Today’s post on FASO by Lori Woodward, in which she talks about setting goals, how she wants to see herslef next year, and how to accomplish that amidst all the pulls of daily life reminds me of a story.
A professor arrived in class one day with a large glass jar, a series of bags, and a bottle of drinking water.
From the first bag, he pulled large rocks and piled them into the jar until he could fit no more. He asked the class, “Is the jar full?” They replied, Yes…you could absolutely not fit a single rock more into that container.
He opened the next bag and poured pebbles into the jar, and asked again, “Is the jar full now?” After thinking a moment, the class again answered, Yes, it’s full!
So he opened a bag of sand and poured it into the jar. Quite a bit fit. He asked again, “Full?” “Yes,” they responded.
And he opened the bottle of water and filled the jar to the brim. By then, yes, the jar was full.
What’s the point?
Taken as a metaphor for the myriad of things we have to do each day, consider this a story of priorities. There is a limit to what can fit into any given container…your day. If the big rocks are those things that are most important to you…they need to go into the jar first. Consider that you could easily have filled the jar with water first, and nothing else would have fit without spilling out water to make room. Ever spend a day doing the laundry, cleaning the mirror, doing tiny things…anything!...but face the easel?
Yet when done with a sense of order, everything does fit. For me, this doesn’t mean getting up and paining before I feed and walk myself or the dog…those are actually “big rocks” that support my really big rock of painting.
The pebbles, sand, and water flow around my big rocks when I have those big items in place. The laundry gets done, dishes washed, etc. all as part of relaxing from my “big rocks,” of which painting is one.
How can I determine what my most important items are? Great question to ask yourself. More on that later…