04/25/2013 02:26 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

What If Your Socks Didn't Match?

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Ripples are interesting. They only get bigger -- until they reach their limits. Most mornings, socks are the first pebble I drop into the ocean of my day. This isn't to say putting on my socks is the first thing I do after getting out of bed. They'd get soggy in the shower. But it is the first thing I do after I'm fully functioning and realize it is a new day (i.e. I've eaten, showered and drunk copious amounts of coffee).

For the longest time, putting on my socks meant a whole lot of digging, shouting and swearing. Because, like any grown adult knows: you can't wear socks that don't match. And, if you can't find two socks that match, it's because they were likely gobbled up by the sock monster. The ripples these two thoughts would go on to create were extraordinary. If I couldn't find matching socks, I'd storm around until I eventually found two that did match, but would often head out the door frustrated, exhausted and late -- not to mention, believing in a make-believe creature. Those were some pretty powerful ripples I'd put in motion for the day. However, I've come to realize leaving with two matching socks I didn't have to fight to find rolled out some pretty crazy ripples, as well. For instance, what's up with the strange satisfaction of having two undergarments match few (if any) are likely to see? It sets you up for an entire day of needless (i.e. thought-less) conformity. It also drives you to find comfort in what's hidden, as opposed to focusing on what you're showing. What if we could reverse this trend?

What if...changing something as simple as your socks could have a ripple effect that makes your days -- and life -- more fulfilling? What if, eliminating the simple was the first step in achieving the phenomenal? What if, freeing ourselves from the distracting ripples of life needs to be built from our feet up? And, what if, our socks don't need to match? Then, what else might we be doing in our lives for no real reason at all?

Below is the talk I recently gave at TEDxCoMo sharing how socks showed me the power and potential of asking "what if...?" We at What If...? would like to hear from you about what it is you're "what iffing" about; what things in your wardrobe or life do you wonder about changing? What new ripples can you set a drift?

"What If...Our Socks Didn't Match?" TEDxCoMo