When you see yourself more clearly, you see yourself as someone who is valuable and has limitless potential. This leads to high self esteem and high expectations which are the cornerstones for high achievement. This perspective also motivates you and compels you to act with a clearly defined purpose.
Advice & Help

Acres of Diamonds

Russell Conwell helped to transform a night school in a church basement in Philadelphia into Temple University. He did it by retelling a story that was told to him while in a camel caravan in Mesopotamia. It was a story about Al Hafed, a very wealthy farmer in ancient Persia. Al Hafed was living his dream life until one day a Buddhist priest visited him and during their conversation told him how the world was formed. The old priest also told Al Hafed about diamonds and that if he had a handful of diamonds he could purchase a whole country. With a mine of diamonds he could place his children upon thrones through the influence of their great wealth.

That night Al Hafed went to bed a poor man — not that he had lost anything. He was poor because he was discontented and discontented because he thought he was poor. After a sleepless night, he arose early the next morning and told the priest of his desire to be immensely rich. After a lengthy conversation the priest told him that he would find diamonds in a river that runs over white sand between high mountains. Al Hafed sold his farm, collected his money, left his family in the charge of a neighbor, and began his search for diamonds.

After years of exhaustive search throughout Palestine and across Europe, penniless, ragged and wretched, he threw himself into the incoming tide off the coast of Spain never to rise again.

In the meantime, back at the farm, Al Hafed’s successor, while giving his camel a drink from the stream that ran through the property, found a black stone with an eye of light that reflected all the colors of the rainbow. The stone turned out to be a diamond. And so were discovered the diamond mines of Golconda, the most magnificent diamond mines in the history of mankind; exceeding the Kimberley mines in value. Had Al Hafed remained at home and in his own garden, instead of wretchedness, starvation, poverty and death in a strange land, he would have had “acres of diamonds.” Every shovelful of that old farm has since revealed the gems which have decorated the crowns of monarchs.

The most amazing and tragic element of this story is the fact that we have so many modern day Al Hafeds wandering around looking for their acres of diamond everywhere except in the backyard of their own mind.

Change your Perspective

One of the valuable lessons taught by this incredible story is one of perspective. How do you see yourself? The gem stones are the attitudes you develop over time as a result of seeing YOUR world more clearly. When you see yourself more clearly, you see yourself as someone who is valuable and has limitless potential. This leads to high self esteem and high expectations which are the cornerstones for high achievement. This perspective also motivates you and compels you to act with a clearly defined purpose.

Opportunities are dressed in work clothes

Your greatest opportunities lie under your own feet. They lie in your intellect, your talent and abilities, your education and experience, as well as with your family members, friends and business contacts. The challenge is that in the rough, a diamond does not look like a diamond that we are familiar with. It looks like a black, rough piece of rock and must be cut, shaped and polished repeatedly before it glistens like the valuable stone that it is.

The Al Hafeds of today are waiting around for their opportunities to turn up. They are looking for the easy way; the six numbers in the lotto or an inheritance from a long lost relative they’ve never even heard of. They fail to realize that their acres of diamonds represent an opportunity for them to learn and work hard for a long period of time, honing and developing their skills so that they can build a career or business and eventually have everything they want.

Your area of excellence

Each and every one of us have the ability to be excellent at something. What can you be excellent at? It is your responsibility to find it. You may have a knack for singing. Perhaps it’s teaching or sports. Whatever it is, know that ability is latent until it’s developed. You may have all the potential in the world, but the marketplace will only pay your performance not your potential. J.K. Rowlings is now the richest woman in the UK, but ten years ago she was on welfare. Her latent talent was in writing and through her writing she began to mine the nuggets of diamonds that were abundant in her mind. Harry Potter became her Golconda mines. Remember, the diamonds lie inside us waiting to be mined, cut and polished.

Keep on Pushing!

About the author

Devon Harris

Devon Harris was a member of the Jamaican Bobsleigh team and competed in three Winter Olympics; he later joined the army and attended the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst. Born on Christmas Day, 1964 and raised in a violent ghetto environment in Kingston, Jamaica, the greatest gift Devon Harris ever received was the belief that a positive attitude and a never say die philosophy would carry him farther than a sense of injustice and a heart filled with anger.A graduate of the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England, Devon received a Queen’s Commission in December 1985 and served in the officer corps of the Jamaica Defence Force until December 1992 when he retired as a Captain.At the heart of Devon’s message are the lessons he has learned of the power of persistence over all sorts of obstacles in order to live one's best life. His mission is to bring this message of how everyone can keep on pushing and working for their dreams every day of their professional as well as personal lives.Encouraged by his commanding officer, Devon tried out for and was selected to the first Jamaican bobsled team which competed in the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary, Canada. Their exploits inspired the Disney blockbuster movie Cool Runnings. Devon also competed in and was captain of the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France and the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan.The Keep On Pushing Foundation which he founded in 2006 aims to support and enhance the education of kids in disadvantaged communities around the globe by providing practical solutions to the challenges that are preventing them from getting educated.Through the Keep on Pushing Foundation, Devon also works with Right to Play as an athlete ambassador, supporting Right to Play’s efforts in using sports and play in refugee camps around the world to enhance child development and build community capacity.As an ex-serviceman, Devon understands the commitment, sense of duty and sacrifices made by those who volunteer to serve. As a private citizen he is cognizant of the fact that the freedoms he enjoys are paid for by the courage and sacrifice of these men and women. As a result he has also devoted time to visit the troops serving in the Persian Gulf.He is the author of the motivational children’s book, Yes, I Can! and the semi-auto-biographical motivational book Keep On Pushing: Hot Lesson From Cool Runnings.