I am about to the point where I need a contract with a shoe company. Why? I have four teenage daughters (one is technically not 13 yet, at least according to the birth certificate). Need I say more?
Last week the 12 year old, with the 13 year old foot, informed me once again that she had outgrown her running shoes. I told her to borrow some shoes from one of her older sisters. She looked at me like I was from Mars and said, “Dad you can’t wear someone else’s shoes.”
As leaders it would be a good thing if we could walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. All around us there are people who are walking a difficult road. People with cancer. People who have lost their jobs. People with kids who are headed down the wrong path. Debt, relational failure, obesity, loneliness. The list of struggles is never ending.
Now you may be thinking, “I have some of those same struggles in my own life.” While that may be true, chances are someone around you is in a much more difficult situation.
What if you took a different approach to the hard things in your life? What if instead of dwelling on how bad things are for you, you decided to look for someone else who is going through something harder? What if you reached out to them with a word of encouragement or a note to let them know you are thinking about them?
You might find that doing so would cultivate a little more gratefulness in your life. And gratefulness is a great way to attack your problems. There is always something to be thankful for, and yet most of us spend most of our time thinking about what we don’t have instead of what we do have.
You can wear someone else’s shoes if you choose to. And if you do, you might just find that yours fit a little bit better than you thought they did.
I would love to hear what you are thankful for . . .
Randy is an author, speaker, executive coach, and the CEO of InteGREAT Leadership. He invests his time encouraging leaders around the world.