Your balls won’t always bounce back

by Paul Goodchild on April 1, 2014

Here’s a little metaphor to help us find that sweet-spot balance in life. It’s basically this:

In life you’re juggling 5 balls:

  1. Work
  2. Health
  3. Family
  4. Friends
  5. Spirit

As any one that’s tried juggling knows, we sometimes drop the ball. Which one we drop in this case is important.

All the balls in that group of 5 are made of glass, except the ‘Work’ ball.

The Work ball is the only one made of rubber, and when you drop it, it bounces back.

However, the other 4: Your health, your family, your friends, and your spirit… when you drop these they will, being glass balls, be irreparably scarred.

You might scratch it, break it, or even shatter it.  But when you drop it, it’ll always leave its mark.

Isn’t it strange how we always get our balls confused, and we treat the ‘Work’ ball as glass, and the other 4 as the rubber?

Shit, I know I’m guilty of that… and frankly it’s about time I fixed it.

How about you?


I can’t take credit for this metaphor, I heard it referred to on the ‘now-one-of-my-favourite-podcasts’, The Fizzle Show, and is a quote from Brian Dyson (CEO of Coca Cola), where he says:

“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 it.”


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