My Circus Life is a weekly broadcast in which I share a lesson from flying trapeze and trampoline and how it relates to life and business. Today was Episode 90: The Art of Timing.
This is a 2-part series. Part 2 will come next week. Read this article on patience to help you get through the wait. 🙂
The First Skill of Flying Trapeze
The first trick you learn in flying trapeze is a knee hang.
Some people think that a knee hang is really hard. They think they are not strong enough. The truth is that it has nothing to do with strength. As I like to point out, if little kids can do it, so can you.
The knee-hang is easy if you understand one basic principle:
It’s all about the timing.
On the trampoline, a cradle is a back drop, forward, half-twist to back drop.
More explicitly: land on your back ➡️ bounce up and over toward your stomach ➡️ twist ➡️ land on your back facing the direction from which you started.
It took me a long time to learn the cradle. I used to try to twist too early. And even though I’ve now got the cradle down, I still must focus waiting longer before twisting. My tendency to twist early is a hard habit to break.
In a rotating trick, like a front tuck or a back tuck, if you open too early you will slow down your rotation. which literally gets you stuck.
Unless you’ve trained in gymnastics or diving since you were little, the natural instinct with all of these tricks is to rush because you believe that this will give you more time to fit in all the movements. But rushing actually makes it more difficult to get your body where it needs to be.
If you try to do something too early on the trampoline or on flying trapeze, it is way more difficult.
In flying trapeze and trampoline, timing is more than half the battle.
One of the crucial lessons in both disciplines is how to work with the natural timing of the swing or the bounce.
Timing in Life and Business
Life works the same way. There are natural laws of timing. Think of the seasons, or times of day.
No matter how hard you work, you will not catch a sunset at 8 am.
Each industry has its own natural timing. Sometimes, within the same industry, the timing can vary from one location to another.
A strategy that works in one phase of the cycle may not work in another phase. For example, in real estate, the same strategy that is effective in the peak season of a hot market will likely not be effective in the peak season of a softer market, or even a lower part of the season in a strong market.
When we try to do something at the wrong time, we won’t get the desired result.
We must do the right thing at the right time.
Working With the Natural Timing
In flying trapeze, the ultimate outcome is to make the catch. The catcher must be in the right place at the right time to be in position to catch the flyer as the flyer falls to the net. The catcher must know when to tell the flyer to takeoff from the pedestal board, and how high he should swing, so that they meet. There is very little margin of error in this timing.
The crucial thing to understand here is that even though the catcher calls the flyer off the board, the catcher isn’t controlling the timing. He (or she) is working with the natural timing of the swing, among other things. (More about this in Part 2).
Why We Get Stuck
We understand that if you try to catch a sunset at 8 am we will not succeed. It doesn’t matter how positive our mindset, how diligent our efforts, how persistent we are, how resilient.
It will not happen. We know this. We accept it.
Similarly, we know that October is a time for apple picking; we don’t expect to pick fresh strawberries then. Strawberries are in season now.
Something happens, though, when we’re in the trenches of day-to-day life and business. We think we can override the natural timing of the industry or of life itself. This is what gets us stuck.
Often we have expectations around how long something should take, or when something should happen. When these expectations aren’t aligned with the natural timing, we find ourselves frustrated.
This frustration is resistance, and it causes us to suffer. We wonder what’s wrong. We may try to control or alter the timing. But just like on the trapeze or trampoline, this won’t work. You can’t rush natural timing.
Just like on the trapeze and trampoline, we cannot control the timing. Instead, we must learn to understand the natural timing and work with it to achieve our desired results.
Our job is not to control the timing, but to work with the natural timing.
In which parts of your life and business do you resist the natural timing?
Please share in the comments!
My Circus Life is a weekly broadcast in which I share a lesson from flying trapeze and trampoline and how it relates to life and business. This article is a recap of part of Episode 90: The Art of Timing. Today’s broadcast included some additional insights not included in this article. Watch the full replay of this broadcast, and other recent episodes on my Vimeo channel.