If you have ever read Napoleon Hill’s book “Think and Grow Rich” you may remember the story about R U Harby and his gold mining endeavor. It’s a story that teaches a lesson in persistence, which, in my opinion, is the one trait that will guarantee success over any other trait. Anyway, I love this story because it keeps me moving forward when I start to question myself and my path in life. If you haven’t heard the story, let me give you the gist of it…
R. U. Harby’s uncle went out west during the gold rush and found some gold ore in Colorado. His uncle returned home to secure some financing for the equipment needed to mine this gold ore he had found. He also was able to get his nephew, R.U. Harby to go with him and cash in on this opportunity. After they borrowed enough money they headed west out to Colorado to stake the claim and begin mining. They hit gold immediately and everything was going as planned. At the rate they were going they would be able to pay back all of their debts and make a huge profit. However, the gold ran out. They kept digging and digging without turning up any more gold. They went deeper and deeper into debt as they kept going. Finally, they decided to cut their losses and quit. They sold their mining equipment off as scrap and returned home empty handed.
The junkman they sold their equipment to decided to call in a mining engineer to take a look at the mine that Darby and his uncle gave up on. The engineer determined that the gold ore continue just three feet from where Darby and his uncle stopped digging! The junkman took the equipment he had just bought and started mining the abandoned mine. Just as predicted, he struck gold right where the engineer said it would be, just three feet deeper! The junkman went on to make millions from this mine.
R.U. Darby eventually paid back all of his debt and was determined to learn from his mistake. Darby went on make a huge fortune as an insurance salesman, because of the lesson he learned about persistence. He learned that you need to persevere through difficult times and stay focused in order to become successful.
When I think of this story, I often look back into the history of my own life and wonder where I may hive given up just three feet from gold. I’m sure I’ve missed out on some great things, but I really don’t know. One thing I do know is that it won’t happen again. Right now, you may be 3 feet, or 300 feet from gold. Either way, the only way to reach it is to keep digging, keep moving forward, and stay focused. You’ll get there.