Big Rocks

This year
All years
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, time with your loved
ones, your faith, your education, your dreams, a worthy 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? Then, put those in your jar first.