Old Tennis Shoes and Change

old-shoes1I have a favorite pair of tennis shoes.  They are unique.  They were cheap.  They have lasted and they are comfortable.  However, it’s come to a point that a decision must be made.  I have already changed the insert pads and have tried to keep them going, but it’s just time.  It caused me to reflect on change.

1)  At some point, a point which is different for everyone, the sweet spot is gone.  Operating in this mode – wearing these shoes – becomes so uncomfortable, it’s not worth it.

2) Ironically, when I first got these shoes, I didn’t wear them that much – it took a while to adjust to them.  Now it’s hard not to have them.

3)  Deciding to get rid of the shoes and go to the trouble of getting in the car, driving to the store, trying on shoes, making the purchase, bringing them home and breaking them in does require some effort.

4) You don’t want to believe they are going bad, so you wear them longer than you really should, even thought it’s uncomfortable for the whole body.

5) They no longer really serve their intended purpose.  The soles are split and water leaks in; the padding is gone so there isn’t protection; and the interior is rotting to the point that little pieces of material are become a burden – in fact some of the little pieces are actually sharp!

So, a change has to be made.  But they are still in my closet and I still find myself wearing them.

Change isn’t easy.  But it’s part of life.  In an organization it may take a while for people to realize that a change is needed.  And once the need for change arises, it becomes difficult to start the process.  In fact, there may be changes that need to be made – and everyone knows it – but for whatever reason, due to the comfort, the fear of risk, the unknown of the new, we just keep doing what we are doing – even if it’s doing our organization harm.  That’s when a decision must be made.  Make the change.  The pain of sticking with the old will outweigh the fear of doing something new.

And who knows, the next shoes I get may just be better than ever.

Adios shoes.  You’ve served me well.


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