Keeping your hand to the plough is a subject that is descriptive and it is practical. Practical in the sense that living is doing and nothing depicts doing more than plowing a field, getting it ready for planting.
When you work on a field you have to be focused on your task. You will run into obstacles, things will not always go your way. You are relying on some force greater than yourself to actually do the heavy work, it would be pretty silly to have puny you pulling the plough and the oxen driving. You still have to use your brains. You have to stop or turn a corner once in while to see how well you are doing, where you can improve.
That to me is life at its finest. Being focused on a task, glad to be on this side of the grass, able to see the beauty of the world at all times. To face obstacles and successfully deal with them and find in, or under, them a gem that you can take into the rest of your life to make it better. Knowing that it may rain or other things may interfere with the task, but know it will work out in the long run. The human view is far too short and self centered. When we are honest with ourselves most things have worked out well in our lives, maybe not as we would have liked, but well just the same.
The importance of looking back after a period, not just to see how far we have come but where we can be better cannot be stressed enough. I am not talking a week, more like a year. You will be amazed at what can happen.
A woman told me a story once that went like this.
Her counselor told her that she now had all the tools and knew how to use them. The last exercise her counselor had her do was write down her dreams and aspirations. Then her counselor told her to put them away for 10 years. The counselor bet her that she sold herself short. At the end of ten years she looked at the list of dreams and aspirations. Most had been filled and accomplished in the first 18 months. She had, as the counselor said, sold herself short.