Tying My Shoes

Late last week, I relearned how to tie my shoes.

I’m not kidding.

Every Friday in my office, my team and I sit together for a weekly team meeting. It’s our chance to be together at the end of a long week, catch each other on what’s been happening and what we’ve been up to, and to build our sense of our team a little better.

One way we do that is that we take turns sharing TED talks with each other, and talking about how the ideas the speakers share might relate to our work together, or to libraries in general.1

Last week, as a teammate was in a hurry, she suggested a short video. And it was one that messed with my head a little bit.

Just watch it. It’s only three minutes long.  Here it is:

All this time, and I’ve been doing it wrong. All my work shoes make their way loose throughout the course of a day. This way of tying them? Once they’re done, they’re done.

So I’m relearning how to do something that’s been muscle memory for me for almost my entire life. It’s slow going.

Change is hard. And it starts with small moves for good reasons. One member of my team said that she doesn’t need to learn to tie her shows differently, because her laces don’t come loose. She’s right – if the goals don’t line up, then you shouldn’t change. You should only bother to make a change for yourself or for someone else when it makes sense to, when your plan needs, or maybe even requires, that you align yourself differently and you work to change some habits.

But if your habits aren’t the problem, if they’re helping you get stuff done, then you’d better not change them. They’re the right habits to have.

The habits of my first thirteen years of work and professional career stuff aren’t all serving me well at this stage of my work. And while it’s taking me a long time, I’m starting to figure that out.

Part of what’s helping is remembering to think about the stuff that I do without thinking about.

I hope you’re doing that, too.

  1. This was not my original plan. I was hoping that the team would read things together. But we’re busy, and there’s an awful lot of good TED talks out there that are gateways into interesting ideas. So someone suggested we do that, and it’s working pretty well. []
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