Juggling breathes off the spirit of innovation and creativity. The experience becomes more personal when you design your own tricks. Not to mention, it professionally brands you as the juggler with a specialized and unforgettable routine. What makes you the shining jewel among the thousands of other nameless jugglers? It is your ideas and one-of-a-kind personality that makes you stand out. I am the master at generating ideas, and I will show my fellow jugglers how to do it.
Some of my many ideas include juggling beer cans while sipping them (guarantees you become the life of every party!) and juggling cell phones while talking on them (guarantees you develop unhealthy cell phone habits!):
“Hello, Mom. How’s it going?” (throws up phone grabs another)
“Hey, Sister Agatha! What’s shakin’ at the nunnery?” (phone jumps as I grab another)
“Grandpa! What’s crackin’? Hopefully no hips!” (simultaneous phone conversation juggling continues!)
To have a great idea, have a lot of them.—Thomas Edison
Lets try an exercise: In five minutes, how many creative uses can you find for a paper clip?
The average is five to eight. Past 10 is considered the genius level of idea generation. Michael J. Gelb (phenomenal juggler, marvelous author, and a gigantic inspiration to yours truly) once worked with the children at a gifted school. What he found was that gifted children came up with 12-15 uses for a paper clip in five minutes. How do paper clips and gifted children relate to us or juggling? Well, it specifically deals with idea generation. Gifted children do not have the mental filter that the average individual has. While the education we receive at school is good in some ways, it also ruins the idea generation genius found in every child. Most children are good at coming up with unfiltered ideas until they are taught that only certain ideas get a reward. Then they start filtering their ideas.
Did you have other ideas, but thought them just too silly to write down? That is your mental filter at work, and it is also a debilitating obstacle to idea generation. When you first generate ideas, do not filter yourself. It annihilates your creativity. The critical analysis takes place after you have written down an apple basket of ideas.
This time, think of the creative uses for a brick in five minutes. No filters and no rules: Whatever you think of, write it down, including the impractical uses.
How many did you come up with this time? Most people improve their idea generation by three to four ideas and some come up with five or six more. Daily practice leads to faster idea generation. This is what helps you to generate ideas faster. It requires practice but removing that mental filter will have you designing funnier and more interesting juggling tricks. When you first generate juggling ideas, do not worry about what is possible and what is not. You push the edges of your potential and improve the juggling industry as a whole when you come up with difficult tricks to master. For example, mastering the beer can juggling trick requires keeping the cans straight-up-and-down (avoid spilling), and it requires mastering your emotions (gets pretty exciting, which leads to splashes).
What you find with the difficult but original juggling tricks that you come up with on your own is that it is extraordinarily entertaining to yourself and the spectators, even if you fail. The first time I attempted beer can juggling, I got soaked, but I had the best time, and there was not a single spectator who was not laughing when I finished. Attempting the impossible does not necessarily mean that you have to succeed. Sometimes, it just leads to a better story than attempting what everyone else has done. Also, what feels impossible at first becomes less challenging as you continue to practice.
No idea is ever too silly to write down. That becomes especially true with juggling, which is what makes it so fun. Also, the initial bad idea might be the skeleton for a brilliant idea. You create an image and set yourself apart from the thousands of other jugglers when you generate ideas regularly.
For example, if you decide to dress up as the Peanut Man, put on some tap dancing shoes while tap dancing to “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” and juggling, that has more entertainment value than the most impressive but conventional juggling tricks. Instead of juggling apples and eating them, juggle onions or lemons while eating them. Your eyes water, and you make faces worthy of the blobfish, but everyone has a good time. Note: Your spectators have a good time. I always hate that trick but everyone else seems to love it and their laughter is worth the sacrifice.
Don’t be that guy that has everyone setting their alarm clock until your act is over! Idea generation will make you a more interesting juggler and set you miles apart from the sea of faceless jugglers. Even a daily practice of generating ideas five minutes a day leads to better juggling long term. It is also incredibly great for the industry because new ideas keep everything fresh. Juggling was meant for individual creative expression. Give it your own flavor!