Carol’s Rules of the Red Rubber Ball

By:  Carol Vickers , Executive Business Coach

When I first came upon this book, it was being shared among the Executive Team of an organization that I was working for.  There was great excitement about its message and it was referred to a number of times in conference calls and at meetings.  I was not in that inner circle and my thought at the time was that clearly I didn’t belong or I would have been invited to play.

In reading it later, I realized how I really had missed Kevin Carroll’s whole point.  It was another time, when I was not chasing my own red rubber ball.  I remembered how earlier experiences in being an entrepreneur, some of which had been successful and one that was a spectacular failure, could colour my world and limit my life.

At that time, I had taken on building a company that was cooperative and collaborative and included family and friends in the design and structure.  I struck out as leader in a direction that was completely unknown and into unfamiliar territory.  Although we made great strides, we ran into challenges that people experienced in that industry could not have overcome and as we wound down operations, I found myself sitting on the floor of the shipping room of the enterprise, saying to myself (in my best Stan Laurel of Laurel & Hardy voice), “This is another fine mess you’ve gotten us into, Carol”.

In that moment, I discovered that I truly have an indomitable spirit and was not going to be stopped.  However, recollecting the feeling of not being included in the Red Rubber Ball club, had me realize that I forget the strength of that spirit and how I must surround myself with reminders and people who know that and will call me back to who I am when I am playing with my friends.

My rule for the Red Rubber Ball comes from Mike Dooley, of TUT:

“I recognize that living within space and time, as a Creation amongst my Creations, is the ultimate Adventure, because thoughts become things, dreams come true, and all things remain forever possible.”

My lesson from the Red Rubber Ball is to continue to play, full out, with enthusiasm and wonder.  I share my dreams with my friends, family and colleagues so there is a crowd who will remember when I forget and nudge me in the right direction.  I start each morning with gratitude and look for opportunities to be of service to the people around me.  My work, coaching, training and guiding others is a dream come true and each moment that I am engaged, I am delighted.

It is in the times of extreme challenge that we find out what we are made of.  As I sat, laughing through my tears, thinking of the black and white Laurel and Hardy movie, in the last remnants of what I thought was going to be my life’s work, I found that all things do remain possible!


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