A motivational speaker closed her conference by bringing a big clear cylindrical container on stage. She filled it with a few big rocks. Then she poured in some smaller rocks around the big ones until rocks spilled over the top. She asked the audience, “Is it full yet?”
They shouted, “Yes!”
She then pulled a bag of pea gravel out from under the table. She poured in the gravel. It clattered around the smaller rocks.
She asked again, “Is it full yet?”
Wiser, some in the audience yelled, “No!”
This time the speaker produced a bag of sand and dumped it into the container. The white sand filled in all the gaps.
Once more she asked the audience, “Is it full yet?”
Though they couldn’t imagine anything else fitting into the cylinder, they couldn’t bring themselves to say, “No.”
Sensing their reticence, the speaker grabbed a bucket of water and poured up to the brim. She asked, “Now it’s full. What’s the point of this illustration?”
One man said, “There’s always room for more in our schedules?”
“No,” the speaker retorted, “Anyone else?”
Another piped up, “We can handle more than we think?”
“That’s true,” the woman conceded, “But that’s not the point.”
The speaker glanced around the room. She quietly stated, “If you don’t get the big rocks in first, they never will go in.”
What are your big rocks?
It’s common to measure our effectiveness by our busyness, but UNCOMMEN leaders are busy keeping the main thing, the main thing. When thinking about the rocks, the common answer is to write names: Spouse. Kids. But verbs are far more powerful than nouns, even proper names. The trick is how you will make those rocks top billing in your life. What action steps will you take this week to create consistent habits?
Here are some UNCOMMEN thoughts about how to keep focused on the big rocks before the pea gravel overwhelms you each week.
Keep a standing 20 minute meeting with your wife at the start of every week. Talk about the week’s commitments, expectations, and responsibilities. .
If you have kids, take the breakfast challenge – take them out one morning to the restaurant of their choice and have a few questions ready. Make it a regular appointment at least once a month.
Be UNCOMMEN this week.
Written by Brian Goins, UNCOMMEN Coach
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