The Most Important Thing in Your Life 生命中最重要的东西

The Most Important Thing in Your Life 生命中最重要的东西

◎ Stephen Covey

One day an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget.

从前,一位时间管理专家给一群商学院的学生作演讲,其中他举的一个例子让所有学生终生难忘。

As he stood in front of the group of high-powered over-achievers he said, “Okay, time for a quiz.” Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed Mason jar and set it on the table in front of him.

他站在一群学历高资质高的学生面前说:“好吧,现在来作个小测试。”随后,他拿出一个1加仑的广口瓶,放在他面前的桌上。

He then produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is the jar full?”

接着,他把一些拳头大小的石子小心翼翼地放进瓶里,一次放一个。当石子碰到瓶口,再也放不进一个时,他问道:“瓶子满了吗?”

Everyone in the class said, “Yes.”

班上所有人回答说:“是的。”

He replied, “Really?”

他又问一遍:“真的吗?”

He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel, then dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the space between the big rocks.

专家把手伸进桌子下方,拉出一桶细碎石,倒入一些,摇了摇,让碎石填满了之前石块间的缝隙。

He asked the group once more, “Is the jar full?”

他再次提出问题:“现在瓶子满了吗?”

By this time the class was on to him. “Probably not.” one of them answered.

这时全班都在思考,其中一个声音回答说:“应该还没有。”

“Good!” he replied.

“很好。”专家说。

He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, “Is the jar full?”

他再次从桌下拿出一桶沙子,往瓶里继续倒,细沙迅速填满了石块与碎石之间的缝隙。他再一次问道:“瓶子满了吗?”

“No!” the class shouted.

“没有!”全班一起叫着说。

Once again he said, “Good!”

专家再次说:“很好!”

Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?”

继而,他拿出一罐水,开始往瓶里倾倒,直到水漫到瓶子边缘。他看了看学生们,问:“这个例子说明了什么?”

One eager student raised her 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 in!”

一位热切的同学举手回答说:“这个例子说明,不管你的时间表排得多满,只要你愿意,你总可以在中间插入其他的安排。”

“Good answer, but no.” the speaker replied, “That’s not my point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all. What are the ‘big rock’ in your life? In my life they are my children… my wife… my loved ones… my education… my dreams… charities and worthy causes… teaching language or mentoring others… doing things that I love… time for myself… my health… Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you’ll never get them in at all.”

“回答得很好,但不完全正确。”专家回答说,“这不是我想表达的。这个例子真正想告诉我们的是,如果你不是最开始放进去大石块,到后来它们就怎么也放不进去。你们生命中的‘大石块’是什么?在我生命里,是我的孩子,妻子……我爱的人……我的知识……我的梦想、慈善事业……教育事业……我热爱的事情……我独处的时间……我的健康……记得把这些大事件先安排处理,否则到后来你永远处理不好。”

If you sweat the little stuff 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 big, important stuff (the big rocks).

如果你先放入碎石,你的生活就会充满无谓的琐事,导致你面对那些重要的大事情时,无所适从。