Acres of Diamonds

“Only by much searching and mining are gold and diamonds obtained, and a person can find every truth connected with his being, if he will dig deep into the mine of his soul.” — As A Man Thinketh

The classic book Acres of Diamonds is the story of a person who sold his home and land to travel far and wide in search of diamonds, only to die penniless. As the story goes, the new owner discovered diamonds on the very property that the old owner had ignored.

A lot of times I think we act the same way when we’re trying to “fix” something in our life. Whether it’s happiness or self-esteem or love that we seek, many times we look outside of ourselves to find the answer. We look to a spouse, a friend, a child or a parent to fill the void. Perhaps we expect the answer to come from our pursuit of our occupation or other interests. Or we expect a new home, a new car or a new boat to satisfy our “hunger.”

But, alas, like the poor farmer in Acres of Diamonds, our search comes up empty handed. And just like the story, diamonds are waiting to be discovered in our own back yard. As James Allen points out, the only way to find the gold and diamonds is to “dig deep into the mine of the soul.”

One of my most favorite authors, Jim Rohn, says, “The greatest source of unhappiness comes from inside.” Conversely, that’s also where the greatest (and only) source of happiness comes from.

Instead of searching far and wide, spend some time every day searching inside. Instead of expecting something outside to fill you up, learn to fill yourself from within. Make a commitment to read more of the material that will help you discover who you are. Make a decision to grow. As Jim Rohn also says, “What you become directly influences what you get.”

And that’s worth thinking about.

Plant corn and you get corn

“Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results. This is but saying that nothing can come from corn but corn, nothing from nettles but nettles.” — As A Man Thinketh

Most everyone understands the biblical concept of sowing and reaping because we can grasp the simplicity of the logic. If we were to plant corn in our backyard garden we wouldn’t expect spinach to come up. But even though we can grasp the logic, we don’t always act as if we understand the power of this principle. And we certainly don’t act as if this principle will affect us.

An example: For many years my morning ritual began with a thorough reading of the newspaper, most days spending an hour or more before dashing off to the office. I did not know then that our minds are most impressionable immediately upon rising in the morning and just before sleep in the evening.

Fresh from the reading (and thoughts) of the day’s murders, indictments, invasions by foreign dictators, and all other manner of “news”, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me that my sowing of these thoughts would reap an “attitude” toward the rush hour drivers who were “conspiring” to slow down my arrival at work. Thus, by the time I did arrive, I had set the tone for my day, and it was not a positive one.

I gave up my morning ritual thirteen years ago and replaced it with a ritual of reading and meditating on some works that will sow “good thoughts” and thus reap “good results.” I wasn’t aware at the time that this was some sound advice offered up by the Apostle Paul, who wrote, “Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.”

We always reap what we sow and that is especially true with our thoughts. As Emmet Fox writes, “The secret of life then is to control your mental states, for if you will do this the rest will follow. To accept sickness, trouble, and failure as unavoidable, and perhaps inevitable, is folly, because it is this very acceptance by you that keeps these evils in existence. Man is not limited by his environment. He creates his environments by his beliefs and feelings. To suppose otherwise is like thinking that the tail can wag the dog.”

And that’s worth thinking about.