July 02, 2013


Credit: renjith krishnan
If you were hoping for some investment ideas, budgeting principles, or the latest in tax-saving techniques today, I’m going to disappoint you. However, I believe I can offer you something that may be more valuable to you than all of the above – my thoughts on juggling.

Juggling is an impressive skill that is also a very good exercise for your mind and body. Juggling is something I had to learn how to do to pass 12th grade physics. Juggling is the image I think of every day when I evaluate the priorities in my life.

A couple of years ago, a good friend of mine shared an article with me about a speech given by Bryan Dyson, a former CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises, in which Mr. Dyson described life as juggling. Essentially you are juggling 5 balls: your health, your happiness, your faith, your family and friends, and your job. The premise is that if you drop any of the 5 balls (or fail to keep them high enough in the air), you will have a big problem. The thing is, the health, happiness, faith, and family and friends balls are glass – if they shatter you are sick or dead, unhappy, lost, or lonely. If you drop the job ball, it’s more like rubber. You may get reprimanded, you could get demoted, and it’s possible you might even get fired, but it is just a job. Even in the recent economic environment, you will eventually be able to find another job even if it’s different, doesn’t pay as well, or isn’t as fulfilling as your current one.

Look, this whole juggling act with the 5 balls of life is not my original idea, but it has become a part of my personal creed. I’m well aware that people need a job to provide for their families and to achieve their life goals, but I’m also cognizant of the fact that you can’t buy health, you can’t purchase happiness, faith is worth more than gold, and loyal family members and close friends are priceless. As a personal financial planner, it is sometimes part of my job to not only help people accumulate and preserve wealth, but also to encourage them to experience and enjoy life fully.

I juggle better some days than others, and I encourage you to keep trying to juggle the 5 balls of life in the best way you can. Just try to recognize if that smartphone, those never-ending emails and voicemails, and the constant stress and demands of your job are causing you to come close to dropping one of the balls of life. If so, you may need to drop the job ball to save the others. Remember, it’s just rubber.


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