acres of diamonds
I have republished Russell Conwell’s Acres of Diamonds below. Conwell delivered this speech over 5,000 times between 1900 and 1925. It is one of the greatest pieces on finding opportunity that I have ever read. –Harrison Acres of Diamonds When...Filed under Featured, Self Improvement Books Leave a Comment
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Many people fall prey to the false attractiveness of the ego, allowing it to dominate their lives and hinder their progress. To conquer your ego you must establish a sense of what is and is not correct, and introduce discipline to your business and personal lives. This means your work will result from true effort rather than cutting corners, and you will be respected for the ethics that govern your actions.
You have the power to become the person you are capable of being. Although you will face external obstacles in the process of becoming this person, but your biggest challenges will be internal. Do not allow others to keep you down, but instead decide to excel on your own; in order to achieve your goals, direct all of your energies towards being the best person of which you are capable.
Your perceptions can make you either happy or unhappy. Most peoples’ perceptions, however, are clouded by assumptions that frequently aren’t even true. To change your life, change your assumptions about the world around you; suffering lies in the perception of the fact, not the fact itself.
Too many people approach their job searches from the perspective of their own needs. They need a job, they need to make more money, they need flexible working hours and benefits. This is not the way to get a job. In fact, this “me-too” method of job seeking is unlikely to get you anywhere.
Arrogance is a trait of the weak and insecure; one of the biggest career mistakes you can make is to act as though you are better than those around you, broadcasting to the world that you are afraid for people to see you as you actually are. Instead, try to hone the skill of making people empathize with you and want to help you. Empathy is a much more beneficial quality to instill in your peers than anger or resentment.
You must have access to complete information for success in your life. In life and business, many people will try to take advantage of your lack of pertinent information about a certain issue. Whenever you are making an important life decision, in any area of your life, make sure you have all of the available information; you can only succeed when you have all of the facts.
In this article Harrison discusses the power of unifying force in any organization. The success of your career will largely be determined by your ability to be a unifying force rather than a divisive force in the organization you work for, or lead. The world wants people who unify rather than do the opposite. People who succeed are those who bring together rather than drive apart. In your life and career, the ability to bring together and unify is one of the strongest possible skills you can have. The greatest companies, leaders, and others bring people together and do not drive them apart. You should ask yourself what you can do to bring people together at work and in your job. You should lessen friction rather than create friction. You should do everything you can to make the people around you get along together.
Russell Conwell’s fantastic Acres of Diamonds speech argues that the means for success do not require extensive searching, but are all around us. Opportunity is everywhere if you know where to look. Many times we miss opportunities that are right in front of us because we are looking in the wrong places.
You must find a job about which you are passionate, perform it with dedication, and make sure this dedication is visible to those around you. When you devote yourself to a job that you love, you open the doors for greater happiness and fulfillment in your career and life. Employers and colleagues notice those who demonstrate passion for their jobs; they naturally gravitate towards these types of people, and avoid those who take a more perfunctory approach to their work.
Life is a gift and we need to make the most of it now. What does hard work and success mean if we never enjoy our lives?
Anything that is not managed will eventually deteriorate. Set goals and develop a road map to achieve them, as goals function as a roadmap, forcing you to take action and follow it through. Self-management provides you momentum to tackle other obstacles moving forward. The best businesses and people are well managed, and so must you be.
Direct your efforts to creating the most long-term value in everything you do, rather than taking from people every chance you get. The people who have and achieve the most are those who contribute and give the most; true power and success lies in doing so, and will forever change your life and career for the better.
Even with technological advances, newspaper ads are still the best source for jobs and a very smart place to look. Regardless of your experience level, it is vital that you include newspapers in your job search if you are to be thorough. Many employers still rely on newspapers, but fewer people use them in their searches, which makes them a very effective tool.
You need to control your work environment. People who are successful in their work and personal lives are generally able control their environment, and resist being controlled by it. Do not take on more work than you can handle, and make sure to competently handle the work that you do take. An organization’s success depends on its control over its assets, and your own success similarly depends on your ability to control your environment rather than the other way around.
One of the greatest risks in your career and life is of becoming a commodity; at that point you are no different than anyone else in the market, and employers can mint more workers just like you. To set yourself apart from this process, you must become entrepreneurial and circumvent what others around you are doing. Examine situations around you, and figure out how to create unique efficiency and value. Work for companies that are constantly innovating, and approach your own career in terms of constantly improving efficiency.
You have far more assets than you realize or comprehend, and you need to devote your career and life to making the most of them. The more assets you use, the more you can achieve, meaning that the potential for achievement in your life is limitless. Make the absolute most of all of the assets that you have, as do the most successful individuals and businesses.
In this article Harrison talks about releasing the lack that you feel, in order to reach your full potential. If a sense of lack dominates your thinking, it will affect your interaction with the world and how the world sees you. There are many areas of your life where you are coming from a position of lack. Your ability to release this lack and go forward with your life can create a tremendous sense of peace and more natural accomplishments in your world. The amount of lack that people see out there is profound and it has a massive impact on their lives. According to Harrison, the most successful people in the world see the world as a place of opportunity and not lack.
To be happy, you must create the life that you want on your own terms. Structure your life in a manner that is fulfilling to you, rather than a vision of what you want to be or a vision that outside influences have created for you. The inability to design your own life is one of the worst tragedies that can befall you. When you design your own life you are in complete charge of your life’s events, and you set the rules any way you choose.
Anyone can be up when things are going well, but the real challenge comes when things are not. Do not look at problems, which are inevitable for any person or business, in a negative light; think of them instead as challenges, lessons, or opportunities. There is a silver lining to be found in every problem, and finding that silver lining will enable you to grow.
The truth is you can become almost any sort of person and achieve just about whatever you want to achieve if you have faith and take the action need to get there. You can only get there, though, when you give it your all.
Your mood is a major determinant of success in anything you do. You should never enter an interview or any other high-stakes situation in a negative frame of mind. You can needlessly lose many opportunities simply because you haven’t been “up”. For example, job seekers find considerably greater success when interviewing on Fridays, perhaps due to the fact that people tend to be in a better mood towards the end of the week. When people are relaxed, they are in a better “buying mood”.
If you are very good at something, you should improve on it (try to stay inspired) and continue doing it. The biggest mistake you can make is abandoning something that is working. Do what you are good at.
In this article Harrison talks about the external and internal world. We have some–but certainly nowhere near total control over what happens in the external world. However, we do have control over the internal world. The internal world is comprised of our own emotions, how we think and feel about those events that occur in the external world. It is important that we do everything within our power to control our internal worlds. We should guard our internal world and take care to use it for ourselves, and not against ourselves. Problems are always going to be there. You can’t always stop them. What you can control, however, is your response to the problems that come up. Your nature of response is a key indicator to your control over your internal world and ultimately to your happiness and well being.
Focus on what you are doing, not what others around you are doing. There are people to take action towards their goals, and then there people who sit on the sidelines and comment on the first group of people. People who are mostly interested in gossip and watching others usually lack the confidence and determination to take action themselves. The most successful people go account and accomplish things rather than sit back and watch others make things happen.
In this article Harrison suggests that you need to be in favor with the right people. These people have an ability to control what happens in your career. People with strong and influential opinions exist within all companies and organizations. It is important to cater to and get the approval of people who have the ability to influence the opinions of others one way or another. When you go against people with the power to influence others they can turn against you and make your career and life much more difficult. You do need to be aware of the game going on and you do need to play it, or at least play along with it to get ahead.