Thursday, June 13, 2013

Itching Should Irritate & other lessons of a relevant life

Years ago, sitting in the back of a darkly lit church, one of those services that you rock out in the beginning and file out in the end, I heard a pastor talk about irritations. He said if something irritates you, then you are the person who needs to do something about it.

That idea irritated me.

He called it my "burden" and this thought has successfully burdened me ever since.

It isn't easy to narrow down that one or one thousand irritations that are yours to address. But in your life, as well as your business, this is one of those small, unassuming, yet distinctive road signs God places at the corner of Do You and Don't You Avenue.

If you want to know what you were created to uniquely do, make a list of your irritations.

If it ends up being nothing but a list of your family's names, try a second sheet of paper.

In Rework, a brilliant book of heretical business advice, authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson advise you to "scratch your own itch." Whatever you need, whether it's better accounting software, softer couch cushions, heartier chicken soup, a lipstick that doesn't taste like petroleum jelly, whatever need you have, fill it, whatever burden you carry, fix it.

Scratch your own itch.

I'm working on my list of irritations. Currently, I'm stuck on trying to understand the phenomenon behind uncomfortable shoes for women. Why do we strap pieces of cardboard with cheap rhinestones on our feet? It's painful to walk on so what sense does that make?

This I'm tabling for another day, but at least it's a start.

I've got a few other items, things like:
- government regulation
- the loss of individuality
- broken business models
- the stifling of creative problem-solving
- unqualified people in power
- skinny jeans
- insincere social interaction
- artificiality in any form
- the phrase "you can't do that"
- egos over prudence
- eggs with busted yokes

Outside of a lot of talk and far too many omelets, I've done little about any of it. But I can't forget it. I can't wiggle out from under this "burden" that I'm irritated for a reason. And I really do believe that one day I'm going to walk through a shoe store and become so disgusted with the comfort level available in women's footwear that I'll walk out the door and do something about it.

At least I hope that one day something irritates me that much.

On a side note, any thoughts on pillow-top sandals with cheap rhinestones?


Flea said...

How funny. I've been trying to figure out how to make pretty leather flip flops that can be comfortable. My husband does pretty leather work, so it's a viable fix for us. I'll keep you in mind if we ever get this one under wraps.

Outside of that, I don't know that I could list my irritations. Hm. Pretty laid back most of the time. God usually has me listening to other people's stories.

Tara Lynn Thompson said...

That's awesome Flea. It sounds like God has gifted you with the ability to help the rest of us with our irritations. And speaking of, about those shoes. Put me down for a pair. I'm a size 8.