Life’s a Buffet

I know that there’s that famous quote from Forrest Gump, that, “Life is like a box of chocolates…” but Life is actually more like a Las Vegas buffet:

Endless opportunities to indulge every taste, and no way you can have everything you’d like.

As with a Las Vegas Buffet, more and more of the guys I talk to seem to have the same problem, too much on their plate.

More and more is being demanded from us. Work wants more of our time for no extra money, rents are increasing, bills are on the up. There are friendships to maintain, relationships to contribute to, stuff to be bought, fun to be had…

On top of all of that is the increase in speed of the world. Well, not the world actually, that turns at the same pace. The sun rises and falls. But the thinking world has accelerated (if not been wiped out).

The result is that lots of us find ourselves strained, under pressure and stretched. We’re running from spot to spot, with little time to think. And when we’re stretched thin, we have to sacrifice or everything suffers.

And there’s the rub. Many of us aren’t willing to take a good look at what we’re doing, see where it’s heading (a life of total compromise), and take the tough choices to change things.

This thought process reminded me of a story I was told by a very tight Friend some years ago.

An expert in Time Management was speaking to a group of business students when he announced it was time for a quiz. He pulled out a large glass jar into which he placed a dozen fist size rocks. He asked the students if the jar was full and when they answered “yes” he proceeded to pour a bag of gravel into the jar. Again he asked the students if the jar was full

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and, being more wary this time, they answered that it probably wasn’t. The lecturer then poured a bag of sand into the jar, followed by a pitcher of water.

When he asked the students what they thought was the point of the illustration one bright spark said it was to show that no matter how full your schedule there is always space for more.

“Wrong” said the tutor. “It teaches us that if you don’t put the big rocks in first then you will never fit them in. If you sweat the little stuff (the gravel, the sand) 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 important stuff (the big rocks).”

So, when you find yourself in a situation where you find yourself overstretched and under pressure, there is really only one question which you should ask yourself:

What are your Big Rocks?

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