We’re All Sitting on Immense Value

Yesterday, I wrote a post about setting being goals and cultivating personality traits to achieve our doing and having goals.

I shared the big five personality traits, the 13 virtues of Benjamin Franklin, and a link to 600+ primary personality traits.

One of the personality traits that I want to develop is resourcefulness.

When I reflect upon resourcefulness, immediately a short story in the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle came into my mind.

The Beggar and His Box

A man is sitting on a box, begging on the street. Another man approaches him and asks what’s in the box that he sits on. The beggar says that he doesn’t know. He never checked what’s inside.

They open the box and find out that it’s full of gold. The moral of the story is that we all sit on a box full of gold, but we don’t bother to look what’s inside. In other words, we all have access to resources to create and deliver value.

In this day and age, a lot of products and services are provided for free. Think about all the open source software, social media channels to promote your products and services, and even free versions of premium software like MailChimp and Evernote.

You have to add your creativity to the mix and produce value using those free resources. In essence, you don’t need more than $100 to start a business and to start making money. It’s not easy, and it requires a lot of sweat equity, but it’s possible.

Acres of Diamonds

The beggar story reminded me of another one, Acres of Diamonds by Russell H. Cornwell.

A farm owner sells his farm to travel to search for diamonds. Eventually, he runs out of money, can’t find any diamonds, and dies in desperate conditions.

The person who buys his farm finds some black rocks in the soil, which turn out to be raw diamonds. The moral of the story is that we look for opportunity far away while missing the opportunities under our feet.

Think about all the developers trying to make it to the Silicon Valley. I’m sure there are advantages of living in the center of information technology. Yet, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any opportunities where you live.

In this day and age, all you need is a laptop and an internet connection to tap into immense opportunities.

The Gold Miner Who Quit Too Early

Today’s third and last story comes from the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. In the days of gold rush, a miner works really hard to find a vein of gold. After a while, he gets frustrated and quits digging.

Another miner picks up digging in the same location and hits a gold vein after a few feet. This story points to another personality trait, persistence, but it fits nicely with the other two.

Conclusion

Sometimes, a short story brings a point home much better than a post of thousand words. That’s why I shared three short stories today.

The moral of these stories is that we all sit on immense value, but we don’t recognize the opportunities that are in front of us.

While we are looking for opportunities far away, we are missing the ones that are under our feet.

Opportunities come with subtle clues. They aren’t served in golden platters. It’s up to us to discover them, work on them, and to persist on them until we get the results that we’re looking for.

If you feel hopeless, remind yourself the stories of the beggar and his box and the Acres of Diamond. If you feel like quitting an endeavor, remember the gold miner who stopped too early.

Burak Bilgin
Software developer with a Ph.D. and 15 years of experience. I write daily on personal development and life lessons. Sign up to my email newsletter to receive a weekly overview of my latest content on personal development and life lessons.