Lost Shoes

Recently, my son expressed concern about not finding his shoes. Now, I assure you, we never have this problem; it may have been the first time in his life that this has happened. Actually, it’s an ordeal we seem to go through almost daily. In fact, I’m surprised when we don’t go through it.

After a few minutes of looking around his room and a few other places, he came up to me saying that he could not find them. So, with my infinite parental wisdom, I gave him some very profound advice: keep looking. We go on to round two and he comes back again and exclaims, “My shoes are not anywhere!” to which I calmly replied, “Then you just haven’t looked long enough. I promise they’re around here somewhere. Just keep looking and eventually you’ll find them.”

“But dad, I’ve looked everywhere!”

“Well, you haven’t quite looked everywhere.”


“You haven’t looked in the place where they are.”

Not wanting to rob my child of his heritage of clichés, I reassured him that his shoes did not grow legs and walk away. And off he’d go again in a new direction, looking. Or not. But eventually he started getting my message: the shoes are, in fact, somewhere. This much we know: they did not disintegrate. They are in the house. So with that knowledge in place, he figured out that all he has to do is keep looking. Needless to say, the boy eventually found his shoes.


There’s a lesson here

Lost shoes are ideas in our minds. Or even solutions. And they are “in the house.” We need only to keep looking to find them but make no mistake about it, they are in there.

Are you lacking a solution or an idea for something in your business? Think of the shoes. It will open up your mind just enough to let in new possibilities. Your brain comes complete with ideas, solutions and creativity. If you haven’t found them yet, it’s only because you haven’t been searching long enough or haven’t turned over enough hiding places. The beauty is that if you just keep looking, you’ll eventually find what you’re looking for. Use that to eliminate the stress, which keeps us from our best work, and know that it’s just a matter of time.

Too many of us are not willing to spend the effort searching. Or we want to throw in the white towel and announce that it’s “just not there.” Giving up does not give your brain the credit it deserves. Giving up reinforces the idea that you are not capable of solving things and discovering solutions. And that the idea is not in there. Your brain follows suit.

If you’re wrestling with an issue, you may find a sounding board to be helpful. My role was not to find my son’s shoes for him, but merely to encourage him to keep looking. On his own, he would have given up long ago. Others may not know your solution, but they can offer insights and hints that will help lead you to your solution. If you’re brave, try using a child. The process of explaining the problem in simple terms will reveal a lot you may not have considered.

I’m sure one day my son can return the favor, “Dad, your bifocals are around here somewhere. You just have to keep looking.”