I thought of a metaphor the other day that I like better than the over-used “juggling” one.
We’re each walking along a road carrying a glass full of water. Some people have bigger glasses, so they could can carry more; other people have smaller glasses and can’t carry as much without it spilling.
And some people are walking along bumpier parts of the road, so it’s harder not to spill water from the glass. Or some people are walking along a nice easy patch when around the corner suddenly they come to a pothole frenzy. When you’re on a bumpy patch of road or you know one is coming up ahead, you can’t carry a full glass – you need to allow room for it to slosh about a bit. If you try and carry a full glass anyway, you’ll end up spilling some on the road.
Sometimes you’ll see someone with a much bigger glass and on a flatter smoother stretch of road, and they’ll be carrying way more water, and you might feel like you should be carrying more too. But then you look at the capacity of the glass you’ve got and you look at the road ahead and you think, no, this is my limit – if I try and carry any more it will spill.