Look Under Your Feet

I’m going to tell you something that you can’t get one person in a hundred to believe. But it’s true all the same. Think for a moment of what you would really like to have. It could be a beautiful home, a new car, or a lot of money. You decide on what you’d like very much to have, and I can tell you how to get it – in a surprisingly short time.

All you have to do is realize that no matter who you are or what you happen to do with your days, you are standing right in the middle of what Dr. Russell H. Conwell used to call your “Acre of Diamonds.”

Right at this minute, you’re close to the most exceptional opportunity of your life, if you will look for it, and if you can recognize it when you see it.

Dr. Conwell heard the story of “Acres of Diamonds” in the year 1870, from a native guide while traveling in Egypt. He later told the story when he got back to Philadelphia, and as a result, became the most famous platform speaker in America. It was a story his audiences never tired of hearing, and with this one speech, raised seven million dollars. He founded Temple University in Philadelphia, which has since educated over a hundred thousand people. At the time of his death, Russel Conwell had given his “Acres of Diamonds” talk more than six thousand times. The whole purpose of the talk was to show people you don’t have to change jobs or move across the country to find the success you want. It is always under your feet, all around you, no matter where you live or what you do. No matter who you are, there is not a time during the day when the opportunity of a lifetime is not present.

The story of the “Acres of Diamonds” was about a farmer who was content and prosperous until a priest told him about diamonds.

The priest said if he could find diamonds, he could have anything in the world he wanted.

This made the farmer discontented, and he sold his farm, put his family in the care of neighbors, and roamed the world looking for diamonds. Meanwhile, the new owner found a flashing stone in the stream which ran by the house. He placed it on his mantel as a curiosity. The same priest dropped by, saw it, and told the man it was a diamond. They discovered they were all over the farm… literally acres of diamonds, true story! This farm, incidentally, became the most productive diamond mine in the world. The great Kohinoor diamond in England’s crown jewels came from this farm.

The moral of the story is pretty obvious. The first farmer should have looked for diamonds on his own property before he took off to look for them elsewhere. Incidentally, he finally died penniless and depressed, thousands of miles from home. Dr. Conwell would go on to give other examples, just as meaningful.

Nobody has any more opportunity than anyone else.

The important thing is to know its there. You have to see it, expose it, and make use of it.

Whether or not you believe you are daily in the presence of more opportunity than you could develop in a lifetime is unimportant. The important thing is that it is true every day for every one of us.

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