The Two of Pentacles as the Juggler

“The trick to juggling is determining which balls are made of rubber and which ones are made of glass.”
- Anonymous

Once there was a man who made his living as a juggler in his tiny village. The local children gathered every afternoon to watch his performance. They cheered, clapped, threw down a few coins and asked for more. The juggler was happy to oblige and continued his juggling tricks long after sundown.  Although the juggler provided a great deal of joy to the village children, his bills were late, his children were hungry and his wife was very unhappy.

So the juggler set out for the neighboring villages to perform his juggling act. He worked long hours to build his juggling business and before long his skills became legendary and were in great demand. The juggler was happy to be able to send home large sums of money, until he received word that his crops were dying, his wife had fallen ill and the children missed him immensely.  

Looking at the Two of Pentacles above we see a man concentrating on balancing two spheres. As one ball goes up, the other comes down and we’re left to wonder how long the process will go on before the juggler tires, gives up, or drops one or both globes. In the background are two ships at sea. They smoothly ride the waves of the ocean, or cruise the ups and downs of life.

Many of us feel as though we must be master jugglers, often struggling to find a happy medium between work, family and play. The process of constant multi-tasking can take a toll on our health and quality of life and relationships. The willingness to delegate some of our responsibilities to others is often a frightening proposition. We worry that no one else is capable of taking adequate care of our business, home or family.

The Two of Pentacles reminds us that maintaining balance in our lives is important. Flexibility is crucial, as we often see our lives going in one direction, but circumstances can force us to quickly change course. There’s a bit of childlike playfulness in the way this juggler performs his balancing act. Life often presents us with challenges, but if we see these challenges as opportunities to grow, improve and advance it will ultimately benefit us greatly.

Coaches can expertly help clients decide which balls to balance, which to delegate and which to drop by assessing, organizing and prioritizing professional and personal responsibilities. A coach should suggest and encourage that clients consider restructuring, delegating or even abandon unproductive methods.

Hectic, stressful lives can often get the better of many of us. Celebrating the progress made, as well as the encouraging guidance offered along the way will be the reward to both client and coach in the end. 

[Coaching Questions]

  • What responsibilities do you see yourself juggling?
  • What, if any, aspects of your professional and personal life are being sacrificed by your juggling/multi-tasking?
  • Which jobs, tasks and responsibilities would you classify as rubber (resilient and durable)? Which are glass (fragile and delicate)?
  • As a result of your juggling act, which problems do you see as the most damaging to you, your business or your family?
  • Which tasks do you feel most comfortable delegating to others?
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