Below is a short story told by my friend and fellow coach, Glenda Gibbs. Glenda relates the following valuable metaphor that is so much more powerful to our successes that the brief account might suggest.
“I tried to buy elbow grease!
As a child my mother frequently sent me to the drug store to purchase household supplies. One day as she was leaving to go to work, she gave me instructions to go see Mr. Bidgood and get some cleaning supplies, and she said, “Make sure you get some elbow grease!
Off I went to the drugstore. I collected everything and looked everywhere for that elbow grease – being about 15, I was really frustrated as I had a timeline to get my work completed. Finally, I went up to the counter and told Mr. Bidgood of my plight. He started laughing and his laughing escalated into a roar… eventually he told me that I had all of the supplies that I needed to clean. I repeated my mother’s strict instructions which induced his laughter, once again. He nodded his head and said, “Glenda, all those cleaning supplies won’t work unless you use elbow grease – and elbow grease means action.”
Sometimes we may believe that we are working harder when perhaps we aren’t. Perhaps things simply require a bit more focus and cutting out your distractions, or some added concentrated effort, the “old college try” if you will. This can pay big dividends.
So I might ask you as Glenda has, “What in your life needs elbow grease?