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Let’s Have a Coffee

Updated: Mar 2, 2022

Coaches often use metaphors in their work and this is one I urge you to remember. When life sometimes feels like too much to handle, when there just aren’t enough hours in the day, I want you to remember this story.

A professor stood in front of his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When class began, he picked up a big, empty, mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

He then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the same jar. He shook the jar a little bit and 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.’ 

He then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the liquid into the jar, filling the empty space between the sand. 

“I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life,” the professor told his class. “The golf balls are the important things – family, health, creativity, love – 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, house, and car. The sand is everything else – The small stuff”

’If you put the sand into the jar first, he continued, “then 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. Take care of the golf balls first – the things that really matter, and set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students then raised her hand and asked 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.”

How about we grab a virtual coffee together and talk about your priorities? Pick your day and time at  I guarantee that you will walk away from our discussion with at least one idea you can start using immediately.

Need some more inspiration? I facilitate a recurring mastermind session with a small group of entrepreneurs. which occurs on the first Wednesday of the month at 11am EST. I limit each session to just 25 people, so that we will be able to go deep into your business and make the experience truly transformative. Join us at

Image courtesy of Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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