“The master in the ART of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion.
He hardly knows which is which.
He simply pursues his vision of excellence at wherever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing.
To him he’s always doing both.”
* James Michener
I heard of this book a few years ago after my best friend Mike had met Yogi Roth at an event. It stuck with me that he said this was his favorite book. Numerous times I passed it up because of how small and short the book is.
It is interesting how life works out and how life finds a way to come full circle. I dove into this book after listening to Kevin Carroll, the author, on multiple podcasts over the past few weeks, specifically the Finding Mastery Podcast with Michael Gervais.
I really related to this personally/professionally as well as was challenged and empowered by this book. I related to this idea of chasing my “red rubber ball” within my current career path, however the way Kevin Carroll articulates this book makes you think deeper and ask yourself tough questions that make you reflect no matter your age.
The “red rubber ball” is a metaphor for understanding your purpose and committing to what brings you the most joy. Specifically, childlike joy which is explained through the life story of Kevin. How sports and a red rubber ball has ultimately altered his life for him to be the best he can be. From losing his parents, to collegiate student-athlete, serving in the air force, athletic trainer for 76ers, working with Kobe when he was in his youth, working for Nike as the inspiration for projects such as the LIVESTRONG yellow band, and running his own company Kevin Carroll Catalyst. Using creative ways to empower people to be their absolute best.
This read is simple and can be a tool to refer back to along your journey. It provides a profound perspective on the path to question, understand, and commit to seven major rules. For example, “Build and nurture relationships, and others will help you pursue your red rubber ball.” When diving into the second rule Kevin explains his life story and the power of asking “Why Not?” This process hit me because his story was very similar to my close friend group, where we challenge each other with that phrase.
I would recommend this book to anyone that is looking to dive deeper into what brings them the most joy, or who wants to better establish their personal path in the relentless pursuit of self-excellence. There is a lot to learn from the man whose life was saved by the power of play.
Below are more resources to check out if interested.
Finding Mastery https://findingmastery.net/kevin-carroll/
Yogi Roth https://www.yogiroth.com/pod/kevin-carroll-ball-saved-life/