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The Big Rocks of Life

 

THE BIG ROCKS OF LIFE

A while back, I was reading about an expert on the subject of time management. The story goes that one day this expert was speaking to a group of business students and to drive home a point, used an illustration that I’m sure those students will never forget. Maybe you will feel the same after reading this story.

As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered overachiever he said, Okay, time for a quiz. He pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouth 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 wound fit inside. He asked, Is the Jar full? Everyone in the class said, yes.

Then he said, Really? He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. He dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. He smiled and asked the group once more, Is the jar full?

By this time the class was on to 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 sand in and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, Is the 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. He looked up and asked the class, What is the point of this illustration? One eager beaver 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 is not the point. The truth is this illustration teaches us is; If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.

The title of this story is The Big Rocks of Life. What are the big rocks in your life? A project that YOU want to accomplish? Time with your loved ones? Your faith, 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, when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: What are the big rocks in my life?

Then put those in your jar first.

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