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Big Rocks
A while back, I was reading about an expert on the subject of time management. One day this expert was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget.
As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said, “Okay, time for a quiz.”
Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed
mason jar and set it on a table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time,
into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks
would fit inside, he asked,
“Is this jar full?”
Everyone in the class said, “Yes.”
Then he said, “Really?” He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the
spaces between the big rocks.
Then he asked the group once more, “Is the jar full?”
By this time the class was onto him. “Probably not,”
one of them answered. “Good!” he replied.
He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, “Is this jar full?”
“No!” the class shouted. Once again he said, “Good!”
Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim.
Then he looked up at the class and asked,
“What is the point of this illustration?”
One person raised his hand and said, “The point is, no matter how
full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit
some more things into it!”
“No,” the speaker replied, “that’s not the point. The
truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put
the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.”
What are the ‘big rocks’ in your life?
A project that YOU want to accomplish?
Time with your loved ones?
Your Spiritual life, your education, your finances?
A cause? Teaching or mentoring others?
Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first
or you’ll never get them in at all. —
So, tonight or in the morning when you are reflecting on this
short story, ask yourself this question:
What are the ‘big rocks’ in my life or business? Then, put
those in your jar first.