innovation, new ways of doing things

Why Tying Your Shoes Right Matters

You may think that tying your shoes doesn’t merit much thought on your part. You learned how to tie your shoelaces in kindergarten, or maybe you were very bright and your parents taught you when you were three or four.

But TEDTalks thinks how you tie your shoes does matter and several years ago devoted its first-ever three-minute talk to the subject.

To date, the video has received amazing 6,244,805 million views. It shows that a lot of people are interested in learning new ways of doing things, even the most mundane of tasks like tying your shoes. 

A Lesson Learned

In this video, Terry Moore, former head of Radius Foundation, a forum for exploring and gaining insight from different worldviews, explains, “Sometimes a small advantage in life can yield tremendous advantages someplace else.”

Looking Through a New Lens

My takeaway from the shoelace demonstration is that we need to seek new ways of looking at what we’re doing. If so, we will continue to improve our lives and our businesses.

Why do we persist in doing things the same way when they don’t produce the results we want? We’re on automatic pilot when it comes to our service and product offerings. Why don’t we try something new?

I’m reminded of the story of Josie Natori, founder of the high-end fashion house that bears her name. A native of the Philippines, Natori came to this country as a 17-year-old and eventually forged a successful career in finance.

But she was restless and bored. She wanted to become an entrepreneur. I heard her speak at an awards dinner not too many years after she founded her business. She told the audience that she had no special interest in fashion and had explored a variety of businesses – she even considered starting a chain of laundromats.

A self-made millionaire, she launched a line of sleepwear and her company now markets a variety of women’s wear.

What’s New With You?

What are you going to do to shake things up? Did you try tying your shoes the new way? Isn’t it better? No more loose laces on the treadmill or tripping you up on your run.

There’s always a better way if you’re on the lookout for it.

Leave a Reply


  1. I love these red boots!

    I believe people make the same actions again and again because they are comfortable. They know what to expect – there are no surprises. Sometimes the thought of taking a new road brings fear; of failure, being vulnerable, having to self learn.

    One must identify what they have to lose by trying a new thing.

    • Phoenicia — It’s very difficult to step out of your comfort zone. It’s easy to blame what’s going wrong in your business or life on someone or something else.

  2. Agree with you that it’s essential to start looking at other ways of doing things. Despite that a lot of people stick to routine and stay in the same rut. They simply are unable stop routines that are familiar to them. We all have silly routines and every time we challenge them and succeed it’s a victory.

    • Catarina — It’s like the response, “Well, this is the way we’ve always done it,” when someone suggests a change in the way things are done around here. Nowadays, with the speed of new innovations in technology, the way we’ve always done it may have have had a shelf life of only a few months!

  3. I don’t if how you tie your shoes matter (although I saw this video years ago and have been tying my shoes this way ever since), but tying them does matter. The millennial who shows up with his untied shoes to a business meeting looks unprofessional. Tie them up or get velcro!

    • RoseMary — how true. Years ago I interviewed a young woman for a job as my secretary (back in the days when people had secretaries!) and she showed up in sneakers. She didn’t make the cut.

      • If this one isn’t too out of place… I was interviewing a young woman for an IT position. I asked her what she’d done to prepare for the interview–logical question, right? She went on for ten minutes: “Well, I picked up my clothes from the dry cleaner, took a shower, did my hair…” You get the idea. Like your person, she did not get the job.

  4. I agree with Phoenicia, love the boots. I also love this subject and I’ve watched that TED Talk a couple of times. Part of the reason I took a month off this summer was that I began to feel stuck doing the same things day in and out and change maven that I am I needed to shake things up.

    One advantage of doing things the same way is you save time and can almost do things without thinking about what you’re doing, but when you learn a new skill or do something a different way you have to slow down and really think about what you’re doing. I did quite a bit of behind the scenes work on my blog and there were a few times I started to beat myself up because I kept thinking I should be able to learn quicker, but in the end, it felt so good once I finally figured out what I was doing. I’m so glad I decided to throw myself into these new experiences!

    • Marquita — so glad that your break helped you to recharge. It’s a little scary to try new things — but also exhilarating. I just took a month off from blogging, too. Sometimes you just need a break and shouldn’t feel guilty taking one.

  5. Indeed each one of us need to upgrade our skills. Continuous experiments with our inner strengths finally leads us to explore new horizons. We may face continuous failures but will be losers only when we stop trying.

    • Moumita — How true, we do lose when we stop trying. Even if you fail more than once, you’ve got to keep trying until you get it right.

  6. I’m mostly done overhauling my business site to be more inline with what will attract higher-paying clients. I’m in the process of making a lot of big changes because of my health. It really is true that sometimes the only way we get around to making needed changes is if a big upheaval happens in our life. We are often guilty of just coasting along or as you mention being frustrated that we don’t get different results even though we aren’t changing the methods.

    • Jeri – I admire you and the courage you’ve shown in fighting your health issues. That’s not the kind of upheaval you would have hoped for, I’m sure. I’m happy for you if something positive has come out of it for you.