What Treasures are Hiding in Your Career?
One of the books (in actual fact I had it on audio book to listen to when driving) that changed my life was Earl Nightingales ‘Lead The Field.’ It’s by no means the most well-known book, but every single story, anecdote and lesson changed my outlook on life and business.
I want to share one of the stories from the book with you all. If you get a chance do go out and buy the book or audio-book.
This story resonates with me so deeply for the fact that I, as many others, am always in pursuit of success. At a young age often I would become disillusioned in my career if I wasn’t progressing a fast as I had envisioned. Which often lead to me making mistakes such as changing my strategy, my career path, or business that I worked for.
The story is all about sticking to a noble cause, and how fortuitous it can be to simply be grateful for the opportunities you have right now, and how you can use, and maximise those opportunities to become successful.
It all comes from a story which Dr Russell Herman Conwell told, which helped him to raise Millions of dollars to founder and build the first College for poor but deserving young people. That college you may know of, it’s now known as Temple University which is today one of the USA’s leading schools.
The story Dr Russell told was known as Acres of Diamonds.
It’s the account of an African farmer who had heard tales about the other farmers who had made millions by discovering diamond mines.
These tales excited the farmer so much that he sold his farm and spent the rest of his life wandering the African continent, searching unsuccessfully for the gleaming gems that brought such high prices on the markets of the world.
The story of the African Farmer ends with tragedy, his failure lead him to throw himself into a river and drown.
Meanwhile the farm had been bought by another man, whom whilst working one day happened to be crossing the small stream on the property. Suddenly, there was a bright flash of blue and red light from the stream’s bottom. He bent down, picked up the stone, it was a good-sized stone, and, admiring it, later put it on his fireplace mantel as an interesting curiosity.
Several weeks later, a visitor to his home picked up the stone, looked closely at it and nearly fainted. He asked the farmer if he knew what he’d found. When the farmer said no, that he’d thought it was a piece of crystal, the visitor told him he’d found one of the largest diamonds ever discovered.
The farmer had trouble believing that. He told the man that his creek was full of such stones, not as large, perhaps, as the one on the mantel, but they were sprinkled generously throughout the creek bottom.
Needless to say, the farm the first farmer had sold so that he might find a diamond mine turned out to be the most productive diamond mine on the entire African continent. The first farmer had owned, free and clear, acres of diamonds, but he had sold them for practically nothing in order to look for them elsewhere.
So what do we take away from this story? The fable goes that we all as individuals are standing within our own Acres of Diamonds. We merely need to reflect on what those diamonds are or can be. Do this, and we’ll find the riches that we seek, whether that be monetary rewards or fulfilling achievements.
The man whom wanders in the open, constantly searching for greener grass will never find it. That man never stays in one place long enough to reap the rewards. So wherever you can, stick to your cause, find the treasures buried within your circumstances!