Bicycle and Juggling

In his podcast, Akimbo, Seth Godin teaches us how to adopt a posture of possibility, change the culture, and choose to make a difference. Here are my takeaways from the episode.

  • Seth asserted that so many things in our lives are not taught Too often we learned to do something by approaching it from a wrong angle. Take learning to bike as an example. Strider Bikes has taught kids about biking, not so much about pedaling fast but about balancing. By learning how to balance, we can step up our game and learn to ride bikes with pedals.
  • When it comes to learning to juggle, most people think juggling is about catching, which is the wrong approach. Instead, juggling is about throwing. If we throw the ball well, the catches will take care of themselves. By focusing not making any mistakes catch the ball, our throws get worse and inevitably all balls end up on the ground.
  • By focusing on throwing/catching and not worrying about dropping the ball, we bypassed the shadow of status, the status and pressure of not dropping balls. At the same time, we also bypassed the fear. Too often we get hung up on how it’s supposed to be as opposed to what work we need to do to get us there.
  • When we try to learn to do something like a pro right away, it’s not fun for us because we are simply not good at it yet. Learning is not supposed to be a penalty, so we need to let the status go. It is more important for us to think about the work that we want to do. As soon as we can let the status go and think about what the work is for, we can focus on the important things that are also difficult.
  • How then to become a successful novelist? The proper approach is to write. Do not write a novel but just Simply write then publish it to the world online. Give it away, share it, spread it, then do it again. We might write poorly but keep writing. We also need to figure out how to stand up and tell a story. Getting good at telling a story is about holding people’s attention as we work our way through a monologue that they want to hear again. Tell more stories. Write more. Share more. Then write some more.
  • How does one become an entrepreneur? Solve a problem for someone and then we solve another problem. One problem after another, and we learn to see and hear. We are learning to tell a story that people want to hear and then we do it again and again. We show up. We create things. We produce and contribute value. Do these enough times, and we start to see the world differently. Do these enough times, and the fear goes away. The fear goes away because we now can connect the dots and see that we have gotten good at doing.
  • In summary, throw-throw-catch-catch is the key to learn juggling. Focus on practicing our throwing, not so much on the catching.