The Rock Parable
This wonderful story was passed on to Psybersquare by a friend. It says a great deal about working smart and choosing your priorities wisely, a goal for all us in these cyberspeed times.
Keep this story handy for inspiration and a reality-check, whenever you feel swamped and overwhelmed by the tasks on your plate.
One day, an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget. As he stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz" and he pulled out a one-gallon wide-mouth mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. He also 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 yelled, "Yes."
The time management expert replied, "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 then 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 the sand in the jar and it went into all of 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 at the class and asked, "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 in 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? Your faith, time with your loved ones, a worthy cause, teaching or mentoring others, your education, your dreams...?
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? Then, put those in your jar first.
RECOMMENDED READING FROM THE PSYSTORE:
First Things First: To Live, to Love, to Learn, to Leave a Legacy
by Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, Rebecca R. Merrill
Our Price: $11.20
"Profound and powerful, 'First Things First' shines a brilliant light into the semi-darkness of time management techniques. Instead of seeing fragments of our lives, we can now see the whole picture. This book can change your life." -- Synopsis
For a selection of books on this topic, visit the Psystore.