What are the "big rocks" in your life?

  1. One day, an expert in time management was speaking to a group of nursing students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration the students would never forget.

    As he stood in front of the group of 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 no more rocks would fit, he asked the group, "Is this jar full?" The group yelled, "Yes!" The time management expert replied, "Really?" and reached under the table. He brought out a bucket of pea gravel.
    Pouring some into the mason jar and agitating it so the gravel would find the spaces between the rocks, he was able, bit by bit, to add the whole bucket of pea gravel to the jar. "Now is it full?" he asked. This class was onto him. "Probably not," a brave student answered. "Good!" he replied.

    He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand into the jar and went into the spaces left between the rocks and gravel. Once more he asked, "Is this jar full?" "No," the class shouted. Once again he said, "Good."

    Then he took the speaker's pitcher of drinking 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 demonstration?"

    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."

    "Nope!" replied the speaker. "That's not the point. The truth this demonstration teaches is that 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! Each day it's worth asking yourself, "what are my really big rocks? How can I put them in first."
    Last edit by betts on Feb 2, '02
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    About betts

    Joined: Oct '01; Posts: 1,024; Likes: 20
    Nursing Mgmt.


  3. by   GPatty
    Thanks Betts...
    Kind of puts things into perspective, doesn't it?
  4. by   CTnuse
    I love that story!! Our professor read that to us the first day of class (I am about to graduate from a modular BSN program in NY) It set the tome for the rest of the courses.

    It is also a great thing to live by. My Big Rocks are my family!
  5. by   stevie b
    What a great story!My Big Rocks are my family and(selfish here),me. I have put myself on the back burner for so long,now that I am rezoning my whole life plan,my family is my biggest cheering section. Ilove the term Big Rocks
  6. by   Cubby
    That was so cool. Thank you! I know what and where my 'rocks' are,just needed the new twist. Have a great day!
  7. by   live4today
    Thanks for sharing that story with us, betts! I don't think I'll ever forget it now that I've read it.

    My Big Rock is also my family...always has been and always will be.
  8. by   mario_ragucci
    It's just me; no shame. I know many folks my age have family and kids and significant others. Before my parents died, they were rocks in my jar, but, you know, people die, I guess. Becoming a nurse is a full time thing, and you know how much there is to learn, academic-wise.

    So life is pretty easy for me, but sometimes I feel alone (duh). My family is all on the east coast, and I moved way out west. Often I want to move back to NYC, but I'll save that event until after i establish myself as the best nurse on the planet. I'd like to have a girlfriend, or a wife, but I find there is a cultural difference, which I thought would be a plus for meeting people, but as soon as women hear my accent they put up an invisable shield and start to back away. Thanks, all you crazy NYC people, for making my accent one thats associated with you. Again, I think I'd hafta move back to NYC to find women who would not be intimidated by the sound of my words, although I try to act dull and unopinionated. (I really do)


    I enjoyed reading about the jar and the rocks.
  9. by   prn nurse
    How true ! In the hustle and bustle of surviving, it is real easy to forget/deprioritize/take for granted, the important events and people in our lives. A simple and easy to remember analogy. Thanks for sharing.