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The Big Rocks in Our Lives

The Big Rocks in Our Lives

By Estee Goren, MFT, M.A.

There is an old fable about a teacher who was trying to make a point to his class. He picked up a large empty jar and filled it up with rocks. He asked the students if the jar was full. They all agreed that it was. So the teacher then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. The pebbles filled up the space between the big rocks. He then asked his students again if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The teacher then poured sand into the jar, and of course, the sand filled up all remaining space.

Then he looked up at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?” One student 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 teacher said, “That’s not the point. This jar symbolizes your life, and the big rocks represent the things that are most important to you. And if you don’t put your “big rocks” in first, you will never be able to add them later.”

So what are the big rocks in your life? Your family? Your integrity? Your contribution to others? Your faith? Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you’ll never get them in at all. Sometimes when we get very busy with everyday life, we forget about the things that really matter to us. Or we may mistakenly assume that we will have time for them later. But many times, “later” never arrives, or it turns out to be too late. Those, who faced a crisis such as a major loss or a life threatening experience, are usually the ones who are driven by their “wake up call” to re-evaluate their priorities and focus on the things that are of great personal importance to them.

How can those of us, who didn’t get a “wake up call,” be sure that we live our lives in harmony with our values, passions and inner truth? Imagine that you are at the end of your life. Look back and identify the main things that you wish you had done or that you had done more often. Now write those wishes in the present tense, as if you have already achieved them. These affirmations are your "big rocks." Live by them daily!

Estee Goren, M.A., is a Marriage & Family Therapist (MFC 50146). She specializes in life-threatening illnesses, grief & loss, relationship issues, life transitions, and growth. Her goal is to help others gain a new perspective, improve their quality of life, overcome difficulties, and pursue personal development.



Estee Goren, MA, MFT
MFC 50146

425 El Pintado Road, Suite 101
Danville, CA 94526

(925) 399-1177

info@EsteeCounseling.com