Yesterday a friend came for some coaching and was chagrined to find he’d forgotten he had a dental appointment he’d scheduled at the same time. He says he warns folks that with all he’s doing (including countless volunteer hours) that he’s bound to drop a few balls.
But it’s clear he hates it. It doesn’t fit in with the sense of excellence he tries to pursue in his life. And he berates himself when he ‘drops balls’.
It’s pretty common for people to use the juggling metaphor to describe all the activities and responsibilities they’re carrying. And when people say they’re dropping balls, it reinforces this sense that the juggling is not something they would choose to do (if they felt they had a choice).
So we worked with the metaphor a little bit. A professional juggler gets to choose what s/he juggles. A beginning juggle is not going to juggle more than a few balls at one time. Nor is a beginning juggler going to work with swords or flaming torches.
In fact, one of the things my friend decided is that rather than drop balls, he was going to put a few down. This included not making 4 different calls (with all the attendant decisions they would provoke) about his organization’s website this week so he could concentrate on other priorities.
What about you? Are there a few things you can take off your to-do list this week in a conscious way so you can work on other things? Can you do this without feeling guilty about putting those balls down, so you can juggle more easily-and with more enjoyment?
May we pursue our paths, only juggling things that deserve to be juggled in the present, and putting down a few balls, rather than dropping them,