Our MKMMA, Master Key Master Mind Alliance leader, presenter and all round guru shared a great video for this week’s class. It was about priorities and how we can establish what they are in a simple exercise. Most of us have a pretty good handles on what our priorities are but most of us do not treat them as priorities, other than in our minds, or in our business plans. We are led astray easily, lack of focus and therefore do not achieve the successes we are capable of- personally or professionally. Mark’s video reminded me of the Philosophy 101 story from many years ago….I wrote about it in my book The Jalapeno Handshake, Strategies to Heat Up your Business Relationships. I thought this may be a good place to share it once again. Here goes…
Once, a philosophy professor stood before his class with some items in front of him on his desk. When the class began, he picked up a large empty jar and began to fill it with rocks about the size of his fist. When no more rocks would fit, he asked the class, “Is the jar full?” They agreed that it was.
The professor picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He lightly shook it and the pebbles rolled into the spaces between the rocks. When the pebbles reached the top of the jar, he asked the class again, “Is the jar full?” They laughed and answered yes.
Finally the professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. It filtered into every small space available between the rocks and pebbles. He poured quite a bit of sand into the jar until it reached the top. He shook the jar until the sand all settled.
“Now,” he said, ” I want you to recognize that this is your life. The rocks are the important things- your family, your partner, your health, your children, all the things that, if everything else were lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter, like your job, your house, your car for example. The sand is everything else, all the small stuff.
If you put the sand in your jar first, you don’t have room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have time for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get your medical checkups. Make dates with your partner. Whatever it is that is most important to you, be sure to do those things first. They are your rocks.
In business, the same jar concept applies. What are the most important business actions that will bring you the most success? They are your rocks. What are the pebbles in your business, important but not critical to your success? And the sand are all this small things that may be nice to have going on, nice to do, but are not the key drivers of your success. Can they be delegated to someone else? Can they be left behind for later? Ask yourself….are they more important than the rocks? Consider why you are doing them.
My wish is that you be selective with what goes into your jar every day, every week, every month……and may your choices lead to personal and professional greatness!