William Liao

May 5, 2022

glass balls

While going over the priorities for a project I was working on in a previous role, my coworker asked me: “which of these priorities are glass balls?”

Unfamiliar with the term, I asked him to elaborate. 

He explained to me that ‘glass balls’ is a term he and his peers had used in the Marine Corps to identify what priorities they couldn’t afford to drop.

This exercise is driven by the implicit understanding that just because something is important doesn’t guarantee that it can get done. 

Instead of wondering how you’re going to juggle the 100+ important things you might have to going on in life (hint: you can’t), consider early on how much space you realistically have and how many important things you can hold in that space (hint: it can’t be everything). 

This isn’t about conceding to failure, it’s about being compassionate and treating yourself like a human instead of a machine.