Lessons from Juggling

Juggling BallsIn my last post on juggling life I asked you to watch a video that was at the bottom of the text and apply what Michael Moschen was saying to life, not physical things. In this post I’ll do it for you, give you my perspective on his talk. I understand we’re all busy and watching a 38 minute video might not be possible or practical.

The first lesson Mr. Moschen gives is knowing where the ball is in time and space, being aware. Where are you in time and space? Have you achieved the things you want when you wanted them? Too many people don’t know, don’t keep track of their progress, of their goals. Too many people are not aware.

The next step, once you know where you are in time and space, is adding complexity. But notice that he only added the complexity of vertical movement, he didn’t add several items, he added one! How many of us add complexity before knowing where we are in time and space? How many of us add several layers of complexity at one time? Too often, I think, having children comes first then we figure out how to make ends meet. Too often people start businesses and quit their job before they figure out how to make a profit.

Third was balance illustrated by a broom perched on his chin, forehead, and even his ear. Balance is making sure you’re the center. If the broom begins to list left, move left, to center yourself under it. As you begin to learn balance the movements are dramatic but the better you get the more still you become, the more you realize the power in small adjustments. Are you making small adjustments in life or are you waiting until the broom has almost fallen over?

The last items, not mentioned by name but clearly evident, were curiosity and experimentation. These are themes I talk a lot about in What Next, the book, and in this blog. Curiosity and experimentation is what leads to discovery. Seeing things in a different way is what inspires Michael Moschen to put movement to inanimate objects creating stunning visuals. Most of us look at the same things, in the same ways but the few who can look at the same things in different ways or who find new things are the most successful.

Here’s a similar type of juggling that I just had to share – and it’s much shorter than 38 minutes!

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Be Curious

One common trait among successful people is curiosity but I believe a lot of people are not curious enough.

My day job at a television network has been as an instructor teaching the various levels of staff to use new technology. From cameras to satellite transmission, technology has made everything more interactive, more computer-like. A common theme I see among the students however is a lack of experimentation, a lack of curiosity.

Sony Z5uTake the example of a camera that has several variables controlling exposure, the brightness of the image. I see students change one variable and, when they don’t get the desired effect, they often stop or give up. There are other options but instead of trying them out, instead of experimenting, they simply stop.

My innate curiosity leads me to touch and change more things than I probably should but that’s not a bad thing. Experimentation is necessary for learning especially in a classroom setting and yet so many of the students are unwilling to risk messing up that they never get it right.

I see a lot of people in life who are afraid to try new things to take a risk. An entrepreneur you meet in my book, Scott Loughmiller, says that people often “see massive risk where there is only moderate, and no risk where there is a significant amount.” Most people are poor risk managers.

Successful people take risks but manage them so that one mistake doesn’t derail the whole project. Successful people are curious and touch all the buttons and change all the dials in an effort to understand and to learn. So be curious! That risk isn’t as big as you think!

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