How Do You Set Priorities?
In our busy world, it’s so easy to get caught up in the details and forget what’s really important. When I find that happening I pull out this story to remind me to stop – think – and remember what the rocks are.
A professor of philosophy stood silently before his class, waiting for students to take their seats. When they were ready, he wordlessly took an empty mayonnaise jar from his desk and filled it to the top with no-inch diameter rocks. When he was done he asked the students whether the jar was full. They replied that, indeed, it was full.
Next the professor took a box of small pebbles and poured them into the jar, shaking the jar so that pebbles fell into the open areas between the larger rocks. The student smiled. When the professor asked the students again if the jar was full, they agreed that it was.
Then the professor poured in a box of sand, which naturally filled up all the spaces in the jar between the rocks and the pebbles. He then began to explain the purpose of the exercise.
Holding up the jar, he said, “That is your life. The rocks represent all the important things, like family, relationships, your health, whatever is so important that were it lost, you would be devastated, nearly destroyed."
“The pebbles represent the other things that matter but are important to a lesser extent, like your job, a car or a house. They matter on a smaller scale."
“The sand represents everything else. Were you to place the sand in the jar first, there would be no room at all for the rocks. It is the same in your life. If you spend all your energy and your time on the small stuff, you won’t have room for the things in life that matter."
So, set your priorities. Be mindful of what are the rocks. And remember that the rest are just sand and pebbles.
I hope you’ll keep this story handy for whenever you need a “refresher” on what’s most important to you!