The Psychology of Waiting: Insights from a Balloon Entertainer

In pursuing self-improvement this month, I’ve been digesting content by Simon Sinek, who currently holds the top spot on my YouTube playlist, especially during my workout sessions.

In his discussion, Sinek delved into fixations and obstacles, which I quickly related to a child waiting for a balloon and a parent who refused to wait in line.

Sinek’s logic states that there are people fixated on what they want and those who only see the obstacles before them. I would relate this to a child wanting a balloon animal. It doesn’t matter that the balloon line is a block long, the temperature is 120 degrees, and they are standing on asphalt you can fry an egg on; all they know is they want a balloon. Some kids have no idea what they want; it just needs to be a balloon, while others know they want a pink unicorn with rainbow hair and a golden horn, and they will name it Penelope.

The Significance of Following the Line

As entertainers, we are fixated on the line. Our goal is to entertain each family and provide that child with the best representation of their request possible, as best we can, given the present situation.

Much like a child fixated on obtaining a balloon animal, we aim to make a balloon figure for all those who wait in line. It’s frustrating to an entertainer when individuals bypass the line and try to move to the front. That’s not how the line game works. Each person waits their turn.

The Line Dilemma: Balancing Want and Practicality

To a parent, it’s not just about their child wanting a balloon or enduring 120-degree heat with strangers frying eggs on the asphalt; it all boils down to one thing: the line.

The line is not an obstacle preventing a child from getting a balloon animal. As an entertainer, I’ve heard parents say, “Get a balloon; there’s no line.” However, if there is a line, you’ll hear parents say, “There’s a line; you don’t need one.” The line is the parent’s obstacle that prevents the child from enjoying the fun and getting a balloon animal.

Optimizing Line Length: The True Impact of Reducing Line Length

So, after pondering this during my 30-minute workout, I concluded that if I’m at an event with only kids who want a balloon, it will not matter what I do, say, or where I make them stand; they will wait it out.

Suppose I have a mixed group of parents and kids. I expect a slightly different outcome in that scenario, as a percentage will perceive the line as an obstacle. The more challenging I can make the line, the more likely they will walk on without a balloon animal.

Subconsciously, every entertainer is aware of this. When permitted to reduce the line length by bringing in more entertainers, we advise the client that the audience experience will improve. We express this because more people receive a balloon, which aligns with our goal. However, in reality, we only removed an obstacle size, enabling more people to get a balloon animal.

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The Psychology of Waiting: Insights from a Balloon Entertainer
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The Psychology of Waiting: Insights from a Balloon Entertainer
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Uncover the psychology of waiting as the author navigates through Simon Sinek's insights, relating them to a child's longing for a balloon and the challenges faced by entertainers managing waiting lines. Delve into the significance of the line, its impact on parent-child dynamics, and the delicate balance between desire and practicality. Gain insights into optimizing line length and discover the true impact of reducing waiting times on the overall audience experience, creating a fascinating exploration of human behavior and entertainment dynamics.
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DEO Consulting, Inc.
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