The Importance of Golf Balls

9 Sep

I wish I could take credit for this, but I can’t.  BFF sent the following to me in an email.  In a time when things are crazy in my life – when friends and family members passing at such young ages – and I’m trying to make heads or tails of all of it, I need to re-read this often to remind me of what is important in my life.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 

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 start 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 it 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 an 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 – God, 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 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, he continued, there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life.


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.

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.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap.

‘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.


11 Responses to “The Importance of Golf Balls”

  1. jolene1079 September 9, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    LOVE this. Thanks for posting friend. XO.

  2. lifebytheday September 9, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    I have heard this before and LOVE it. We should send it around every few months 😉

  3. Miss Over Thinker September 10, 2010 at 9:27 am #

    I have read this before too but I think I wanted to read this again today – so thank you for posting.. now if you don’t mind, I am going to share it with a few other people that would like this right now..:)

    • TisWID September 10, 2010 at 9:38 am #

      Share away. 🙂

  4. Shannon September 10, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    I’ve read this before but I love it. Thanks for sharing:)

    • TisWID September 10, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

      It makes me smile – I’ve read it once already today.

  5. suki @ [Super Duper Fantastic] September 10, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    Great story. 🙂

  6. BigLittleWolf September 13, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    Very wise. And an important reminder we all seem to need periodically. (And I agree on the coffee.) 😉

    • TisWID September 16, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

      We do need this reminder. 🙂 And couldn’t agree more with the coffee comment!

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