Waiting For Your Balls To Land (It’s Not What You Think)

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I’ve been having trouble exhaling lately…

You see, behind this cool, calm, rapidly-balding zen-like exterior, there’s a firestorm of OMFG brewing.

All (well, mostly all) for the right reasons.

It’s called being in launch mode…

You may have heard, I have a book, fittingly called Uncertainty, coming out at the end of September. And, well, I’m not really one to wait around until the release date, then shyly mention the book is out.

Oooooh, no.

That’d be way to normal for me. Much madness is soon to ensue.

But, that’s not all. A book isn’t enough. I’m also about to re-launch my Tribal Author book marketing brand as an online tactical book launch training (stay very tuned, like “this week” tuned). Oh, and then there’s another top-secret experience for seriously committed artists and entrepreneurs that’ll go live right around the time the book hits.

So, yes, essentially three major launches. All…at once.

To make all that happen, you’ve gotta throw a whole lot of balls in the air. And, by a whole lot, I mean a hundreds, if not thousands, of moving pieces, people, resources, vendors, delivery dates, research, design, products, services, packaging, marketing, copy, teams, partners, each thing conditioned on the delivery of another. All in an insanely compressed timeframe.

Over time, while certain balls float, zip and soar snitch-like, just beyond your grasp, others begin to touch down, giving you little bits of concrete. Allowing you to touch stone in an otherwise thrashing storm of opportunity. Easing the anxiety of “is there any way I can really pull this off?” just enough for you to stop sweating, panting and swearing like the the outcast cousin at a Bunker family picnic.

But there may also be windows where you find yourself in this bizarre alternative universe where everything, every ball you’ve thrown in the air, is simultaneously hovering, teasing you, but not yet coming down.

That’s kind of where I am. Everything’s fluid. Everything’s ether. Everything could go either way. Every ball I’ve thrown has yet to land. And it’s my job to stay in this place long enough for amazing things to emerge. To lean into and even invite and amplify more of it. Maybe throw even more balls up. And to resist the temptation to knock some of those suckers down to earth before they’re ready, just so I can get a wee bit of closure.

Because. That place, your ability to be there, to dance with it…that’s where the good stuff comes.

When you find the strength to continuously act in the face of uncertainty, you till the soil of genius.

And, how fitting, by the way, since being in that place without losing your mind is exactly what Uncertainty is all about.

Oh, look *THUD*

One down, a thousand to go.


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33 responses

33 responses to “Waiting For Your Balls To Land (It’s Not What You Think)”

  1. Interesting stuff. I call it living in the spaces in between. Others call it living in the question marks. Whatever you call it, getting comfortable there is one of life’s most useful endeavors, leading to an awesome skill set that not many of us master.

  2. Having written a couple of books myself, I totally related to Jonathan’s situation. But isn’t having everything fluid… able to go either way….. with every ball in the air …. isn’t that really how life is all the time?

    Even with no climactic event ready to happen, it seems to me that we are all in fluid dynamic flow all the time anyways.

    Thanks for the wonderful look into you heart on this one Jonathan…


    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Absolutely Jim, that’s where the juicy stuff happens, once you’ve developed the skill set needed to own that place, which is it’s own journey.

  3. Rob says:

    Wow. Great stuff, Jonathan. I’m in exactly that place right now although these days much more accustomed to uncertainty.
    Not that it ever feels any ‘easier’.

    Every ball has it’s own time and place and place to land.

    Every event is different – waiting, willing to be surprised.

    Ready to catch and looking forward to seeing where yours land too.

  4. I can totally relate! Right now I’m tossing balls in the air with a new project and letting some balls fall on an old one (on purpose). Scared sort of describes the feeling. So this post is timely and gives me hope to know I’m not the only one that’s living in-between – exciting and gut wrenching as it is : ).

  5. Chris Zydel says:

    This so sounds like my life! And at a certain point you have so many balls in the air and so much uncertainty that you can’t do anything BUT surrender to the process itself. Which is when things can actually begin to get fun because the whole fiction of being in control becomes totally laughable and completely absurd. In the best possible way. (-;

    Congratulations on all of your fabulous upcoming projects. I’m looking forward to seeing where your balls land!!

  6. Sandi Amorim says:

    I’ve had that experience and have found it intense, exhilarating, crazy-making and life-giving! Did I mention intense? And that was with fewer projects so I REALLY appreciate how you do what you do Jonathan.

    The uncertainty often occurs to me as discomfort. I think the growth opportunity is getting comfortable with that discomfort. I don’t always like it, but when I stick it out…you said it best, “you till the soil of genius.”

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      No doubt, discomfort if out default overlay, the challenge is experiencing it differently. And wow is it a challenge!

  7. Jonathan,

    You totally hit home for me. Right now, my whole life feels like balls thrown up in the air. A scary place to be. And I am addicted to certainty. Your post is came like a warm hug of encouragement, support–and inspiration. Thank you for that.

    Now, I am going to unplug and go ride my horse.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Ha, sounds like that horse is getting a lot of riding these days! Must mean you’re creating lots of good stuff.

  8. It’s funny how I found this post on G+ stream precisely on this day. I too am on the verge of some major decisions in my career, so your post made complete sense to me. Thank you for sharing this with the world. When exactly does “Uncertainty” hit the shelves?

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Glad it resonated, Rocio.

      Book comes out September 29th, but all sorts of fun things will happening along the way, so stay tuned.

  9. PS: Jonathan, Are you familiar with Dr. Dan Siegel’s work on neuroplasticity and interpersonal neurobiology? Something tells me that you are, after hearing you speak at #WDS. The brain research that you and he talk about is totally fascinating.

