In this blog we would like to share a story with you. It’s been around in one form or another for quite some time now. But today (for better or for worse) you will get “The Madow Brothers ramped up version.”
By the way, even if you have heard this one before, we urge you to read the entire thing. It’s definitely a lesson to live by!
Here it goes…
A college professor was becoming increasingly frustrated with his students not being able to focus. So he decided that he would teach his very large class a life lesson.
One morning he walks into class with a huge mayonnaise jar in his hands. This was not the ordinary mayonnaise jar you see in the grocery store. This was a huge commercial sized jar!
He could already overhear several of the students murmuring “WTF” or similar words under their breath!
As class was getting started he asked all of the students to please pay close attention to what he was about to do.
The professor reached behind his lectern and pulled out a big bag of brand new white golf balls. He proceeded to fill up the large mayonnaise jar with the golf balls.
Each time it appeared as though the jar was full, he would shake the balls down, tap the jar on the lectern and do everything possible to free up space for at least one more ball.
The students watched curiously.
When he repeated that exercise several times, it was soon apparent that no more balls were going to fit in.
He looked at the class and asked them to raise their hands if they felt the jar was totally full.
Practically every hand went up.
He looked at the class with a somewhat serious face.
Next he pulled out a large bag of landscaping pebbles and began to pour them into the jar. Every few seconds he would shake the jar so the newly added pebbles would make their way in and settle in around the golf balls.
When it was apparent that no more pebbles would fit into the jar, he said “Please raise your hand if you now believe the jar is totally full.”
Again, practically all hands went up.
He stared at the class again without breaking a smile.
Then out comes a bag of sand. The professor repeated the previous drill, but this time pouring as much sand as possible into the jar, in and around the pebbles and the golf balls. He kept shaking and tapping to ensure he was able to get every bit of sand possible into the jar.
“Now, who is totally convinced that this jar is full?”
All hands went up.
He then looked at the class with a slight smile.
The professor’s assistant, who apparently was sitting quietly in the back of the class, walks to the front of the room. She is holding a tray covered with a white napkin holding four large glasses, each of which appears to be filled with liquid.
The professor takes the first glass into his hands. The students could see the liquid was dark colored.
“This is hot coffee. Black. I am going to carefully pour all of it into the jar.”
The students watched.
The professor then proceeded to pick up the second glass.
“This is iced tea. Fresh brewed and unsweetened! I will pour it into the jar.”
The students were silent.
He picked up the third glass.
“It’s wine. A very fine Pinot Noir. Here it goes into the jar.”
And all of it went.
The forth and final glass was picked up off of the tray.
“It’s a Budweiser,” he said.
And into the jar it went. As the final drops went in, there was just a tiny bit of foam overflow onto the floor.
The students were watching, half laughing and half in disbelief. The professor didn’t even need to ask the question again because everyone knew what the answer would be.
As the room quieted down, the professor began to speak.
“Now it’s definitely 100% full, right?”
Everyone nodded their heads.
“Please listen carefully.”
“I want you to imagine that this mayonnaise jar represents your life. Think of the golf balls as the absolute most important things. I mean your family, your friends, your health, your spirituality… and the things you absolutely love to do. The things you passionately live for. If everything else in your life was lost and these balls still remained, your life would be totally full.”
The class was silent.
“The pebbles are the other ‘things,’ such as your house, your car, your jewelry… you get it… the material things.”
“And the sand is everything else.”
“By the way, your job could be the golf balls, the pebbles or the sand… depending on how passionate you are about it and how much you love it. I love what I do every single day. I mold young lives, so I look at my work as the golf balls! I hope you will be able to say the same when you get older.”
“Now imagine if you had this jar and you put the sand or the pebbles in first. You can clearly see there would be absolutely no room for the super important stuff – the golf balls. The same is true for your life. If you pay attention mainly to the small stuff, there will never be room for the stuff that TRULY matters to you.”
“Don’t take your loved ones for granted. Spend time with your family. Call your friends. Visit with your parents. And grandparents. If you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, make sure you are spending good quality time with them as well. Turn off your devices — give them all of your attention.”
There was still silence in the room.
After about twenty long seconds, a student raised his hand.
“What about the liquids you poured into the jar? The coffee. The tea. The beer and wine. Why did you mix them? What do they represent?”
“I’m glad you asked, responded the professor.”
“Here is why I poured the liquids into the jar. Because no matter how full your life seems, there is ALWAYS time to have a drink with a friend. But please remember students, if you are not yet 21, please stick with the coffee or the tea!”