January 30

Repairing the Past

Repairing the Past

By Deborah Johnson

January 30, 2017

Goals, Inspirational speaker, mindsets, personal development, positive self talk

Repairing the Past

The faded newsprint was still in the frame with the headline Repairing the Past. The little shoe repair tucked between other nondescript shops in a small strip mall is a throwback to another era. Large, black Singer-style sewing machines line the wall with a plethora of cutting presses hammers and buffers. As I glance around, there are old photos, shoes and tools that remind me of the owner, who is still repairing the past. I do notice on this visit that the owner stoops over a bit more and has lost a bit of weight. I hope that he’s O.K.

The old, distressed movie posters are still hanging. There are western scenes where I imagine him working as an extra. An actor with his still-chiseled jawline and sparkling eyes in shoot-em up westerns without all the special effects and weak story lines we watch today. I leave my black suede boots with him, trusting he’ll bring new life to my heels to give me another good year of wear. They are worth repairing not only for their look, but comfort and practicality. I’m fairly hard on my shoes as I walk constantly and at a fairly brisk pace.

A Bucket of Repairs

When I return to pick up my favorite boots, he finds them in a bucket, still not repaired. He says it will only take him about ten minutes and do I want to wait? I watch as he skillfully works. Then I ask, Have you been busy? Oh yes! He responds. He comes in most days at 6 A.M. and works until 10 P.M. I know why. It’s his workmanship-he’s extremely good.
(see the book: So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport)

He gently hands me my boots, now with fresh-leathered tips on both heels, buffed and polished. I know I will now stand on solid ground as I had watched him skillfully measure the depth of both heels to make them exactly equal. I then thought of how many people are going through life, working hard, raising families and balancing relationships without repairing their past. People with their own bucket of repairs that hold personal growth projects, gathering dust with no restoration in the near future.

Do You Need Repair?

Do you need repair for a past that includes episodes of anger, unhealthy fear, negative self-image and loneliness? If you’re like most, even myself, you rush through days, months and years without paying attention to parts of your own personal growth and health. At some point, the bucket will be overflowing, bringing feelings of being overwhelmed and buried in dust. (See short video above)

What will those times cost you in time and emotional energy? You can still ignore that bucket, or you can take out one project or pair of boots at a time. One of the great survival stories of a person caught in an avalanche is how the principle of gravity works. Asphyxiation is the greatest danger when buried, so by spitting, you can tell where the direction of the sky is. Your spit will go down, in the opposite direction. So dig towards the sky— there is a better chance you’ll survive, as you will reach fresh air.

Dig Towards the Sky


Repairing the past is not easy and may not seem worth it. However, stagnation and lack of personal and professional growth is one of the main reasons companies find some of their best and brightest employees quit. (Read: 7 ReasonsThe Best Employees Quit Even When They Like Their Job by @LollyDaskal) Without the skill of good training and support, or in the case with my boots, with a good cobbler, the repair may lack the proper balance to stand on level ground.

If you find yourself buried, take the time to spit. Then dig towards the sky. The fresh air will do you good and you WILL survive. After you dig through your bucket of repairs, you will stand on solid ground. Seek the training and support you need to make this happen. Be discerning as more and more call themselves personal coaches and trainers today than ever before. Look for wisdom, experience, discernment and maybe a faded news clipping or two that says Repairing the Past. The shop may not be fancy, but for the workmanship? I give it a deserving five stars! You are worth at least that.

Deborah Johnson is all about using Creativity to expand your business. Get Unstuck and get rid of Bad Code with her new book Bad Code: Overcoming Bad Mental Code That Sabotages Your LifeYou can reach Deborah the following ways: Twitter: @DJWorksMusic; YouTube: https://YouTube.com/user/DJWorks; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deborah.johnson; Websites: https://GoalsForYourLife.com; https://DJWorksMusic.com

Deborah Johnson

About the author

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., creator of Hero Mountain® and former president of Los Angeles National Speakers Association, is an international award-winning music artist, author, speaker and National Media Commentator. Deborah provides tools to create your ideal lifestyle and work during the halftime of life, getting unstuck. You can live your second half fulfilled, focused and free! Up for multiple GRAMMY Awards and spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she's an expert on how to constantly reinvent yourself in a gig-economy. She is also the recipient of the 2018 Women's Economic Forum Exceptional Women of Excellence Award. Deborah is the author of four books and speaks and performs in both live and virtual events.

Never miss a good story! Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with the latest news, articles, music & trends!

Never any Spam!