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Don't give up: You might be on a verge of a breakthrough

Apr 9, 2020


Don’t give up

You might be on the verge of a breakthrough

by Gerhard Papenfus

In one of his many books, the late Napoleon Hill writes this very interesting story, containing a crucial life-lesson. He calls this story …

… three feet from gold.

He starts of by making this profound statement:

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.


And that is how the story goes:

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 thoughts of men than has ever been taken from the earth. He staked a claim and went to work with pick and shovel.

After weeks of labour, 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, told his relatives and a few neighbours of the “strike”. They got together money for the needed machinery, and 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 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.

The junk man 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.

And this is exactly where it was found!

When opportunity comes, it appears in a different form from what you expect. That is one of the tricks of opportunity. It has a sly habit of slipping in by the back door, and often it comes in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat. Perhaps this is why so many fail to recognise opportunity.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Napoleon Hill







We are all in this together.

Privileged and challenged to be South African.


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