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Rules of the Red Rubber Ball: Find and Sustain Your Life's Work

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  456 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
With simple but delightful storytelling, Kevin Carroll channels his childhood passion for sport and play into a universally appealing blueprint for life. Drawing wisdom from the playgrounds of his youth, where he spent hour upon hour sharpening his body and his mind, Carroll shares with readers his Rules of the Red Rubber Ball - how to achieve maximum human potential throu ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published September 7th 2005 by ESPN (first published January 1st 2004)
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(showing 1-30)
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Aug 19, 2007 rated it did not like it
Cliche platitudes on "achieving your dream"
May 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
If you're turned around/lost/confused/perplexed/frustrated/dejected/sad/unhappy with the direction of your life/job/relationship/career/education/dreams then you need to spend 20 minutes (yes, only 20 minutes) and read this book. It will alter/improve/change your life. No exaggeration.
I found a tape with the call number for this book on the shelf in the Irving library. When the librarian and I searched for the book, I saw there were several copies. Then I heard the story of Carroll visiting Irving and talking to the eighth graders. I brought the book home to read, lamenting the stolen copy that some student felt MUST stay with him or her. My granddaughter, who heard Carroll, saw the book and told me about his visit, and she declared the book to be "very inspirational!"

Dec 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I got to hear Kevin Carroll speak at the 2009 OASC (Oklahoma Association of Student Councils) State Convention. He was a dynamic speaker and this book is a distilled version of the speech he made. One thing in his speech that was not in his book was information on all the different ways that impoverished people around the world make their own balls. Kevin and his team have traveled around the world, distributing red rubber balls to these groups of people. It was amazing when he showed us all the ...more
I am so happy to have found my copy of one of my favorite books ever. It is short, simple and makes a lot of sense. Such a good reminder for me. It was in a box, but it won't spend time in the box again.

I heard Kevin Carroll speak at a conference in Chicago many years ago, and of course I bought this book there. He has others. It is absolutely something to give your teenager as they try to figure life out, or anyone of any age. It is something to keep a copy of for yourself to reread over and ov
Don The Idea Guy
Dec 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010_dtig
A simple book on the meaning of life, as well as a complex book on how to give your life more meaning. This book is simple. The guidelines provided within the less-than-100 creatively laid-out pages are simple, but just because something is simple, doesn't make it easy. Author Kevin Carroll outlines seven simple strategies anyone can use to give their life more meaning and more happiness using the iconic red rubber ball most everyone can recall from their school days. It's enjoyable read that ca ...more
Richard Mulholland
Jun 27, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: business, marketing

The only point I took from this book was the opening quote:

"The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and play, 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 whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both."

James Michener

There, I just saved you some time.
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you haven't seen or heard Kevin Carroll you probably will not get the full benefit of this book. Fortunately, I have had the pleasure of listening to Kevin's whole story and not just snippets from the book. This books proves that you can overcome all obstacles if you find your "Red Rubber Ball" in life. This is a good read, but I would follow up by saying you need to listen to Kevin's story in Person. The Passion in which he tells his story will move you more than you can imagine.
Dec 26, 2007 rated it liked it
The best part of this book for me was that my boss / principal gave it to all the teachers at my school just for the heck of it, and it's enjoyable to read.

One of our prior principals bought us books off and on, but they were always dense and dry and full of new and innovative reading strategies.

The best reading strategy, I think, especially if the book is above and beyond what people normally have to read, is to give them something they might enjoy.

Apr 27, 2011 rated it did not like it
This is not a book but a a long ramble-y metaphor that isn't particularly good.

Spoiler alert!!!....

the gist is: when the author was young he used to obsessively bounce a ball for long periods of time. Working should be like that.

if you are still tempted to read the book, it contains about 75 words, so three minutes should be about enough time, including turning pages.
Dec 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a really short (I read it in even less than the twenty minutes the other reader mentioned) inspirational / self help book.

