Adler claimed he could cure anyone of mental illness in just fourteen days if they would just do what he told them to do. One day a woman who was extremely depressed came to see Adler. He told her, "I can cure you of your depression in just fourteen days if you will follow my advice."
She was not very enthusiastic when she asked, "What do you want me to do?"
Adler replied, "If you will do one thing for someone else every day for fourteen days, at the end of that time your depression will be gone."
She objected. "Why should I do something for someone else, when no one ever does anything for me?"
Adler jokingly responded, "Well, maybe it will take you twenty-one days." He went on to add, "If you can't think of anything you are willing to do for someone else, just think of what you could do if you felt like it." Adler knew that if she would even think about doing something for someone else, she would be on her way toward improvement.