuckle. :)


The small things in life are what make life! I would love to share a cup of coffee with you someday, Eileen. :0)

Great story! Now I want to share “The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee”

This is a nice reminder because I am sometimes guilty of letting the “small stuff” overwhelm me. My husband and daughter and grandson are my BASKETBALLS!
But they wouldn’t fit inside a mayonnaise jar, now would they?

That is a great parable! I’d like to post it to one of my blogs – maybe Life is Like Art, it would be perfect for that blog.

Where did you find that story and could I reprint a portion of it if it’s yours????? I promise, promise to link back to you!!!

Terri aka PopArtDiva™, who knows a good thing when she sees it!

I have always tried to remember that my husband, children, and grandchildren are the most important things in my life. But sometimes I do let the “sand” in my life overwhelm me. Thanks for the reminder!

I have heard this demonstration once before through my sister, she too picked it up from a philosophy lesson. I stopped here mainly because I wanted to say ‘thank you’, this lesson is one we should always remember. Have a blessed Mothers day and know I am very grateful for your existence.

I love that jar analogy. Excellent life lesson.

That’s great! I need to share that story with a few people!

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