Brain-Body Connection

Big Rocks

rocks in bowl

A college philosophy professor walked into his class carrying a large bowl and several bags of rocks, of all different sizes.  He sets the bowl down and opens the bag with fist-sized rocks.  One by one he carefully places the rocks into the bowl until it can hold no more.  Looking up at his class, he asks, “Is the bowl full?”

Almost in unison, the class answers with a resounding, “Yes!”  “No, it’s not,” responds the teacher.  He dismisses class and walks out.

At the next class period the teacher opens up a bag filled with pebbles and pours them into the bowl.  The pebbles settle down in between the larger rocks and fill up the bowl.  “Is it full now?”  asks the professor.  “Yes, now it is full,” responds the class.  “No, it’s not.  You’re dismissed”  he says as he walks out the classroom door.

On the following class, the professor opens up a bag of sand.  “You told me the bowl was full, correct?”  He pours the sand over the bowl and it settles into all the grooves and open spaces in the bowl between all the rocks and pebbles.  After he empties the entire bags’ contents, again he asks his class, “Is it full?”  Not wanting to the get answer wrong again, his class takes the entire period to talk about it and deliberate.  At the conclusion of the hour, they have decided that yes, indeed, the bowl was full.  They could see no other way for any more rocks, pebbles or sand to fit inside the bowl.  “Wrong,”  replies the professor.  “Think about it some more.”  At this, he dismisses the class.

When the professor enters the room for the fourth class he is carrying with him a pitcher of water.  “According to you, this bowl is full and can hold no more.  Is that correct?”  “Yes,” responded his students.  The professor picked up the pitcher and poured its entire contents into the bowl.  He poured until water spilled out over the edges.  “Now, is it full?”  “Yes,”  responded the students.  “Now it’s full.”  “You are correct.  It is full.  The bowl can hold no more.  Now, what have you learned?”

Again, eager to get the correct answer the students deliberated for a while.  When they thought they figured out the answer they said, “The bowl is like our life.  We think our lives are full and busy, but we can always add more.  We must fill up our lives and live to the fullest.”  “Wrong again,” came the answer from the professor.  “You totally missed the point.  The point is that if I hadn’t put the big rocks in first, they never would have fit.

Sit down and think about this for a moment.  What are your Big Rocks?  What are the things, activities, and people in your life that get the most of your attention, time, energy and money?  Write them down.  If you need help, open your checkbook and see where your money is going, or open your calendar and see how you’re spending your time.  Now that you have that list, ask yourself, are these things, activities, and people the same things, activities and people who I value the most?  If you can honestly answer yes, then good for you.  But if not, you’ve got a problem and your life could use some reworking.

The Big Rocks are the top priorities in your life.  They are the things, people, and activities that hold the most value for you.  They could be your health, your family, your job, your relationships, etc.  They are the areas that you spend your most time, money, and energy.  If you say that your health holds a high value to you, that it’s one of your Big Rocks, yet you only spend 1-2 days/week doing anything to help it, you’ve got a problem.  You are more than likely out of balance and living incongruously.

I invite you to take some time over the next week or 2 and figure out just what your Big Rocks are and see if they match up with how you are investing your resources.  If you notices any imbalances or incongruities, start making a plan and taking actions steps to correct the problem.  If health is one of your Big Rocks, are you taking care of the most important aspect – your brain-body connection (nerve system)?  You live your entire life through your nerve system and if it is not in good “working order” you’re missing out on experiencing your full potential.  If regular chiropractic appointments and adjustments when needed are not a part of your regular health regimen, give us a call and we’ll be honored to help you reach your goals.

(I’ve heard the Big Rocks story many times from many sources. However, I believe Steven Covey deserves the credit as the original source. I believe it was published in “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”)