The Big Rocks

I was reading John Chow’s blog a few days ago and came across a really interesting post I want to share with you guys. The story goes like this:

A speaker at a recent marketing conference was demonstrating a point on time management. He decided to use an illustration that the group of high achieving executives would not soon forget.

To begin, he put a one-gallon, wide mouthed jar on the table in front of him. Next he began to fill the jar with fist-sized rocks, one by one. When he had filled the jar to the top he asked the executives, “Is this jar full?”

When the audience replied, “Yes”, he produced a container of gravel and began pouring the gravel into the jar filling the open spaces around the rocks. When the gravel had settled in all the spaces between the rocks, once again he asked the group, “Is this jar full?”

A few members of the the audience, catching on to the illustration, said “Probably not.”

“Good”, he said, and produced a bucket of sand and began pouring the sand into the jar, filling the tiny cracks left inside the jar. Once more he asked the question, “Is this jar full?”

In unison, the entire class shouted “No!”

To drive the point home, he reached under the table and produced a bottle of water. Emptying the bottle of water into the jar, he said to the class, “The point of the story is not how much stuff you can fit into your schedule, quite the contrary. You see, the big rocks represent the really important things in your life. It could be your family, your relationship with your spouse, your church, your commitment to your own health, giving of your time to benevolent causes, etc. But if you don’t take care of the big rocks first, you’ll never get them in”

So tonight or in the morning, when you reflect on this story, ask yourself “What are the BIG rocks in my life” and make a commitment to take care of them first. Otherwise, you will get mired down in the sand and gravel and things that don’t add value to your life and you will constantly be battling to find room for the big rocks.”

Alternate Ending to the Story

When the speaker had finished pouring the sand in the jug, he popped open a six pack of Budweiser and began pouring the contents it into the jar. As the sand soaked up the brew, he asked the audience “Who can tell me the point of the illustration?” One of the college aged audience members raised his hand and proudly proclaimed “No matter how full your schedule is, there’s always room for beer!”

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