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“Three Feet From Gold” – Working Through Adversity


Sometimes the greatest hardships and challenges lead to the most amazing treasures. So never give up, because you could be just inches from striking gold!

Image of a pile of gold bars

I want to share with everybody a powerful lesson on  working through adversity and setbacks, ensuring you don’t quit or lose focus of the big picture when faced with turbulent terrain.

Every time you flip on the TV or browse through social media, there is news of failed conglomerates, abandoned careers, broken marriages, and more.  Now, more than ever, we need a reminder that in order to achieve any great endeavor, one’s determination must be more powerful than the opposing obstacles.  Simply stated, great pains are prerequisites to great gains.  Trust me, there are no shortcuts around working through adversity.  First there is a dream and then there is struggle, followed by victory.

One of the greatest tales about determination and working through adversity ever told was the famous “Three Feet From Gold” story of R U Darby.

The Three Feet From Gold story illustrates how one’s moral fiber is not exposed so much when things are going well. Rather, it’s under times of stress and adversity that an individual’s true character becomes illuminated and is clearly in focus.  It’s my hope that you too may glean a glimpse of motivation and understanding from this story to help you navigate through challenges and overcome obstacles when working through adversity so you are able to achieve your desired goal.

One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when you are overtaken by temporary defeat. Every person is guilty of this mistake at one time or another. R U Darby once had an uncle who 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 had been mined from the brains of men than has ever been taken from the earth. So, he staked a claim and went to work with pick and shovel. The going was hard, but his lust for gold was definite.

After weeks of labor, 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, and told his relatives and a few neighbors of the strike. They got together money for the needed machinery and had it shipped. The uncle returned to the mine and took Darby with him to help.

Image of men returning from the gold mines at sunsetThe first car of ore was mined, and shipped to smelter. The returns showed 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 his 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, cut their losses and go home.

Before the went, they sold the machinery to a junk man for a few hundred dollars and told him of the failed mine. This junk man, being a clever one, waited for them to leave and then 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 Darby’s had stopped drilling! Sure enough, his calculations were spot on.

The junk man took millions of dollars in ore from the mine, because he knew enough to seek counsel before giving up.

Long afterwards, Mr. Darby recouped this loss many times over, when he made the discovery that desire can be transmuted into gold. The discovery came after he went into the business of selling life insurance.

Remembering that he lost a huge fortune, because he stopped three feet from gold, Darby profited from the experience in his chosen work by the simple method of saying to himself,” I stopped three feet from gold, but I will never stop because men say no when I ask them to buy insurance.” This was his new commitment to working through adversity.

Darby became one of a small group of fewer than fifty men who sell more than a million dollars in life insurance annually. He owes his stickability to the lesson he learned from his quitability in the gold mining business.

Before success comes in any person’s life, he is sure to meet with more temporary defeat, and, perhaps some failure. When defeat overtakes a person, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit instead of working through adversity. That is exactly what the majority will do.

More than five hundred of the most successful men the United States has ever known REVEALED their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them. Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning that likes to convince you to quit rather than working through adversity. It takes great delight in tripping one when success is within reach.

WHAT IS THE MORAL OF OUR STORY?  TURN YOUR OBSTACLES INTO OPPORTUNITIES.  Regardless  of how many times you may have failed in the past or how lofty your aims or hopes may be, Never Quit and Commit to Working Through Adversity!  Success is failure turned about!

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About Scott Walker

Scott Walker joined Sound Telecom as Sales Account Executive, bringing over 11+ years of professional experience with him. Scott has a diversified sales background that includes:  small business consulting, sales management, team building, mortgage finance, loss mitigation, consumer law, and oilfield executive recruiting.  Early in his career he began working for former mortgage giant Ameriquest as an Account Executive in their portfolio retention division.  He later went on to form a consumer law debt settlement company called StartOverUSA.  His entrepreneurial background and his ability to leverage previous experiences in multiple industry verticals and successes in call center operational metrics adds value to both Sound Telecom and our diverse client base.  Scott is a proud Father of his greatest earthly blessing, his daughter, and is the Youth Leader for his Church and actively supports Christian ministries.