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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Life is a game... of choice

“Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends, and spirit. 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...are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.”
We've all heard about the story/quote about juggling the five balls of life. Balls that represent Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit.  The way it is told and re-told may differ slightly but the message remains clear - work is something that you can drop, but the rest are so important that you really should focus on juggling them.  There is no alternative way to live your life.  Just drop the damn ball and not cause the rest to shatter!  That sounds very logical to most people, but I think we can take a fresh new look at these five balls of life from another perspective - the modern Singapore perspective.

A*Star researchers have found a negative correlation between COE prices and happiness of Singaporeans.
I suspect that for most Singaporeans, there is no rubber ball among the five.  In fact, we are really juggling five balls that are all made of glass.  Drop the work?  Unemployment/retrenchment is staring at your face and financial ruin awaits.  Drop your family?  Divorce and estranged relationships will eat you alive.  Drop your health?  The hospital bill could be scarier that the disease itself.  Drop your friends?  You lose an important source of support and companionship.  Drop your spirit?  Life becomes a suffering every waking moment.

The sad thing about our society today is that most of us would not be able to juggle all five glass balls.  There is at least one glass ball that would inevitably slip our hands and come crashing onto the floor.

Before you stop reading and start surfing for cheap houses in JB to retire in, there actually is a silver lining in all this.  That's because, if you can accept that it not possible to keep all five balls in the air, you will then learn to allow one or two balls to crack and shatter.  Most importantly, you will start to think about what is worth your while to protect, be it a great career, a good parent/spouse/sibling/son/daughter, a best friend, health or your high spirits.   It makes life a game of choice, and if you have chosen with your heart, there will not be a day that you live in regret.  The balls that you drop would be the ones that you don't mind dropping.  You will be happier, and people who matter to you will be too.

You can't please everyone, so why not just please yourself?  Keep juggling! 


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