What is a juggling act? Some might say that it’s the act of throwing multiple objects in the air without letting them fall to the floor. Others might say that juggling is catching everything life has to throw at you and arranging them in such a way as to prevent chaos. Personally, I like the guy in the show who juggles chainsaws, but juggling everything in your life can sometime be just as dangerous.
Learning to Juggle
Let’s take a look at the guy with the chainsaws again. We sit in the audience and wonder, “How the hell did he learn to do that?” How does a person wake up one morning and think, “Today I’m going to throw chainsaws in the air?”
Even though it might be hard to relate juggling chainsaws to our daily lives, I want you think about where this performer started. Think about the dedication it took for that person to be able to master juggling, and have the confidence to push themselves to the extreme.
In my blog today, I want to talk about what it took for me to learn to juggle the chainsaws in my life and how each of us, with practice, patience, and the confidence to make the big decision, can handle all the chainsaws life can add to our juggling act.
In it’s simplest outline, a normal day for most people consists of time for sleeping, our careers, and in our time to relax we eat, have fun, and fit in all of our other chores. Sometimes the 24 hours we get each day don’t seem like enough to accomplish everything on our schedule. However, just like the chainsaw juggler, we practice each day to manage all the elements of our lives.
I began practicing my juggling act when I was in college. When you’re given a class schedule you have to learn how to fit in other things during your day, like studying, working, and occasionally a little bit of fun.
A typical day then turns into classes during the day, the typical college student job (retail for me) at night and weekends. Throw a couple more factors like study sessions with classmates and other collegiate activates into the mix and the juggling act begins.
Practice isn’t just about becoming comfortable with your current situation. In order to improve, we have to challenge ourselves by trying new things. But don’t worry, life never hesitates to make each of our juggling acts a little bit more entertaining by throwing in more objects we have to toss in the air.
Fast forward to graduation and now my life contains a career, a lovely wife, and a new house. I traded class schedules for yard work and to-do-lists around the house. I swapped out the social activates of my college life with spending time with my wife and other married couples. The nice thing about that trade off is that I remember a lot more of the festivities.
And if that’s not enough life threw me my biggest chainsaw yet. Having a baby changed my life and made my juggling act even harder. But no matter how hard our lives become, it’s up to each of us to continue to practice in order to manage all the chainsaws that life throws at us.
An important idea to remember about that guy throwing the chainsaws all over the place is that no matter how much he practiced, there were times that he made mistakes. There were times he dropped a chainsaw and had to start all over.
Just like the juggler, there are times we wonder how to find the time for work, maintaining a house, family, friends, and the community. Before we know it, our lives become a never-ending list of things that we have to juggle every day. This is where patience come into play. Take a breath, slow down for a second and keeping moving forward.
Part of the key to patience is not taking things personally, which I realize is easier said than done. But did the chainsaw juggler take it personally every time one fell to the floor? Maybe sometimes, but not all the time. We juggle often enough in the day that we know we can do it. Instead of letting our troubles get the best of us, we just need to take a breath and focus on the chainsaws in our hands instead of the ones on their way down.
The Big Decision
It’s important to realize that our juggler didn’t start with chainsaws. He practiced with something small and gradually increased the difficulty of his act. Then one day he made the big decision to shock the crowd, throw away the bowling pins, and start juggling chainsaws.
Sometimes during our lives, life gives us the opportunity to do something scary; something that might seem like a crazy idea at the time. When I decided to change my career after 18 years of working in the same place, it was as if my life was challenging me to make the big decision and try something new and exciting.
I was filled with fear, doubt, and began to second guess myself when faced with this big decision. But it wasn’t until I looked back at my life and saw how much I had already practiced and the patience it took to become good at my job. I was soon filled with confidence that if I could master my life leading up to this new opportunity, I would have no problem making my juggling act just a little bit more exciting.
Put on a Great Show
Well, here I am juggling away, just like in college, just like starting a family, just like all the years before. We juggle all the things in our life and one thing stays the same; we have 24 hours to do it all. We juggle everyday and often times wonder how we do it. Even as I write this I’m wondering the same thing.
Take a lesson from the juggler so when your life gives the chance to use chainsaws, you’ll have confidence from all you’ve practiced and the patience to make your life one great show.