Spending a Life Time having the Time of Your Life


We’ve all heard it time and time again; “the time is right”, “time waits for no-one”, “there is always next time“, “no time like the present”, “have the time of your life”.  Yet as much time as we all have, in the end, we’ve all had precious little time to really live.  Doesn’t it go without saying, then, that we focus on making the most of the time each of us has; now?

As a writer, I am constantly inspired by the words of others and use those words to stimulate my own creativity, thoughts and ideas.  I’d like to share a story with you today that stirs emotions, conjures thoughts of the future, perhaps even the past, while anchoring us in the present.  It is an especially poignant story, considering the recent passing of Stephen Covey, the world-renowned author and motivational speaker.  Among his precious gems of wisdom and insight, one stands atop my mountain.  It is something he authored in 1994 and is called “The Big Rocks of Life”.

I recommend reading it over and over and over again, until it permeates and penetrates the deepest recesses of your mind, saturating your energy and causing you to contemplate the essence of your being.  Then, transform that understanding into observable action.

“The Big Rocks of Life”

by Stephen R. Covey

One day this expert was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration I’m sure those students will never forget. After I share it with you, you’ll never forget it either.

As this man 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 a table in front of him. Then he 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 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 spaces between the big rocks.

Then he smiled and asked the group once more, “Is the jar full?” By this time the class was onto him. “Probably not,” one of them answered. “Good!” he replied. And he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in 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 he looked up 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 into 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? A project that you want to accomplish? Time with your loved ones? Your faith, your education, your finances? A cause? Teaching or mentoring others? Remember to put these Big Rocks in first or you’ll never get them in at all.

For me, it’s all about core values and applying those values to determine how you spend your time, who you spend it with and what you learn about yourself and life as a result.  Introspection is the key that reveals your true self and unlocks your future.

Please leave your comments to share your thoughts regarding your best use of time and why.  Be well.



About MW Cerkas

Compassion for People, Passion for Writing, Living my Conscience; "Look for the Good, Always" Positive, Creative, Seasoned Writer, Leader, Marketer, Authentic Spirit, Entrepreneur. Continuously seeking the GOOD in others and how to HELP them. Paying it Forward, Preparing for Eternity. Be well!

Posted on August 21, 2012, in General, Personal Growth, Philosophy, Truths, Videos and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I love that story! It is a wonderful way of illustrating the importance of attending to the bottom line. My time goes to my family, friends, study, making food, cleaning, writing, reading, volunteer work, yoga. I’m ok with that at the present!


    • One can never have too many reminders about the essential aspects of our lives, how they intersect with others and what is truly important in life. Thank you Sara for sharing your thoughts… Be well.


  2. I really enjoyed this blog today. This is my first time here and I will return. I would like to invite you to visit my blog. Have a wonderful week. Barbara


  3. Reblogged this on Writing Your Destiny and commented:
    Loved reading this post today from fellow blogger Michael Cerkas . . . This is a wonderful article about how we choose to focus on the priorities of our lives. Hope you’ll take the time to read it!


  4. Love this song and your message. I’m reblogging this post to my blog, because the message is so important! Thanks for sharing this!


  1. Pingback: Planning For The Time There Will Be No Time Left | The Inspired Verse

  2. Pingback: In The Course Of A Lifetime… | The Inspired Verse

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