"One day an old professor of the Ecole nationale d'administration publique (ENAP) was hired to provide training on effective planning of his time to a group of a dozen leaders of major U.S. companies. This course was one of five workshops of their training day. the old teacher was not therefore an hour to "spend his field" _Standing in front of this elite group (which was ready to write down everything that the expert would teach), the old teacher looked at one by one, slowly, then said, "We will conduct an experiment." _From under the table that separated him from his students, the old teacher took out a large mason jar with a gallon (glass jar over 4 liters) which he placed carefully in front of him. Then he went out about a dozen stones was almost as big as tennis balls and placed them gently, one by one, in the large pot. When the jar was filled to the brim and it was impossible to add a stone again, he slowly raised his eyes to his students and asked them: "Is this jar full?". _All answered "Yes".
He waited a few seconds and said, "Really?".
Then he bent down again and went out from under the table a container filled with gravel. Carefully, he poured the gravel on the big rocks slightly then stir the pot. The infiltrated pieces of gravel between the stones ... to the bottom of the pot. _The old Prof. raised his eyes again to his audience and asked: "Is this jar full?". This time, his brilliant students began to understand his game.
One of them replied, "Probably not".
"Good!" said the old teacher. _He bent down again and this time went out from under the table a bucket of sand. Carefully, he poured the sand into the jar. The sand went to fill the spaces between the big rocks and gravel. Again, he asked: "Is this jar full?".
This time without hesitation and in unison, the brilliant student replied, "No!".
"Good!" said the old teacher. _And as expected by its prestigious student, he took the pitcher of water on the table and fills the jar to the brim. The old Prof. raised his eyes to his group and asked: "What great truth shows us that experience?" _Not crazy, the boldest of the students, thinking about the course, said: "This shows that even when one believes that our schedule is completely filled, if we really want, you can add more appointments , more things to do. "
_"No," replied the old prof. "It's not that. The great truth that shows us that experience is that if we do not put the big stones first in the pot, you can never get them all, then." There was a silence, each being aware of the evidence of these statements. _The old teacher said to them: "What are the big rocks in your life?" "Your Health?" "Your family?" "Your friend (s)?" "Making your dreams?" "Do what you love?" "Learning?" "Defending a cause?" "Relax?" "Take the time ...?" "... Or anything else?" _"What you should remember is the importance to its big stones first in his life, otherwise we may not succeed in his life .... If we give priority to small stuff (the gravel, sand ), we will fill his life peccadilloes and we will not have enough precious time to devote to important elements of his life. _So do not forget to ask yourself the question: "What are the big stones in my life?" Then, put them first in your pot (life) "
In a friendly gesture of the hand, the old professor greeted his audience and slowly left the room. "