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The Jar, Golf Balls And The Coffee Story

By June 10, 2020June 24th, 2022No Comments

Many people like listening and sharing stories. Our subconscious mind reacts to them. We can identify and learn from them about our values, about our choices, they can help us to have realizations. In the past people had more time to share their wisdom in person, today we use more technology.

About a decade ago a friend emailed me this story about a jar and coffee. At first I reacted to it, but then I realized that it had a very positive affect on me, and I kept it until today. I do not know who is the author, but I think the content has something to say to many of us.

There is a great relevance of this story to our Recovery from Eating Distress/Eating Disorder(ED). We all own this jar, we all need to ask ourselves what are our golf balls in our Recovery. Is our Recovery one of them?

Do we try to fit our Recovery into our life, or is our Recovery our life?

Is time for yourself , your golf ball?

Is kindness to yourself, your golf ball?

Is faith in yourself in your jar?

Is your jar a happy jar – your jar or your ED jar?

What changes do you need to make in your jar?


Here is the story:

The Jar, Golf Balls And The Coffee

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the jar… and the 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. 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 empty space between the sand. The students laughed.”Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognise that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things, the 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. 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.

Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the House and wash the car. 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.”

And I would as well add to it:

Please, make sure to make a time to have a cup of coffee with Yourself sometimes:)