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Rules of the Red Rubber Ball

Joel Eberhart

By Joel Eberhart

Red Rubber Ball book
" It’s all about finding your life’s passion and following that into your work."

At Ideas Collide, there is a (very small) book that appears on almost every desk here in the office. This book is Kevin Carroll’s Rules of the Red Rubber Ball, which at under 100 pages, is small enough to fit in your back pocket. But while the book is small, the message is not. It teaches about finding your life’s passion and following that into your work, blurring the line between work and play.

When Carroll was younger, he was an athlete. He followed his passion for athletics into a position as a head athletic trainer for the Philadelphia 76’ers and a leadership position at Nike. His red rubber ball metaphor refers to the ball that represented his passion for sports—something that was always present when he was at his happiest as he grew up. Here are 3 guidelines for finding and following your own red rubber ball:

Commit – Follow your red rubber ball (your passion) and commit to achieving your work goal of being passionate about your job and having a real interest in what you do.

Be Creative – In and out of the office, be creative! Many great ideas come when you’re doing something entirely unrelated to your job, but still using the creative part of your brain and having fun.

Do the Lonely Work – To achieve your goals, sometimes the less than glamorous tasks must be completed in the interest of preparation. The lonely work is your practice.

Finding your red rubber ball is about finding your passion – it’s about finding a job or an element to your job that allows you to be at your most creative and at your very best.