Rules of the Red Rubber Ball

Reviewed by: 
Kevin Carroll
ESPN Books
Alistair Schofield, Managing Director, Extensor Limited

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(All sales commission goes to charity)

This month’s book is a great stocking-filler.  A short inspirational story about a man who was brought up by his grandparents after he was abandoned by his parents and went on to achieve his dreams.

It is true to say that there are lots of books like this, with stories of people who overcame terrible odds to achieve success in one field or another; but what I particularly like about this one is that it is short, to the point, unpretentious and beautifully presented. 

The author, Kevin Carroll, discovered in himself a talent for sports, and in my favourite part of the book describes how the teachers at his school would pin notes on his clothes for his grandparents to read.  One said “Please encourage Kevin to think about something other than sports”.  His grandmother pinned a reply to his clothes which read “If that’s what he loves – so be it!”

After a spell in the Air Force he was lucky enough to work for Nike, a company that applies its slogan “Just do it” to all of it’s activities and actively encourages employees to make the most of themselves.  At Nike Kevin Carroll’s job was to inspire.  What a great job!  How many organisations do you know who employ someone whose sole purpose is to inspire people?

So what about the red rubber ball.  The author uses the ball as a metaphor for a person’s dreams and aspirations.  He says that people discover their red rubber ball in moments of innocence – such as on a playground.  He contends that dreams start when we are playing and when we are free.  That’s when we imagine ourselves as being something bigger than we are.  He therefore encourages us to discover our own red rubber ball and to turn that dream into our life’s work.
Where many books of this type would then go into a lengthy explanation of how to go about achieving your goals, Rules of the Red Rubber Ball simply devotes a few pages to what worked for Kevin.

It’s a short, to the point, easy-to-read and fun book that you can get on Amazon for as little as £2.50.  My suggestion is that you buy 2 or 3; keep one for yourself and give the rest away as presents.

Click here if you would like to purchase a copy of this book.