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
By this time the class was on to him. "Probably not," one of
the men 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 lifetime? 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!