Have you ever felt like you spend your life juggling? Family, work, friendships, health, and simple daily commitments all demand our attention. It seems that the only way to satisfy all the demands is to frantically juggle them, hoping that nothing important gets dropped. But how do you determine what’s important? How do you prioritize?

In a university commencement address several years ago, Brian Dyson, then CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises, spoke of how we should prioritize our commitments:

Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling 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.

I love this! Think about it: A glass ball is not only more fragile than a rubber ball; it’s also more valuable. Family, health, friends and spirit are much more valuable than work. It’s important to give them higher priority so that they don’t get damaged or destroyed. No one goes to his grave wishing that he had worked more.

Keep your priorities straight. Taking care of your family, your health, your relationships and your spirit is not a selfish act. It’s a sustaining one.


  1. Coco Bantiles on March 4, 2019 at 4:52 am

    Good insight!

  2. Michelle on May 9, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    I heard this concept recently in a speaker’s presentation.. I love and appreciate how you’ve spelled it out here! Thank you!

  3. Sylvie on September 9, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    Hallo Sylvie I do not find my ethics lecture , but here is the lesson

  4. James on January 17, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    The juggling balls is a great analogy. Sadly, Mr Dyson appears to have taken James Patterson’s work.

  5. HEALTHY TIPS on August 5, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    john your effort is very colorful…

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