Posts Tagged ‘books’

TOMS-shoes

You may have never heard of Blake Mycoskie, but you’ve probably heard of his company, TOMS shoes. They’re the company  that when you buy a pair of shoes, they’ll give a pair to a child. All told, they’ve provided over 60 million pairs of shoes to those in need. Mycoskie was once asked if his company had ever had one of those WFIO moments-one of those We’re F’d It’s Over kinds of situations. Chuckling today, Blake thought back and told of a time that just as TOMS was started to catch on, they began to fulfill the large orders rolling in until one day Blake got a call from his warehouse that due to a cheaper glue used, the soles were coming off of the shoes.  Faced with mounting orders-a reputation at stake, a supplier who had screwed them, and being flat broke, Mycoskie sat back and said, “We’re fucked, it’s over!”

After some heavy drinking and shoulda/coulda recaps, Mycoskie and his team made some adjustments and found a supplier to take a chance on them. With no money to offer-only potential orders, Blake convinced the supplier that if they could produce the orders to specifications, they would get their money. They took the chance…but Mycoskie took the first chance by asking for the seemingly impossible.

The story reminds me of the parable of the 5 loaves and 2 fish….with thousands of people to feed, Jesus took his eyes off of his circumstances and it is said that he looked up into the hills for the answer.

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See…the solution to your problem is never at the same level as your thinking. You’ve got to lift your eyes…elevate your thinking and take some GTF outta here kinds of actions.

Blake didn’t just sit there Indian style and just let life punch him in the jaw. Jesus didn’t just turn and look at his disciples, shrug and say, “Bruh I don’t know!” You can’t just hold onto the buoys of life hoping the waves will eventually subside…sometimes you’ve got to catch a wave and start riding…and when you fall off, you’ve got to get back on your board and find the next wave.

TOMS shoes said that if they were going to go down, they were going to go down swinging. They refused to back down to the problem-instead they would punch as the problem until they found a crack and once they found the crack, they would squeeze their fingers into the crevices and began pulling away until they found the solution. They lifted their eyes-thinking higher, so high in fact that because they believed in what they were doing, they were able to convince a supplier to fulfill the orders now and get paid later.

There’s a solution behind every circumstance, but you’re not going to find it thinking at the same level as the circumstance.

You’ve got to move from It’s over!  to Dammit it’s on!

I’ll see you next time on the Blacktop.

I recently made the decision to not read any new books for the rest of the year. Instead, I am hitting the rewind button and re-reading the books I flew through in years’ past. Ashamedly, I did not read my first book cover to cover until I was 25 years old. I limped through high school and college without ever reading an entire book; Uncle Cliff [Notes] and I were real close. In my race to catch up with all of the years I missed reading, I blew through books. I was in a hurry to finish one only to leap onto the next one; I even set yearly goals to read 12, 24, then 36 books per year- as if I would get called to receive an award for most improved reader. The 12 years I have been reading has re-shaped my life; I also confess, in those 12 years,  I’ve forgotten more in those books than I can remember.  Some books I can’t remember ever putting my paws on some of them; had it not been for an occasional highlight here and there, there would be no evidence of me ever reading them. 

 I’ve decided to become a slow, tattoo artist of my books.  I’ve begun to slow down and re-read the titles that peak my interest and mark them up. I no longer treat my books as a shrine; if I want to highlight, scribble, draw smiley faces, or anything I feel lead to do I will-after all, I’m on my time and they were bought with my dime. Just as ink is injected into the skin leaving an indelible mark on the body, so to will I ink up my books. Inking up books leaves 2 things: 1) the scribbles, highlights, and notes you leave on the page get inked into your mind 2) the tattooed books are the footprints of important things left behind for your loved ones to remember you by.