Three Feet from Gold – Temporary Defeat


At some point in our lives, well laid out plans could go burst without really knowing what actually went wrong.

Weak or shoddy plans could be reasons for failure. Overwhelming challenges laced up with little persevering power to match could be capable of ruining the whole idea entirely.

It’s not cool failing at all – but certain degree of failure awaits sooner or later. There will always be valuable lessons tucked in our disappointing experiences.Defeat is only temporary once you decide to get up. If you choose to move on despite the presumed setbacks and forge ahead, you are likely going to hit that gold.

I’ll like to take you a back to the Gold Rush days…

The discovery of gold nuggets in early 1848 at the Sacramento valley, California led to the “Gold Rush” where early miners traveled by sea, land to settle at San Francisco in the United States.

It was recorded that a fortune worth $2 billion (N900bn)was extracted from precious metal in the gold fields.

An extract from this book “Three Feet from Gold” brings to life key lessons on perseverance; Darby and his uncle were two industrious miners who found  traces of ore while they mined in the gold fields at the time. In excitement, they covered it up and went back home and raised some money to buy machinery that would help bring the ore to the surface.

Darby and uncle
Miners – source: 4thcoloradohistory

They returned to the site and continued digging, the distance to ore seemed endless. Darby and his uncle got frustrated and gave up the search believing they were hallucinating.

They sold the machinery to an astute scrap man who bought it for some hundreds of dollars and they returned home. The man got an engineer who surveyed the mine and calculated that gold was three feet away from where Darby and his uncle stopped.

He dug further and made millions from his extraction. Darby and his uncle lost out on that fortune. Its rather unfortunate that the pioneer miners who started out digging got defeated in their minds and chose to go home.

Persistence is required to succeed. The path to glory is an uphill climb. Great leaders like Henry Ford, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela and some other notable leaders are reckoned with today because of their resilient spirits, they persevered despite insurmountable challenges.

Model T
Henry For’s Model T

Henry Ford took ‘No’ for an answer and had to send his engineers back repeatedly on the design and fabrication of a simple and straight engine. His engineers broke forth the news that it eventually became possible and in 1908 the Model T was born.

Henry Ford revolutionized the automobile industry making it possible for an average American worker to purchase a simple, reliable and affordable car. In its first year of release, 10,000 units of the Model T was sold for $825 per unit establishing a new record. Four years later, the car was sold for $525 per unit and sales soared taking approximately 40% of the market.

We may not in our live time go through a tenth of what they faced, however we will encounter defeat at some point, probably in areas related to investment, business, career, family, marriage…it could be anything. Probably you may be in a situation now and you’re wondering how you could ever get out.

One thing is certain; nature somehow blesses you if you remained focused and determined on your goal and press on.The toughest phase usually precedes the breakthrough moments. The darkest of nights come before dawn.

Darby was just three feet away from what would have changed his life and that of his family’s forever, it’s also worthy of note that nature gave him a second chance to fortune after learning from his lack of faith and his new perception that defeat is only temporary.

He later moved north to New York where he became an insurance salesman and over time became really successful with a fortune in millions of dollars to his name. Some other miners that migrated later to the region after the first settlers weren’t so fortunate; the field were already over-exploited of fortune.

It pays to take opportunities at the first glimpse of it.

Defeat is only temporary, success is long lasting if you’re not deterred despite your problems and challenges. It may not seem easy at the moment, your endurance will be stretched, learn fast and develop more staying power, amend obvious shortcomings, decide to overcome failure and press on till you hit that gold.

About Chinedu Ozulumba

Chinedu is a portfolio risk manager and content writer. He believes desired results are born out of creative thinking.

Chinedu is a portfolio risk manager and content writer. He believes desired results are born out of creative thinking.

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