Success, Elbow Grease And A Little Luck

elbow grease - a closeup of an old rusty gear

I like to think that as a professional psychotherapist & coach, the space in which I work in my office is a smaller reflection of our much larger culture here in the USA.

Let me explain. Our culture is constantly on the move towards faster, more convenient ways of doing things. I’m caught up in this moving current as much as the next person. For example, when I began writing and putting up websites, the year was 1998. I had a Pentium 120 with 24 megabytes of ram and a 2400 bps modem. As I write this article I am using a super fast AMD chip computer with 1 gig of ram and a blazing fast cable modem connection to the internet. I love it! The internet connection alone has saved me hundreds of hours in my online work.

But notice the last word I used in the previous paragraph — “work.” I put in a minimum of 10 hours per week for my online work alone, this elbow grease is important in any task. My wife edits my articles, so we’ll see how accurate I am when she reads my last statement. She often says I spend much more time than that. 😉

I enjoy both the new creations that make life easier, as well as researching and writing how-to articles to help people move towards success in their lives.

Last week, during one of my sessions, a client was complaining that “nothing was working.” She asked why there weren’t any guarantees and was extremely frustrated that her doctor had not found the correct medication for her illness.

The psychotherapy and medical field is not an exact science… yet. So, I most definitely empathized with how she was feeling. On the other hand, I asked her how many specific depression recovery tools she had learned about while she was in treatment. She couldn’t recall exactly, so we worked together and came up with at least 12 different, proven skills she’d been taught to fight depression.

Any guesses as to how many of these skills she is using in her daily life? Sadly enough, ZERO. She tried one exercise I taught her in our first week together and had never repeated it. I thanked her for her honesty and gently explained that I was not attempting to shame her or beat her up. Instead, I talked with her about the vital difference she could make in her own depression recovery, if she would simply decide to make a wholehearted commitment to doing everything in her power towards that end. She re-committed herself. I’m excited to officially “partner” with her in her recovery from depression.

Unfortunately, one trend I see emerging out of this larger cultural movement to enhance life is a LACK OF ACTION. More people today sit back and expect the “quick-fix” or “magic bullet.” And for those that sit and wait there are at least as many who will prey on them. I receive no less than 500 emails a week promising me the moon in a pill, or great riches for no work and so on. You know, you receive the same ones I do.

Elbow Grease and Success

Let me tell you a few of the benefits that come when you decide to roll up your sleeves and putting in a little elbow grease with old-fashioned hard work.

  1. Self Mastery and Personal Competence
  2. Empowerment or Personal Power
  3. Heightened Level of Commitment
  4. Deepening Values
  5. Quality Use of Time
  6. Greater Self-Respect
  7. Increased Motivation
  8. Personal Integrity or Honor
  9. Pride In Personal Responsibility
  10. Enhanced Self-Esteem
  11. Stronger Sense of Purpose
  12. Positive View of the Future
  13. Personal Success
  14. Personal Recovery from Life’s Challenges

Do these qualities sound good to you? Are you willing to put your elbow grease in for them?

It’s okay to pick the low-lying fruit and even courageous to reach out for help when you need it. Stay open to life- enhancing ways that can make life easier for you. The question is, while you hope for a depression cure, a better business opportunity, a lucky scratch-off ticket or an improved partnership, are you also taking personal action to achieve that success today?


Dave Turo-Shields, ACSW, LCSW is an author, university faculty member, success coach and veteran psychotherapist whose passion is guiding others to their own success in life. For weekly doses of the webs HOTTEST success tips, sign up for Dave’s powerful “Feeling Great!” ezine at http://www.Overcoming-Depression.com

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