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Acres of Diamonds

by seo on August 7, 2009

Career Mission’s Chief Executive Officer, A. Harrison Barnes took you through Russell Conwell’s Acres of Diamonds. Conwell delivered this speech over 5,000 times between 1900 and 1925 and according to Harrison it is one of the greatest pieces that he has ever read on finding opportunity.

Acres of Diamonds states that in order for us to find fortune, opportunity and achievement we do not need to look elsewhere. Instead, the resources for us to become rich are present all around us. At the beginning of his story, Conwell talks of an Arab guide who wanted to find diamonds so badly that he sold his property and went off on a futile search:

So he sold his farm, collected his money, left his family in charge of a neighbor, and away he went in search of diamonds. He began his search, at the Mountains of the Moon. Afterward he came around into Palestine, then wandered on into Europe, and at last when his money was all spent and he was in rags, wretchedness, and poverty, he stood on the shore of that bay at Barcelona, in Spain, when a great tidal wave came rolling in between the pillars of Hercules, and the poor, afflicted, suffering, dying man could not resist the awful temptation to cast himself into that incoming tide, and he sank beneath its foaming crest, never to rise in this life again.

Shortly after the old man died, the farmer to whom he had sold the farm discovered a large diamond mine right on the property. Conwell describes one situation after another where similar situations occur. The idea of Conwell’s story, which is so powerful and positively inspirational, is that there is opportunity everywhere if you know where to look. So many times we do not see the opportunity right in front of us and instead we start looking elsewhere, in all the wrong places. If you wish to be great at all, you must begin from where you are and what you are.

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