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Learning productivity through a mayonnaise jar and 2 beers

My sister sent this story to me. Thanks sis!

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 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front

of him. When the class began, he wordlessly 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


They agreed that 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 Beers 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 family, your children, your health, your

friends and your favorite passions – and 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 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. Spend time with your

children. Spend time with your parents.”

“Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your

spouse 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


One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer

represented. The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked. The

Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s

always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.”

Jevon Perra

Jevon Perra: Spirit seeker, Light worker, healer, human behavior teacher, speaker, pastor, coach.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I really, really love this, Javon! Like… a ton. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Of course Therese! I really really love that I could bring some value to you! 🙂

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