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Big Shoes to Fill

I attended a funeral this morning of a man who had a tremendous impact in the world. During this funeral the deceased man’s son-in-law gave a powerful testimony of this life through various stories. Within one of his stories he made the comment that his late father-in-law had “big shoes to fill”.

This is a familiar catchphrase that is used to reference the quality of a person. The higher quality of a person, the more challenging to mimic his example. Hence, his shoes will be too large. I appreciated a follow up comment by the son-in-law telling the story, as he encouraged the listeners that we should not strive to fill his shoes, but to wear our own.

How true it is that we habitually use these types of catchphrases to express our efforts to become better. The better example is typically some person, or hero, that we have held high on a pedestal. Maybe it is a professor, author, parent, or other influencer that has made an impact in your life. Whomever sits on your pedestal, consider this encouragement. We are designed so uniquely that there is a 1 in 33 million chance someone else’s top 5 Clifton Strengths will be in the same order as yours. That, my friend, is unique.

Now consider the catchphrase. There is a 1 in 33 million chance that you are equipped to fill the shoes of the person that sits on your pedestal. Not because of the type of life they may have lived, but because of the talents each of you are equipped with. This should not be a depressing acknowledgment that you are incapable of making an impact, but an empowering declaration that nobody can make an impact in the same way as you.

Understanding the GOOD work you are called to in life begins with understanding the talent within you. After time developing those talents they will become strengths. That is to say, those talents will become regular patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving positively applied for near perfect performance. Celebrating life isn’t about wondering how to fill the shoes of someone that is no longer here. It is the inspiration to consider how your talents could possibly make a positive impact in the way others have made an impact with theirs.

Kaleo Coaching exists to build others up to the GOOD work they are called to. This has everything to do with who you are, specifically the talents within you, as opposed to the job title you have now or in the future.

Do you want to know how you are designed to make your unique impact in the world? Contact Gallup’s Certified Strengths Coach, Dan Vincent, at to get your Clifton Strengths Assessment code. Kaleo Coaching is currently working with organizations and individuals to provide the GOOD work they are called to.

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