Friday, October 26, 2007

What Have You Done?

Time flies when you’re having fun, right? Well it also flies when you’re just getting by and that’s why it’s essential that you stop, take inventory and adjust accordingly.

News flash: It’s already November! You have just 2 months ahead before 2008. Forget about the proverbial glass being half empty, make sure it’s overflowing.

Have you ever thought about your own mortality? As hard as it is to get your head around, you may not be here forever, at least not in body.

How we choose to live each day is critical. I have to admit; sometimes I’m dreadful at this. I allow myself to get sucked into a current of work, doing deals and so forth. I must be careful not to neglect my family and friends. Don’t let something all encompassing come into your life, be the wake up call you need to slow down. As cliché as it sounds- stop and smell the roses. Take the time to nurture relationships and maybe even enjoy a few days relaxing in the sun. Preparation and continuous evaluation can help you keep on track. I find creating 90-Day Action steps and monitoring results to be key.

As important as scheduling your days and planning your meetings are, you must remember to schedule in fun time or downtime too. Napoleon Hill used to spend long hours sitting and doing nothing but thinking. Bill Gates takes a trip to the mountains twice a year to compose his thoughts too. Of course I’ve presupposed that you’re busy getting things done and moving ahead. If you’re still not reaching and exceeding your targets then now is a good time to figure out why and correct your course. Keep raising the bar too. It’s easy to get complacent when things are going well. Perhaps now is the time you can look at making a big leap forward and streamlining even further.
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 over-achievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz" and he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouth mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. He also produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, 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 yelled, "Yes." The time management expert replied, "Really?" He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. He dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. He then asked the group once more, "Is the 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 a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all of 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 he 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; 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, time with loved ones, your faith, your education, your dreams, a worthy cause, teaching or mentoring others? Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you'll never get them in at all.” 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.

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