In the first article in this series, "When it’s Down To You, Get a Shovel (Part I)", we examined the shovel, metaphorically, to represent the necessity of handling negative situations in a certain way. When we think of a shovel, we immediately think of burying something. Low self-esteem will keep you trying to bury something, rather than achieve something positive. However, there are other uses for a shovel than what meets the eye.

Negative situations and problems cannot always be buried but must be dealt with in some way. I now refer to the first article when I said, "The shovel represents your attitude." It is incumbent on you that you should place emphases on having a right attitude for the task at hand. This cardinal act will make it much easier to handle these contravening situations.

As a reminder, a shovel is used in many ways. Among a few are:

1. move dirt
2. move debris, e.g., rocks, clay, etc.
3. level the dirt
4. bury something

As aforementioned in the previous article, we will attend to number four at a more appropriate time.

The Dirt

We should look at dirt as soil in which to grow something. Your focus should not be on the fact of how dirty you are as a result, rather, upon the beautiful garden you will grow. That is, when a massive problem arises, it is imperative that you adopt a right attitude by looking at the possibility of growth in your own life. There is a need to ask yourself, "What can I do to ensure that I can grow and not simply wallow?" "What is it that I can learn?" And, "How is it possible that I can learn it?"

You can move dirt around to lay a right foundation for a well-constructed building. Let's say that a negative situation has come to you. The first thing to do is recognize that it is dirt. It is something that you will need to move around. By moving it around, you shovel its importance to another place. You must shovel this dilemma from the place of worry to the place of authority and opportunity. After examination, this should be the first thing that you do to construct a solid building (seek a solid solution).

The Debris

As we see, your attitude makes a difference as to whether you view a bad situation as an excuse to worry or as an opportunity to overcome. You cannot do both. Trying to do both will bring you to a place called confusion. If you enter into indecision, you will confuse more than help yourself.

Often, when you have made a solid decision, there are other matters that get in the way of solving the negative situation. These items must be removed. Your attitude should be used to remove the hurt, disappointment, and, possibly, your dejected nature. Your attitude (the shovel) should not only shovel dirt (the problem), but, also, move debris (things that get in the way of a solution) out of your way.


Another facet of a proper attitude is what I call leveling. When constructing a building, you must also level the dirt (the problem). This is to remove unnecessary loose dirt from the start. Shoveling requires that you remove problems that arise while solving another. Often, you will not find things as straight forward as you would like them to be. This can be caused by other smaller issues being present. At the risk of over simplifying the fact, I will utilize purchasing a pair of shoes. The problem may be that you need a new pair of shoes. If you plan on wearing the new shoes with socks, you should not try the shoes on without a pair of socks. Doing so, you will run the unnecessary risk of the shoes not fitting after you have purchased them. You will do far betting to put on the socks in the first place.

Of course, your issues are probably far greater that purchasing a pair of shoes; but you, I am sure, understand what I am saying here. The message is that your problem carries with it other smaller issues that you can readily deal with from the start. You should do so without hesitation.

I am not able to cover much more in this short treatise, but the messages are luminous. When it is down to you, get a shovel. It is down to you.

Be Well!
Ellzie Ware, Jr.

Author's Bio: 

Ellzie Ware has served as a pastor and is now retired after more than 20 years of service. During that time and after he answered the purpose of Life Coach and Counselor, mainly helping people with low self-esteem and low self-confidence issues.

Ellzie has been a keynote speaker for over 15 years in various formats and conferences