Aaron is one of the coaches at Empowered Strength who also happens to enjoy juggling quite a bit. For these reasons, this article will be written from his point of view specifically on why he loves juggling and how it pertains to overcoming failure and other challenges.
This one is a bit different, so enjoy!
Have you ever had three things fall out of your cupboard at once and wished you had an extra hand to catch that third thing with?
Yeah. That’s probably a strange question. But, I bet if you knew how to juggle, those dastardly things wouldn’t have known what caught them!
Which, for obvious reasons, lets you know that I’m about to talk about juggling. Specifically, I want to give you my top three reasons as to why juggling is an excellent practice to have in your pursuit of greater health, strength, and overall awesomeness as a human being.
Here they are:
#1: It Reinforces the Fact that Failure Is An Opportunity to Learn
One of the biggest issues in the pursuit of health and fitness is the concept of failure.
Failure almost always seems like it’s what prevents us from achieving our goals and becoming the person we want to be. Failure is what we try to avoid at all costs. And, it’s seen as representative of being “not good enough,” or, “not smart enough,” or, “lazy,” or even, “completely incompetent.”
Do you remember when you first learned how to walk? Probably not.
But, you can still do it, can’t you?
Likely, that’s because you fell down a ton of times as a toddler, figured you must have done something wrong, decided you were going to try again, but just a little different this time, and made it to your feet after repeating this process again and again. You didn’t simply give up after that first mistake. If you did, well, anything that requires your own two feet must be a terribly difficult experience.
Much in the same way, you quickly learn that juggling is more “dropping things,” then it is “throwing and catching.”
You try and try and try again until you eventually get it. But, you can’t just keep trying repeatedly in the same manner.
Instead, you use each instance of “failure,” to reassess why and how you failed. Why did you drop it? Was it thrown too far? Am I not timing my catches correctly? Is the rhythm off?
Then, when you do try again, you always remember:
Failure is simply “Feedback.”
It’s simply a chance to see why things did not go as intended and to see how you can do better next time. If you don’t fail, you never learn!
So, the more you fail, perhaps, the better you will become.
Seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it?
#2: It’s a Testament to Perseverance over Frustration
What happens when you fail? Well, like we just talked about, we take it as an opportunity to learn why we failed and to do better next time.
“Why did I miss that catch? Oh, it’s because I keep throwing too far in front of me with my left hand. I’ll need to make sure my left hand throws a little differently than my right to keep my tosses closer to me.”
But, what happens when you fail again?
Duh! You try again! We’ve talked about this.
But . . . What happens when you fail yet again?
You get frustrated, of course! Especially when it’s the same mistake repeated more times than is legally appropriate.
Something else you learn rather quickly when teaching yourself to juggle or learn a new trick: All that dropping of things over and over gets exceedingly frustrating!
Can you deal with all the frustration that comes from not doing things correctly? Sometimes repeatedly?
If you can’t, then I’m sorry to say that the only way you will ever be successful in your endeavors is if you never, ever, ever screw up. That’s not very realistic is it?
One of the keys to perseverance, in my relatively informed opinion, is to begin with a mindset of acceptance. That is, acceptance of the fact that some things are exceptionally challenging by their own nature.
Accordingly, a strong belief of mine is thus:
If you can learn a super challenging juggling trick, then you just might have the mental tenacity to surpass many other challenges.
Plus, you’re probably coordinated as heck!
#3: It Teaches You to Recognize Patterns
The third reason, and perhaps my favorite as it pertains to health and fitness, is how juggling can give you the skill of recognizing patterns, alongside ninja-like reflexes. Juggling, in its very essence, is just a pattern repeated ad infinitum; a nonstop loop of throwing and catching and throwing and catching over and over again.
In order to juggle you must be able to recognize its pattern. And, once recognized you then make attempts to replicate that pattern until you get it.
But, perhaps most important of all, is the ability to recognize those patterns, and then break them down into their individual parts. You may notice that when an individual juggles three balls, that there is always one ball in the air. There you go! You just recognized a single part to the overall pattern. You may also notice, that when that same individual juggles three balls, that he waits until the very last moment to throw a ball right before he catches the one in the air. This is what creates the rhythm necessary to maintain consistency within the pattern. And, again, is another smaller pattern within the larger whole.
What’s the point of this?
In order to make a change in your life, you must first recognize and notice what that change needs to be, and what patterns are associated with it.
Here’s an example: (Starring: “Hypothetical You”)
Hypothetical You has come to the conclusion that you need to start “eating better.” Some part of you already understands that part of eating better is, “not eating too much.” But, how might you be eating too much, currently?
If you already make it a point to recognize patterns, you might suddenly realize that every time Hypothetical You goes to eat during your lunch time in the break room, that you eat a couple donuts and a soft drink.
Why does Hypothetical You do this?
You discover that every time you eat in the break room, some of your coworkers are there chatting. And, when you decide to join in on the conversation, they also happen to be eating a couple donuts and soft drinks. With not wanting to be the odd guy out, you also partake in this behavior.
Do you see this pattern?
Many don’t, until they take the time to intentionally recognize what patterns and behaviors they enact on a daily basis.
Awareness, especially intentional awareness can be a very, very powerful thing!
Which, in my opinion, is a thing you can develop with juggling as a tool.
Give it a try!
At the very least, it’ll be entertaining.
But, at the very most, it could potentially change your life.
So, what can you do now?
You can learn how to juggle! It’s fun, a cool party trick, and now you know it can be pretty useful on your journey to greater strength, health, and overall personal improvement.
Additionally, you can get started working with us at Empowered Strength! We already know many of the most common patterns that keep individuals from achieving the results they’d like to see in themselves.
Don’t try to juggle your health and fitness on a whim! Let us help you help yourself by being an extra set of hands in your life. Learn about Getting Started or . . .
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