Protect Your Most Precious Resource

If you had $1 million dollars of cash stashed under your bed, you would check it regularly and take all the precautions necessary to ensure its safety.  Of course.  However, we all have one possession that is more valuable than money – and that is time.  Yet many of us do little to protect it.
In fact, we give it to thieves – selfish people, egotistical people, negative people, abusive people, and people who just won’t put a lid on it.  Treat your time like Fort Knox, guard it closely and give it only to those who deserve and respect it.
There is classic story of using time wisely.  The author is unknown, but the message is, well, timeless.
A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items on the table in front of him.  When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large, empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, about 2" in diameter.
He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, settled into the open areas between the big rocks.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.  The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "Yes."
"Now," said the professor, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things - your family, your partner, your health, your children -- 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 – but will come and go. The sand is everything else. The small stuff.”
“If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued "there is no 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 room for the things that truly matter most.”
The lesson…Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Make time to play with your children. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, throw a dinner party and fix the disposal. Take care of the rocks first - the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest - it is just sand.
When we are standing at death’s door, we won’t be thinking about all of our possessions and how we measured up to the Joneses.  We will be wishing we had more time – more time to do the things that really matter.  Start protecting your time and take care of those big rocks first.


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