Man, this may seem weird to some of you, and others may totally get it, but here goes.

I hate when my Nikes get dirty.

Like, of course, the shoes I wear to work, but I'm also talking about my running shoes - you know, the shoes that are SUPPOSED to get dirty.

This has always been a perfect example of my OCD. Like for real OCD. But also, it's been an example of some sort of emptiness inside me that I've been trying to fill with clean shoes.

Wow, that sounded cheesy.

No, but for real - keeping all of my shoes perfectly clean I think has represented something about me that I've felt poor about and have wanted to "clean it up" with clean looking shoes.

Case in point, I recently bought a pair of top of the line Nike Running Shoes for the last leg of my marathon training (and to wear in the race, obviously). Nike Zoom Fly - so fresh, right?

So the first 100 miles I put on them, they still looked brand new. Then I moved, and needed to start running on a different route - one that has mad mud, dirt, gravel, etc.

First run on the new route, the shoes get muddy AF. Un-cleanable. Each run since, the shoes have gotten more and more gross looking.

I swear to you, as recently as 18 months ago, something like this may have irritated me so much that it borderline crushed my spirit - ridiculous, right? Well, we all have our flaws.

But today, when I looked down at my still brand new but now effing dirty Nikes, I realized that not only am I actually not mad about the situation, but I'm really freaking proud of the mud, dirt, gunk and disgustingness of the outside of these fine shoes.

Call it perspective, priorities or whatever, but I actually feel like I don't even care that the shoes got dirty and look like crap. Now, I actually feel proud of the accomplishments that went into the shoes looking like crap, and I'm even happy to wear them as a badge of honor.

If you know me, there's a solid chance that none of this surprises you. I'm pretty intense.

But the key difference in myself these days, is I've prioritized my intensity and channeled it more into productivity instead of minutia.

Previous Paul would have dwelled on the minutia of the dirt on the Nikes. He would have felt sorry for himself about the new expensive shoes that now will never look as cool as they did when they came out of the box for the first time.

Current and future Paul realizes there's one moment in time when those shoes come out of the box brand new, and he needs to enjoy that moment and not take it for granted. But then as those shoes wear and tear and begin to lose their luster and shine, continue to have pride in the shoes as a representation of accomplishment, and most importantly - a vehicle for continued success.

This blog post is NOT about shoes. It's about a mindset. And just like clean shoes get dirty, a mindset can as well.

The biggest difference is while that the shoes may never become "out of the box new" again - the mindset can always.

Just Do It. 🙂

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

Paul Hickey, Founder / CEO / Lead Strategist at Data Driven Design, LLC has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 10 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing and Email Marketing. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.

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