The Big Picture of the Workshop

“One day, a Tibetan Lama was speaking to a group of monks and, to make a point, pulled out a large jar and set it on the table in front of him, produced a few fist-sized rocks, and placed them, one by one, into the jar. When no more rocks would fit in the jar, he asked ‘is this jar full?’. Everyone said ‘yes’. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of gravel, dumped some in and shook the jar, the gravel worked between the rocks. Again, he asked ‘is this jar full?’ The monks were catching on, ‘probably not’ one answered. ‘Good!’ he replied and reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He dumped the sand into the jar until it filled all the crevices: ‘is this jar full?’ ‘No!’ the monks shouted. ‘Good!’ he said and grabbed a pitcher or water and poured until the jar was full to the brim. Then he asked, ‘what is the point of this illustration?’ One young monk responded, ‘the point is, no matter how full your day you can always fit some more things in.’ ‘No,’ the Lama replied, ‘the point is that if you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.’ What are your priorities?”

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