Resilient Health

Striving for Balance

Recently I had to take my own advice again. And doing so meant pulling back from some things and paying more attention to others. Life balance is not static – it is a state of constant adjustments. And has this past year been an opportunity to practice that or what?

When I was healing from chronic Lyme disease several years back, I was reminded of this inspiring commencement speech given by the former CEO of Coca Cola, Byran Dyson in 1996. I understood then that in order to save my health, my family, and my spirit, I had to step down from my position as Medical Director at the Chopra Center. It was of course not an easy decision, but I knew then and I know now it was the right one.

I think you will find this golden nugget is as inspiring now as it was back then. Full text of the speech below:

“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 even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.


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 other.

Don’t be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find. The quickest way to receive love is to give it; 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 savored each step of the way. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a Mystery and Today is a gift: that’s why we call it ‘The Present’.”

What are you currently juggling? What can you let drop? What is the gift in your present moment? Let me know if the comments below.


  1. Daniel B. Porter

    Thank you for sharing your story with us and your amazing advice. I wish I would have had and lived by your advice for the past 40 years. I have personally lived the life of the person that allowed the critical glass balls – family, health, friends and spirit to drop and irrevocably be shattered. For sure these things will never be the same as a result of my compulsive behavior chasing work and money at all costs. I am grateful to receive your advice, because now I understand what you say to be true, and now I can share your advice with others with the hope that they will not repeat the same compulsive damaging behavior. I believe you sharing this information with us will help others in ways that are not measurable at this time. Forever grateful for your story and advice.

    1. Valencia Porter

      Thank you for sharing your story as well. This juggling/balancing act is a challenge for so many people. And it is my belief that it is never too late to learn, never to late to try to repair. In hindsight we can wish we had learned lessons or taken advice or action sooner. But all that we can truly deal with is the gift of the present moment.

  2. Megan Minarik

    Thank you for your amazing share!!! I am having some health challenges and all of the speech above was exactly what I needed. I will read it over and over with abundant gratitude.
    Love, love, love!!

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