Winners Give Up Giving Up
When I think of ‘hanging in there’, I’m reminded of this story by Earl Nightingale, called
“Acres of Diamonds”, from Our Changing World radio transcript:
One of the most interesting Americans who lived in the 19th century was a man by the
name of Russell Herman Conwell. He was born in 1843 and lived until 1925. He was a
lawyer for about fifteen years until he became a clergyman.
One day, a young man went to him and told him he wanted a college education but
couldn't swing it financially. Dr. Conwell decided, at that moment, what his aim in life
was, besides being a man of cloth, that is. He decided to build a university for
unfortunate, but deserving, students. He did have a challenge, however. He would need a
few million dollars to build the university. For Dr. Conwell, and anyone with real
purpose in life, nothing could stand in the way of his goal.
Several years before this incident, Dr. Conwell was tremendously intrigued by a true
story - with its ageless moral. The story was about a farmer who lived in Africa and
through a visitor became tremendously excited about looking for diamonds. Diamonds
were already discovered in abundance on the African continent and this farmer got so
excited about the idea of millions of dollars worth of diamonds that he sold his farm to
head out to the diamond line. He wandered all over the continent, as the years slipped by,
constantly searching for diamonds; wealth, which he never found. Eventually he went
completely broke and threw himself into a river and drowned.
Meanwhile, the new owner of his farm picked up an unusual looking rock about the size
of a country egg and put it on his mantle as a sort of curiosity. A visitor stopped by and
in viewing the rock practically went into terminal convulsions. He told the new owner of
the farm that the funny looking rock on his mantle was about the biggest diamond that
had ever been found. The new owner of the farm said, "Heck, the whole farm is covered
with them" - and sure enough it was.
The farm turned out to be the Kimberly Diamond Mine...the richest the world has ever
known. The original farmer was literally standing on "Acres of Diamonds" until he sold
his farm. Dr. Conwell learned from the story of the farmer and continued to teach it's
Each of us is right in the middle of our own "Acre of Diamonds", if only we would
realize it and develop the ground we are standing on before charging off in search of
greener pastures. Dr. Conwell told this story many times and attracted enormous
audiences. He told the story long enough to have raised the money to start the college for
underprivileged deserving students. In fact, he raised nearly six million dollars and the
university he founded, Temple University in Philadelphia, has at least ten degree-granting
colleges and six other schools.
Opportunity doesn’t just come along, it’s there all the time…we just have to see it.

Author's Bio: 

James J. Maioho resides in Prairie Village, KS with his eldest daughter Madeline. A consultant and area manager for Toshiba, he is also the principal of the Madko Group, a consulting and life coaching firm.

James has degrees from Aquinas College and the Musicians Institute.