Taken from Anna Johnson’s Success Accelerator Newsletter:The other day, one of my shoelaces in my running shoes broke in half. I immediately thought I would need to buy another shoelace. But then, as I looked at my running shoes, I realized that perhaps the broken shoelace was symptomatic of a bigger problem: worn out running shoes.
It was true.
I had run these shoes into the ground – literally! Sure, I could continue running in them… but they wouldn’t give me the support I needed… which meant that it was probably a matter of time before I got injured.
As I considered whether to replace the lace or the shoe, it occurred to me that we are often faced with this kind of situation in life.
Where it’s not always clear whether a “broken shoelace” is just that… or whether it signals a bigger problem.
Is an argument between two spouses just a “normal” tiff… or does it indicate deeper problems in the relationship?
Is the failure of a new business project a “one off”… or does it reflect a company in trouble?
Is a headache just a headache… or is it a symptom of something worse?
Fortunately, in many cases, you don’t have to wonder. There is a way to find out.
Just as I examined my shoe to see if it really was worn out, you can also examine your relationship, analyze your business, see a doctor, or take other steps to assess the “bigger picture”.
You see, just as a broken shoelace is a PROMPT to look more closely at the shoe, so too are the “cracks” in other areas of life.
So how can a broken shoelace change your life?
Well, if the broken thing – whether it’s a shoelace or something else – does, indeed, reflect a larger problem, then your life WILL change whether or not you want it to. How it changes is up to you:
1. It could change in a way that’s under your control – where, for instance, you take proactive measures to address the problem and stop the damage before it gets any worse (e.g. buy new running shoes)…
2. It could change in a way that’s out of your control – where, for instance, you ignore the larger problem and let it grow to the point where you’re in big trouble (e.g. you get a running injury!)
As someone who has, in the past, ignored broken shoelaces and suffered running injuries as a result (metaphorically and literally), let me suggest you opt for #1.
So if something seemingly trivial “breaks”, don’t simply replace it. See if it actually points to a deeper problem. And if it does, address it as soon as possible.
How a Broken Shoelace Could Change Your Life