Home > Famous People Stories > Three feet from Gold…

Three feet from Gold…

This is a story from a chapter on persistence in “Think and Grow Rich,” perhaps the greatest success book ever written. The author was Napoleon Hill who was commissioned by the richest man in the world of the time, Andrew Carnegie to interview some of the most successful people of his time and find out the common secret of success. If you are serious about getting ahead, get the book.

“One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat. Every person is guilty of this mistake at one time or another. An uncle of R. U. Darby was caught by the “gold fever” in the gold-rush days, and went west to DIG AND GROW RICH. He had never heard that more gold has been mined from the brains of men than has ever been taken from the earth. He staked a claim and went to work with pick and shovel. The going was hard, but his lust for gold was definite.

After weeks of labor, he was rewarded by the discovery of the shining ore. He needed machinery to bring the ore to the surface. Quietly, he covered up the mine, retraced his footsteps to his home in Williamsburg, Maryland, and told his relatives and a few neighbors of the “strike.” They got together money for the needed machinery, had it shipped. The uncle and Darby went back to work the mine.

The first car of ore was mined, and shipped to a smelter. The returns proved they had one of the richest mines in Colorado! A few more cars of that ore would clear the debts. Then it would come the big killing in profits.

Down went the drills! Up went the hopes of Darby and Uncle! Then something happened! The vein of gold ore disappeared! They had come to the end of the rainbow, and the pot of gold was no longer there! They drilled on, desperately trying to pick up the vein again-all to no avail.

Finally, they decided to QUIT. They sold the machinery to a junk man for a few hundred dollars, and took the train back home. Some “junk” men are dumb, but not this one! He called in a mining engineer to look at the mine and do a little calculating. The engineer advised that the project had failed, because the owners were not familiar with “fault lines.” His calculations showed that the vein would be found JUST THREE FEET FROM WHERE THE DARBYS HAD STOPPED DRILLING! That is exactly where it was found!

The “Junk” man took millions of dollars in ore from the mine, because he knew enough to seek expert counsel before giving up. Most of the money which went into the machinery was procured through the efforts of R. U. Darby, who was then a very young man. The money came from his relatives and neighbors, because of their faith in him. He paid back every dollar of it, although he was years in doing so.

Long afterward, Mr. Darby recouped his loss many times over, when he made the discovery that DESIRE can be transmuted into gold. The discovery came after he went into the business of selling life insurance.

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Remembering that he lost a huge fortune, because he STOPPED three feet from gold, Darby profited by the experience in his chosen work, by the simple method of saying to himself, “I stopped three feet from gold, but I will never stop because men say `no’ when I ask them to buy insurance.”

Darby is one of a small group of fewer than fifty men who sell more than a million dollars in life insurance annually. He owes his “stick ability” to the lesson he learned from his “quit ability” in the gold mining business.

Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to QUIT. That is exactly what the majority of men do.

More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them. Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning

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Categories: Famous People Stories
  1. Kumar
    August 31, 2010 at 9:47 am

    great one bhai! never quit..

  2. sandhya
    August 31, 2010 at 10:01 am

    confidence…..is the word.

  3. August 31, 2010 at 10:37 am

    @ Kumar – Yes, One should never quit! Thanks 🙂
    @ Sandhya – Confidence is the word, and persistence is the key 🙂

  4. Devan
    August 31, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    100% true ….
    but its impossible to “never quit”… some times u don’t know how far u r from gold, it can be 3 feet or million feet.

  5. August 31, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    @ Devan – There is no such word as Impossible, your faith and sixth sense will guide to reach your goal, what you need is discipline and persistence to reach your goal and learning from own mistakes. 🙂

  6. August 31, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    There is a hairline difference between success and defeat. Those who continue even after the chips are down will always taste success at the end of the day. Bottomline is to have faith and not loose heart at first sight of failure

  7. August 31, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    @ Shammi – Agree fully, and that’s what I tried to say to Devan on my previous comment, thanks for useful comment 🙂

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