Juggling and focus

Have you seen Cirque Du Soleil?

I watched the performance with a couple of young people. We were entertained. We were amazed. And one of us cried halfway home because he wanted to stay there with all the circus people. Quite the impression!

I found one of the acts was particularly impressive. A women on a bicycle with an umbrella juggling. Juggling lots. So many objects.

It was incredible to watch. Such skill. Such concentration. Whenever I think of juggling that suspended artist on her bike with her umbrella comes straight to mind. How did she do it?

What is juggling? 

Well the definitions read like this

“continuously toss into the air and catch (a number of objects) so as to keep at least one in the air while handling the others.” and/or “cope with by adroitly balancing (several activities).”

How does juggling overlay with opportunity and leadership growth?

Well it depends on what you are trying to juggle doesn’t it?

So back to my mental image. Do you have lots of balls going at once? Are you:

  • able to keep your eye on them all?
  • worried about dropping one or three or perhaps all of them?
  • concerned that others will see this “collapse of order” and you will be embarrassed? What about the globe

Well what happens when we have too many balls going? 

As I watched my suspended juggler maintain a cloud of ping pong balls I did watch her face. And particularly her eyes. They appeared to be glancing through the swirl using her peripheral vision to track flashes.

I have tried to juggle and a modicum of success was achieved through not looking at the individual object. But to predict and then manage my movements in anticipation.

Perhaps someone who juggles may have a succinct description of what the brain and body does. My point is that in the act of juggling perhaps we are not focusing. Well, not focusing on the objects.

And when we manage the complexities of our lives, what do you juggle?

My life can be very complex, as can all of ours. And I have to be candid here. I am OK but not great with juggling. And I have discovered that the way I juggle doesn’t connect to my espoused values.

Does your juggling reflect your life values? 

I have found that it is people in my life that are dropped when the everything I’m juggling becomes too:

  • demanding
  • many 
  • unpredictable

So what can we do about this?

Well, perhaps its the following

  • Know your values and reflect on them when things get complex
  • Understand that juggling requires us to look through the cloud of ping-pong balls and perhaps occasionally the best thing might be to catch a ball and focus on it.
  • Accept that juggling too many things may result in us doing nothing except keep everything in the air.

I am going to keep talking about juggling over the next couple of weeks. Feel free to share if you know someone who is thinking through the concept of juggling. 

And, if you have someone in your gang who knows how to actually juggle ask them give you a demonstration and watch them.