Archive for the ‘life lessons’ Tag

04/25/2023 “PRIORITIES”   2 comments

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 coffee. This story has been around a very long time and was told to me for the first time many years ago. As I was recently reviewing a lot of old files in forgotten directories, there it was. It still works for me. I thought I’d share it with all of you.


A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some interesting 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, and they agreed that it was. So, the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He vigorously shook the jar and the pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full and once again, they agreed.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar and 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 granules. The students laughed and continued to listen. “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, 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.

Play with your children.
Take time to get medical checkups.
Take your partner out to dinner.
Play another 18 holes.

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 sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked,” he said “It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a cup of coffee with a friend.”


10-19-2013   Leave a comment

I consider myself a reasonable person with enough life experience to speak on any number of subjects.  I’m like a of lot of you out there, I think I ‘m a freaking philosopher as well.  The only difference is that most of the time I keep my philosophic thoughts to myself unless asked.  I really dislike people who feel the need to preach at me without prompting on their thoughts on every little thing. They love explaining in great detail how to date, who to marry, how to raise children, how to eat properly, and on and on and on.  Those people like nothing better than to "beat my ear" with what they think is the final word on everything.  My first thought is to tell them to shut up and go away but being that frank with people these days is frowned upon. Decades of politically correct indoctrination has created this know-it-all condition in far too many people.

I can shovel out the blarney with the best of them but I realize that being an annoying prick is not on my bucket list.  I’ll be the first person to admit if I need help or advice and I’ll ask for it. While I don’t like asking there are times when I must.  You just have to remember that by the simple fact of asking you put yourself in the line of fire for way more information that you’ll ever need or want.  It’s just the nature of the beast but it does requires that you stand there and listen to their advice no  matter how stupid or inane it may be. So, rule number one: Only ask for advice as a last resort and be absolutely sure you’re asking the right person.  You might be better off making a mistake than opening yourself up to the thoughts of a person whose own life experience is somewhat limited.

I’m open to the philosophy of others but prefer to read it rather than listen to it.  Over the years I’ve collected different thoughts, statements and quotations, both humorous and serious, that I thought were interesting.  Today I’ll pass along some of them to you. You have the option of reading them or not, it’s your choice. I’m making these tidbits available as a service that requires no additional conversation with me whatsoever.

  • There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.
  • Generally speaking, you aren’t learning much when your mouth is moving.
  • Never miss a good chance to shut up.
  • We are born naked, wet, and hungry. Then things get worse.
  • Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either. Just leave me the hell alone.
  • If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
  • If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
  • If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
  • Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

I hope these little pearls of wisdom will aid you in your search for answers to all those questions we struggle with.  Some are funny but none the less true.  

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