Travel lessons from a juggler | TravelResearchOnline

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Travel lessons from a juggler

In travel, we are always juggling tasks. A payment needs to be made. Mr. Smith is on the phone and he’s mad. Southwest’s computer system just went down. The toilet is baked up. The cat barfed on your shoe. And you forgot to pick your kid up from soccer practice. Welcome to our world.

Let’s face it, travel planning can be very simple. But more frequently, it is not. And much of the trials and tribulations are out of our control. So, how does an travel pro handle it all? Let me offer a lesson from a juggler.

A friend of mine is a motivational speaker and a juggler. A real one. And he ends each presentation by tossing stuff up in the air. When he gets going, it really does look like any of our lives—speaking coherently while tossing an orange in one hand, a bowling ball in the other, all the while popping a ping pong ball in and out of his mouth. Impressive no doubt.

And then for the close, he brings out his fruit cart stocked with apples and oranges and his set of three swords. He invites an audience member on the stage and explains that they are to toss the fruit into the path of his swords as he juggles them. And he starts. The blades are shiny and mesmerizing and the volunteer tosses in an apple and the blades miss it and it falls to the ground. Another orange is tossed and the blade makes contact with it slicing the orange in half. Another apple and then another orange. All sliced in half. Finally, he asks the volunteer to pick up as many apples and oranges as possible and rapidly toss them into the path of the swords one after the other. And with each toss of a single piece of fruit, two halves fall to the floor. He stops. Applause rings out.

And to wrap, he asks the audience if they were paying attention. Of course they all nod in agreement. He says thank you and asks if there are any questions. Invariably there are. And invariably the one that is always asked is “how do you not get cut?”

He explains to the audience that may be thinking that it is a trick sword that the swords are very real. He slices a sheet of paper in front of them. He explained that while he was learning to do this he was cut many times. Sometimes superficially and sometimes requiring stitches. But those days are gone. How?

The blades are going to do what the blades are going to do—cut things in their way. No one is going to be able to change that. If the blade comes down, it is going to cut something. The way to avoid getting hurt is ignore the blades and focus on the handles. As long as he has control of the handles, the blades will go where he wants them to and safely cut whatever is in their path.

Take this back to your office. Do you waste time focusing on things you cannot control? Do you find yourself mired in someone else’s problem without a clear way out? Focus on the handles. Focus on what you can control and you will be much better off!

I challenge everyone to make this a New Year’s resolution—Focus More On The Handles. And don’t get cut!

And with that, this ends another year of Editorial Musings. TRO takes a breather the last few weeks of every year to refresh our minds and spend time with our loved ones. I will be back on January 6th, 2020 (never thought I’d live to see that milestone) to begin my 12th year with TRO. To everyone reading—I wish you a safe and happy holiday filled with love and special times! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus, and a Happy New Year!

–JWF

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