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The most famous inspirational message delivered by the former CEO of Coca-Cola

The following is the speech delivered by the former president and CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises at the Georgia Tech 172nd Commencement Address Sept. 6, 1996.

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 evenshattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for Balance in your life.

How?

  • Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.
  • Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.
  • Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.
  • Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.
  • Don’t give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.
  • Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us to each together.
  • Don’t be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be pave.
  • Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find time. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings!
  • Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been, but also where you are going.
  • Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.
  • Don’t be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.
  • Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. Life is not a race, but a journey to be savoured each step of the way…

–Brian G. Dyson

In early 2000, a book was published and entitled “Suzanne’s Diary to Nicholas” by James Patterson. Many blogs mentioned that this famous lines were originally Bryan Dyson’s philosophy. Sorry, but I was skeptical to accept the fact that Bryan should take the credit of these brilliant and fascinating wisdom. Nothing against him but I was also able to hear these lines long time ago when I was a kid. After a few minutes of research, I bumped into James Patterson’s official website – http://www.jamespatterson.com. And this is what I got.

Where did the story of the five balls in Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas come from?

Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends, and integrity. And you’re keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls–family, health, friends, integrity–are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered. And once you truly understand the lesson of the five balls, you will have the beginnings of balance in your life.

One of the most dependably recurring questions I’ve gotten over the years is where did the above story of the five balls–which appears in Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas–come from?

I first heard a version of it from my grandmother when I was a kid, but-though she was a creative soul-I expect it pre-dates her. All I know is it’s been with us for a long time and has been told in many places–from Sunday sermons to a 1991 commencement address at Georgia Tech by Brian G. Dyson, former Vice Chairman of The Coca-Cola Company.

And I certainly am right there with everybody who resonates so strongly with it. It’s one of those true bits of wisdom that, unlike us, never grows old.”

Bottom line is the speech is awesome and definitely it touches souls.

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