Are You Juggling Glass and Rubber Balls?

The first time I heard this story was in 1997. Brian Dyson used the metaphor of juggling 5 balls for work-life balance.

Here is the story. Back in 1996 Coca-Cola’s former CEO, Brian Dyson gave “The 5 balls of life speech” and it has become one of the most viral speeches circulating on the net. Similar to Apple founder Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University, Dyson addresses the priorities in life using the metaphor of juggling 5 balls. He calls the balls work, family, friends, health and spirit.

” Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit – and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball.

If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same.

You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”

My takeaway:

What I love about Dyson’s message is that it does single out those important attributes in our life: family, spirit, health, friends and work.

Treat all of them with the TLC they deserve. Treat them like fragile glass balls and focus on the awareness of it all and activities where they all feel right and proper.

Call it balance if you want, but strive to get there.

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