Tying Shoelaces (Life Lessons)

This week, I spoke with a colleague who was going through some work issues. They’d received a new work assignment across the state and weeks later it was changed, delayed, forgotten about, and eventually cancelled. This was followed by a strong rumor of an overseas transfer.

She was a mess…and justifiably so. No organization that espouses their people as the most valuable resource would do this, right?

This morning I was unlacing my running shoes in preparation for the workout (yes, I’m the lazy guy who slides off his shoes post-workout). I pulled the wrong lace and it knotted up. So I pulled another lace and the knot grew tighter. Now these laces aren’t your normal round laces…they are fancy oval laces made for running. And when they knot, they almost glue together. I frowned and pulled the knot apart with my teeth. Success!

The next shoe knotted as well, but I didn’t pull. I held the shoelace loosely, looked at it, and the tangle of shoelace easily fell apart.

Life is like this. It will get complex. It will go wrong. It will knot up. It can be taken personally and we can rationalize our justification. We can pull, get mad, make it tighter, and feel righteously indignant. (Teeth optional)

Or we can hold it loosely, look at the situation, and allow the knot the fall away.


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