Five Balls Of Life
September 29, 2022
Browsing through my collection of great commencement speeches, I found an old reference to a famous address at Georgia Tech University by the ex-Coca-Cola CEO Brian Dyson about the ‘Five Balls of Life.’
This speech is one of the more viral speeches circulating on the web, and the message is similar to Steve Jobs’ famous speech at Stanford. In the speech, Dyson addresses the priorities in life using the metaphor of juggling five balls. He calls the balls work, family, friends, health, and spirit.
I am sharing the full transcript of Dyson’s original speech that I downloaded from the internet. (download full speech here (page 3)).
I am reproducing below the specific passage in the address where he alludes to the five balls.
“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.”
The passage explains itself. There is nothing much I need to add here. Dyson’s ‘Five Balls of life’ is certainly food for thought and an excellent way of reminding us not to lose focus on what is truly important in our lives.