  10. Natasha says:

    First congrats.

    Next – we are kindred spirits. Running 3 businesses right now (yes, I’m officially nuts) and overwhelm comes when things feel too still to me, so I can definitely relate to all of your emotions. I have an impatience (to launch) with the Universes ‘perfect timing’ all too often!

    Last – Can’t wait to read Uncertainty. Being a serial entrepreneur, that word pretty much represents how my family and friends see my life and I would love to have some encouragement to stay the course. Deep down underneath the Uncertainty (loud and crazy) is some certainty (quiet and still)…just need reminders sometimes.

  11. Alana says:

    I’ve been living in this place of late and just had a big ball land on Monday – although it’s more of a bounce as it feels up in the air again. I got comfortable “living in the question” in theater school years ago and have spent the last year and a half living mostly in personal uncertainty. I find as I get comfortable in one area, another level of discomfort opens up, another ball goes into the air, another steep learning curve begs to be attended to. I’m in the beginning stages of a new venture and doing a lot on my own/on a smaller scale. I can only imagine how it feels when you’ve got three major projects in the works.
    Wishing you joy in the uncertainty and continued success.

  12. Michele says:

    Haha…I just saw the cover of the new book (on Amazon). If THAT doesn’t capture the subject matter, nothing does! Can’t wait to read it, Jonathan.

  13. Judy Martin says:

    I love the vulnerability you express here. So heart-warming. Zen-man, you’re a peaceful but dynamically talented soul. As you have elevated others, me included, you have elevated yourself by default.

    The universe has a funny way of holding one in it’s bossom and pushing the envelop at the same time. From that push-me pull-me emerges the juiciness of grace. I am so looking forward to your book.

    This came to mind upon reading your post. The words of one of my great mentors – Vassar College Theologian and Career Sociologist Rick Jarow PhD;

    “Your life is a work of art, a craft to be carefully mastered. For patience has replaced time and you are your own destination.”
    Peace out! @JudyMartin8

  14. That is where I am as well! Yoga, exercise, meditation, laughter… and keeping a sense of strong core + simultaneous expansion are very helpful.

    Blessings on your ventures!

  15. Tom says:

    This goes totally against your ‘Creative Cryptonite” post. What gives?

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Hey Tom,

      Great question. It actually syncs perfectly with my creative kryptonite post…IF…even in the context of aggressively moving the creation needle, you also carve out sacred time in your day and life, especially as I noted in that post, by disconnecting. While it’s not easy to do, I make that a priority. Which means, even in the midst of all that’s going on, you’ll still find me regularly meditating, walking in the woods, playing with people I love and more…balls in the air and all. lol

      Also, even when I’m working on multiple projects, I generally batch my time into hyperfocused bursts allocated to single things

  16. dave r. says:

    congrats on your book and the courage to have “the balls in the air”…looking forward to reading it.

  17. Momekh says:

    The most calm is derived from the knowledge that everything is uncertain to begin with… but Isn’t it a bit uncomforting when all the balls eventually do land? 🙂

    God bless and good luck with the launch(es)!

  18. Racheal Cook says:

    Bless your heart! Can’t wait to see everything unfold and loving this “behind the scenes” look at your process for a launch.

  19. moonfire says:

    Uncertainty for sure Jonathan. You are living it with robust intensity! It sounds like being in the flow with the synergy of the air-borne balls, will create that which is best for you and everyone. Thank you for sharing your feelings on this. uncertainty – definitely a challenge for anyone who strives to stay in the “optimal arousal” state for best performance. All the best to you while experiencing your new synergistically created months ahead. Exciting. All the best to everyone here. moonfire

  20. What a great opportunity to practice what you preach! 🙂

    This may be where Taoism can be more useful than Buddhism. Following the Tao seems much more practical than attempting to release expectation.

    I can’t wait for all the good stuff coming. Your excitement is infectious. 🙂

  21. Alexis Neely says:

    Ah yes, uncertainty. So glad you are bringing it to the mainstream — a sure sign of conscious development is the ability to live in the unknown. I still struggle with it daily, even as my life falls off the certainty curve and into a chaotic cadence of uncertainty. I can feel something emerging that is far bigger than all the certainty in the world could have provided. Thanks for the continued inspiration.

  22. You’re like me – launching one, why not launch two? Or three? You clearly thrive on challenge. I really enjoy the energy of a launch or project – clear action steps, clear deadline, lots of variables.

    Good luck with all of them!

  23. […] just did a post about Waiting For Your Balls to Land. He said something very interesting.: But, that’s not all. A book isn’t enough. I’m also […]

  24. ‘When you find the strength to continuously act in the face of uncertainty, you till the soil of genius.’ – powerful quote Jonathan.

    A juggler’s life is a life of wonder – a life of amazing – where ‘I can do it’ and ‘I will find a way’ ring true from the mouth and into the ears of the performer.

    The stage is set for yet another magnificent performance – pure genius!

  25. I can’t wait to read Uncertainty – I’ve already pre-ordered it on Amazon!

  26. Awesome bulletin, Jonathan!

    Sounds like as good a time as any for the old “what’s the worst that could happen?” mindset.

    I am a feeling a surging anticipation around the forthcoming arrival of your new book! I love a good book.


  27. Love this Jonathan. Thanks for your vulnerability! I’m in much the same place myself and remembering to breathe. And remembering there’s no other way I’d rather do it!

  28. Great to see how things are going down for you. I have a few balls in the air and I’m so glad that I read your words about not smacking them down before they are ready. BTW, LOVE the name of your book!