I recommend it to everyone for two reasons:
1. It's short so you WILL read the whole thing without skipping through.
2. It makes sense, it's basic, but makes you think about how you handle your life.
Marjorie Elwood
Apr 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, inspiration
A little simplistic, but still very positive and inspirational. The book challenges you to figure out where your passion lies and then pursue it. My favorite quote: "I tell that story so you will challenge boundaries when they arise. There's always a way out. You are never trapped as long as you are brave, smart and strategic in your escape."
The way we find our passion and live it differs person by person. That it requires dedication, devotion and following where we are led by the best that is in us most of us know. This little book is a reminder.
I like books that recognize that we need reminded of great truths and that when they are simply rendered, they are more likely to stick. This book shows that it's author gets that.
Mar 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I went to a conference where the author Kevin Carroll was the speaker. I won the book and read the very same night. He has a great inspirational story on recognizing and acheiving your dreams. Very short read but definitely a must.
Gregory Rothbard
Jul 26, 2011 rated it liked it
What is your passion? This book examines insight-fully what it means to follow your red rubber ball. It can encourage anyone at any age. It is small enough to keep in your back pocket as a reminder that you are seeking to shine by glorifying God.
Jun 16, 2010 rated it liked it
A dear little book about how the author followed his dream with advice on how to follow yours, with darling design. Not mind-blowing insight, but I can see how if it hit you at just the right moment it would be perfect.
Hiroshi Mikami
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
He has been chasing his red rubber ball.

He never gives up.

Oh, I mistake.

There was a time when he nearly gave up.

There existed a person to inspire him.

This book is very inspiring.

By the way, what you Red Rubber Ball?
Dec 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Ienjoyed this. A great way to look at your dreams. Plus I'd like to have one of those balls to throw at my freshman every once in a while

Our principal gave this to me. It's nice to have a principal that is interested in really building a community. Dang right I'll read it.
Oct 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book should be 10 out of 5. For anyone who works with kids (Mindy, I've ordered you one) or has teens trying to figure things out, this is a must read/own. I certainly hope it's not available to download, as it needs to be touched and written in.
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I have read for inspiration! Something that you can read over and over in your pursuit of your joy. My boss gave me this and I hope to pay it forward to everyone out there working hard to reach their joy!
Jan 03, 2011 rated it liked it
a very quick read. could have fit it on an index card but great reminder to find our primal joy and pursue it! (another airport purchase coming home from the holidays that was read before we boarded!!)
Ben Kester
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: feb-botm
Not what I thought this was going to be. Creative, inspiring. The ideas are similar to what you hear everywhere (because that's how work works), but it's presented in a fresh way. If you go slow, you will knock this out in twenty minutes.

If you need a pick me up, pick this up.
Donna Gregory
Jan 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Kevin Carroll is an awesome guy! His story is an awesome story! With this said, I just don't get the power of this book. Yes, in an ideal world, we need to be able to incorporate what we love into what we do for a living. This book does nothing to tell me how to do this that I didn't already know.
Feb 21, 2016 added it
Shelves: nonfiction
A book that is more graphic design than words, there is nothing groundbreaking about the ideas in this text. But it is a creative, simple, reminder to ask oneself what one is chasing and why.

It asks questions I needed to hear.
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I heard Kevin speak in Austin at a TEDx event a few years ago, and just got around to reading this book... he is such an inspiration and this book is a fun way to approach finding your passion and attaining your dreams.
Nov 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2009
I had seen the author speak and wanted to read this - it was not quite what I imagined after the presentation, but it's a fun little book that would be nice to dip into for inspiration occasionally. More inspirational than how-to.
Feb 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
A fun, super short read. A great picker-upper!
Mar 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
Great book--short and to the point! Inspirational. Was recommended by counselors at Loyola University. Well worth reading!
John David
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful...great to read with your kids to get them thinking about what really matters to them.
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