Big Rocks

On September 26 of last year my son’s daycare was closed for staff training (Obviously this blog has sat in the archive for a while). A closed daycare creates a little bit of a problem when both parents work. My wife took off part of the day, my Dad helped for a few hours and I took the afternoon off to be with my son so we made it through the day without a hitch and had fun in the process.

One of the things I appreciate most about GVMH is the importance our organization places on family. The story below reminded me of why GVMH is a great place to work – GVMH knows about the big rocks…

Big Rocks, a matter of perspective

One day, an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget.

As he stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers, he said, “Okay, time for a quiz.” He then pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouth mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one by one, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar full?”

Everyone in the class said, “Yes.” Then he said, “Really?” He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar, causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the space between the big rocks. Then he asked the group once more. “Is this jar full?”

By this time the class was on to him. “Probably not,” one of them answered.

“Good!” he replied. He reached under the table and brought out bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question. “Is this jar full?”

“No!” the class shouted.

Once again, he said, “Good!”. Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then the expert of time-management looked at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?”

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.”

“No”, the speaker replied, “That’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is this: 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? Your children. Your spouse. Your loved ones. Your friendships. Your education. Your dreams. A worthy cause. Teaching or mentoring others. Doing things that you love. Time for yourself. Your health. Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first, or you’ll never get them in at all. “If you sweat the little stuff (i.e. gravel, the sand) then you’ll fill your life with little things you will never have the real quality time you need to spend on the big, important stuff (the big rocks). So, tonight, or in the morning, when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: What are the “big rocks” in my life? Then put those in your jar first.

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Operating Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. These are challenging and exciting times in healthcare and my blog will focus on healthcare, raising boys or being raised by boys, and living in mid America.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Big Rocks

  1. Cami says:

    So, often employers do not allow their employees the latitude to take care of “the big rocks” in their lives. Thank you, Craig, (and GVMH as a whole) for realizing those “big rocks” sometimes must take priority.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s