Lessons From A Pair of Shoes for Success

by Patrick Liew on September 30, 2016

There was a time when I used to work at the heart of the central business district.

Many young executives working there seemed to believe that they were defined by what I called the “7 Ps”.

The “7 Ps” were position, power, personal income, possession, pleasure, prestige and people’s perception of you.

I was no different.

Once, I bought a very expensive designer’s shoes.

You can imagine how I had to deliberately walk to catch eyeballs.

Imagine how I had to kick my leg forward – in slow motion.

Let it float midair for the right duration to draw attention to my shoes.

(Just to help you imagine, watch: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JQfzAI9nrtQ)

I would take every opportunity to scratch the bottom part of my leg and exclaimed, “Oh, my leg is so itchy.”

The people around me would inevitably take notice of my shoes.

At one point, I went to a gym and left my shoes beneath the locker.

Who would think that anybody would take a pair of shoes that was fitted for my legs?

After my workout, I went back to the locker.

Guess what? The shoes was gone.


That experience left me unhappy for quite a long period of time.

Later, I saw the other side of the experience.

We came with nothing and will leave with nothing, why do we need more stuffs?

Without attachment to material possession, can we be happier? Pursue more meaningful and fulfilling pursuits?

It’s easy to over-complicate life.

Buy into falsehood perpetuated by advertisements in a materialistic world.

Be lured by well-oiled tricks and traps to own stuffs with “cash or credit card.”

End up pursuing and having more and more toys that only offer a temporary sense of happiness.

After awhile, such meaningless pursuits leave a sense of emptiness. Add no real meaning and fulfillment to life.

To make matters worst, they can make one vain, greedy and discontented.

There are adequate research to support importance and values of delayed gratification and living simply.

However, it may be hard to practice delayed gratification and live simply in an “instant fix” society.

Many people are looking for easy ways, short cuts, get-rich-quick schemes, and on-demand pleasures.

When I studied successful people, I found that they exercise self-control, discipline and perseverance.

They are masters in controlling their urge for immediate gratification and they pursuit a simple lifestyle.

They do it through self-restraint, training, and constant practice.

They know that success requires self-mastery, determination, grit and hard work. They practiced these disciplines in their daily life.

As a result of exercising more self-control in fulfilling their wants, they become more positive, self-motivated, and resilient in achieving their goals.

They have lesser and lesser baggages to carry.

They can can run further and faster and become more successful in life.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


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