A jar and two cups of coffee

I chanced on this story from 9gag.com which reminded me once again what really matters in life. I know the message is not something new and I bet there have been many stories which hammer the same message down our skull-hard heads. But there are many ways to convey a lesson and this one is one of my favorites. I am sharing this here hoping it would strike a nerve too.

Life with a Jar and a cup of coffee

When life seems to be too much to handle,
just remember two things
“A 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 jar.

And proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students, if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.

So 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 space between the grains of sand. The students

“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 – 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 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

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.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the

‘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
There’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a

The story with illustrations can be found here.

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6 Responses to A jar and two cups of coffee

  1. ewok1993 says:

    I’ve heard this one before, I think we all have. It’s so true. A fine reminder when we’re all lost in our life.

  2. raft3r says:

    life is what we make it?

    happy weekend, scud!

  3. Atticus says:

    i love the coffee part. iyon ang bago sa version na ito. 🙂
    have a great year ahead, scud!

  4. PM says:

    i heard this story before. never fails to make me smile. 🙂

  5. raft3r says:

    bday ng malibay, greet mo naman kami!
    happy sunday!
    btw, kamusta ang jogging?

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