Imagine you’re the cobbler in the Grimm’s Fairy Tales story “The Shoemaker and the Elves.” The shoemaker went to bed one night and without his knowledge, elves made the shoes for the next day. His work was finished before he even woke up. He knew this for one reason – he saw the shoes. Pretty easy to see, huh? He got up and the orders were already filled. I wonder how we would know the work was completed if the work was a different kind.


If elves fixed all of your problems tonight while you slept, you might say, “I’d have more money,” or “people would treat me differently,” or “I’d have a better job.” We could go on and on. Try changing this slightly. If your problems were solved tonight while you slept, how would YOU be different in the morning? Not circumstances, not people, not bank accounts. You. How would YOU be different.

This is not an easy question for most people. What are some possible answers?


  1. I would feel less ______ (e.g., worried, depressed, nervous, self-conscious)
  2. I would think differently about _____ (e.g., myself, others, situations)
  3. I would be able to ______ (e.g., ask for a raise, go dancing, play with my kids)
  4. I wouldn’t want to ____ (e.g., drink, defend my self-worth, sleep all day)

These are some possible responses to such a question. Think about your life and your problems. How would you be different without those problems? The answer to that question can often be a key to setting goals. When we can answer this question, we can prioritize changes and actually have a destination to work toward when making changes.

If we can help you, give us a call in our Dunbar, WV office at 866-308-2307 or email