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Just Putting In My Big Rocks First

Posted Sep 14 2008 1:18pm

Where have I been, you ask? Uncharacteristically gone from the Blogosphere, it is true. I've taken the parable below to heart in light of a number of issues that are requiring my attention. I absolutely will be returning before long but have been getting my big rocks placed first. This is huge time in my life on so many levels and I need to make sure I'm absolutely solid in my personal practices in order to be available to the people in my life who need me. Seems there really are no dress rehearsals in life, although we do get a few warning shots and a bit of foreshadowing if we pay attention. I'm paying attention. And in doing so, I'm absolutely relishing this time, time I won't get back (we don't get any of it back).

I'll at least be gone another week, though. Heading up to Minnesota for my mother-in-laws 90th birthday!! And, yes, she is still dominating the baking contests at the County Fair, as a matter of fact.

So, while I am gone, contemplate this story and really give some good deep thought to what you are putting in your jar. I had way too much sand, it turns out...

In First Things First, Stephen Covey tells a story that one of his associates heard at a seminar. The seminar presenter pulled out a wide-mouth gallon jar and placed it next to a pile of fist-sized rocks. After filling the jar to the top with rocks, he asked, "Is the jar full?"

The group replied, "Yes."

He then got some gravel from under the table and added it to the jar. The speaker jiggled the jar until the gravel filled the spaces between the rocks. Again, he asked, "Is the jar full?"

This time, the group replied, "Probably not."

The speaker then added some sand and asked, "Is the jar full?"

"No!" shouted the group.

Finally, the speaker filled the jar to the brim with water and asked the group the point of this illustration.

Someone replied that you could always fit more things into your life if "you really work at it."

"No," countered the speaker. The point is, if you don't put the big rocks in first, " . . . would you ever have gotten any of them in?"

As you start the new year, think of the "big rocks" in your life as the things you can do to make this a healthier and happier year for yourself and others. When making decisions during the moments, days and months of the year ahead, ask: "Is this a big rock?"

Say "yes" to your "big rocks" first. Don't feel you need to explain each "no" when the smaller gravel and sand try to fill your time. "No" can be a complete sentence!

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