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Rocks have their place

One day, a Tibetan Lama was speaking to a group of monks and, to make a point, pulled out a large jar, set it on the table in front of him, produced a few fist-sized rocks, and placed them into the jar.

When no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, ‘Is this jar full?’. Everyone said, ‘Yes’. He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel, poured 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.

Once more he asked: ‘Is this jar full?’ ‘No!’ the monks shouted. ‘Good!’ He said and grabbed a pitcher of water and poured until the jar was filled to the brim. Then 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 speaker replied, ‘the point is that if you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them all in at all. What are the priorities in your life?’

– from the art of looking sideways, p141.

Bonus quote …

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.

Pablo Picasso