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.” Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed Mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. He then 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 the jar full?" Everyone in the class said, "Yes."

一天,一名时间管理专家在对一群学习商业的学生讲话时,为了论证一个论点,他用了一个令学生们永远难忘的 表述方式。站在这群出类拔萃的学生面前,他说:“来,做个小测试。”他拿出一个一加仑的广口玻璃瓶,放在他们面前的桌上。接着他拿出一小堆拳头大小的石块,小心翼翼、一块一块地放进瓶子里。等石块装满到瓶子,再也塞不下时,他问:“瓶子满了吗?”大家都说:“满了。”

He replied, "Really?"


He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel, then dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the space between the big rocks.


He 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 the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question,"Is the 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 student raised her 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!"

然后他又拿出一大罐水往瓶子里倒,一直倒到水升到瓶口高。他看着学生们问“这个演示说明了什么?”一个学生急忙举手说:“说 明了:不管时间安排得多紧,只要你想办法,总是可以见缝插针地做更多的事情。”

"Good answer, but no," the speaker replied, "that’s not my 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? In my life they are my children... my wife... my loved ones... my education... my dreams... charities and worthy causes... teaching or mentoring others... doing things that I love... time for myself... my health... Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you’ll never get them in at all."

“回答得好,不过,”专家说:“这不是我想说的。这个例子告诉我们一个事实:如果你不是先放大石块,以后 它们就永远摆不进去。你生活中的‘大石块’是什么呢?在我的生活中,那就是我的孩子、妻子、所爱的人、学习、梦想、善行和有价值的事业、教导他人、做我喜欢做的事、留给自己的时间、健康,等等。要记住,必须先放“大石块”,否则它们永远放不进去。”

If you sweat the little stuff then you’ll fill your life with little things to worry about that don’t really matter, and you’ll never have the real quality time you need to spend on the big,important stuff:the big rocks.

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