Have you ever noticed that people are always looking for that special secret that will instantly change their lives and bring world peace, or whatever? I cannot tell you how many times I hear a commercial or a testimonial about something that is “life changing.” Whether it is a new diet plan, a new exercise system, a new type of clothing or skin cream, a new teeth whitener, a new travel service, a new religious technique, some new exotic supplement, a new investment strategy, a new dating service or many, many others. I hear or read these things and I want to always add; “AND WILL BRING WORLD PEACE” at the conclusion. I guess it is just human nature. We are always looking for that instant secret for success. Well, I don’t have another one to add to the list, but I do want to offer some insight about something as simple as your hands. Stay with me.

I recently read about research by University of Richmond Neuroscientist Kelly Lambert and it got me to thinking. Her research showed that lab rats who had to dig for a reward had significantly better brain chemistry that those who were rewarded without effort. She said that this study and numerous others suggest that busy hands help produce happy brains, and hearts. In the 19th century physicians prescribed knitting for women who had anxiety issues, for instance. Her suggestion was that busy hands that produce some worthwhile results have a dramatic affect on the brain. In scripture (Ephesians 4:28) we find the interesting verse that says “. . . let him who stole steal no more, but rather labor with his hands.” Interesting. Sorry, the study does not suggest that texting has the same effect. Ha. In my years of helping people I have observed that those who did useful activity with their hands seemed to be much more balanced than those who did nothing with their hands to benefit others or produce something of value, whether physical or aesthetic. In my work with hoarding disorder it is obvious that affected persons had no signs of using their hands to benefit anyone else, rather they were self focused on their own pain and used their hands to hold on to their stuff. Another issue, in an emotional/spiritual sense, involves what you are holding on to. In Borneo monkeys are trapped by putting fruit and nuts in a hollowed out coconut with a small hole in it the size of a monkey’s hand and then chained to a tree. When the monkey reaches inside and grasps the fruit it cannot remove it’s hand and is trapped. They become easy picking for the hunter, all because they will not let go.

There are many more illustrations of this, but let me conclude. Do something of value with your hands to benefit others or to accomplish something worthwhile. I am working with others to produce a work shop on what I will call “Handy-Work.” Not only are we God’s handiwork, we are to use our hands to work. This could involve learning sign language, doing crafts to give to others, mowing somebody’s lawn, painting, learning to play an instrument, whatever. It could be a secret weapon against depression, anxiety, self hatred, boredom and worry. General Booth, founder of the Salvation Army near the end of his life could not attend their yearly gathering to speak to them. Instead he sent a telegraph and gave a one word speech, “Others.” Please learn to let go and to help others. It is really not a secret.

Terry Sutton makes his home in Florida where he is the Regional Sales Manager for Dallas based U. S. Adjusting Services. He is also a freelance writer and speaker and is the president of Terry Sutton Consulting, Inc., dba Master Your Disaster, a 501(C)3 non-profit. He is a frequent teacher of insurance CE classes and speaks in various settings about all types of restoration, both physical and spiritual. Over the past four years he has spoken extensively about helping those affected with hoarding disorder.