There’s a line on my resume that says, “fire-juggler.”
It’s been quite a few years since my Dad dipped a club into some paraffin, sparked its tip to a flaming ball, and flicked it 15ft through the air at my head. But I’m pretty sure I could still return a couple before setting my hair on fire.
And it’s not like they can ask me to show them in the interview anyway.
Juggling is an overused metaphor for so many great reasons.
For starters, it’s not easy to keep your eye on several things at once.
We can certainly learn to juggle more, but that means being comfortable with dropping those balls a lot more.
Just speed up the rhythm until those flailing wrists are sending them sailing above your head with a 12345671234567123456712…
It doesn’t matter how good we get at juggling; eventually, we have to drop the ball.
It’s not how long we can juggle for that makes us great at juggling.
It’s how quickly we pick the balls up when they fall.
There’s nothing wrong with a selfless act, but let’s be realistic here.
It won’t pay the rent.
Putting yourself first isn’t selfish by default.
The cyclist at the front of the peloton creates a windbreak for the pack behind. And they wouldn’t be at the front if they’d spent time giving tips to other riders.
Doing something for other people is always much harder when we haven’t looked after ourselves first — no matter how much we want to do it.
When we give ourselves enough time, love, care, and respect first, there’s always more than enough to go around.
And it’s worth sharing.
Because you can’t win a race that nobody else is running.
You might be surprised how much thoughts can impact your body.
Visualization isn’t going to make you shredded, but it might help you get there. The real danger is from the flip side of the coin.
Although some stress is a good thing, it’s vital we’re not stressed out all the time.
If we don’t let ourselves relax — and drop into recovery mode — for a few minutes every day, it has a knock-on effect on everything else; our sleep, diet, mood, focus, everything.
We can take a whole lot more stress if we relax a little now and then. That’s why you get to have a little power nap after a yoga session.
Take a couple of minutes every hour, some hours every day, a few days every month, and a handful of weeks every year to relax.
Go for a walk or lie in the sun for 15 minutes.
Take some of Mother Nature’s valium.
Squish your toes in some earth.
Stare at the ceiling.
And then crack on.
In 2011, a mother and her son walked 300ft along a wire no wider than your thumb, 121ft above the ground — with no safety net.
It was an emotional moment for them both.
The woman’s father, The Great Karl Wallenda, had plunged to his death from that same spot 33 years earlier. He was 73.
If you haven’t heard of him, Karl Wallenda was the acrobat.
He and his family formed The Flying Wallendas, who created many of the acrobatic feats performed today. They were renowned for pulling off the most daring stunts while dangling hundreds of feet in the air — without a safety net.
Earlier that day, he was asked his terminal question: “Why?”
Karl is quoted as replying, “Life is on the tightrope, and the tightrope is the only place to be. The only place I feel alive is on the wire. Everything else is just waiting.”
Life is a balancing act. Our job as humans is to shuffle out along that wire every day and perform our best, knowing that one day we will fall. And walking out there anyway.
Because that thrilling fear that comes from doing something uncommon — that’s being alive.
That’s what it’s all about.
The rest is just waiting.