The Gold Mine

How many times have you walked away from a puzzle that someone else finished with just a few moves. Or that math problem that you just couldn’t solve which a friend or teacher says ‘what about this’ and leads easily to the right answer.

We all have those moments when, try as hard with all our might, we just can’t figure out how to make that paragraph work, schedule fit, recipe taste just right. And then your friend gives you the answer in a few seconds.

Frustrating? Maybe. Helpful? Certainly. Important? It’s hard to overstate the lesson.

Our Personal Goldmine

In the tough-minded and relentlessly optimistic book, Self-Renewal, John Gardner relays the stories of gold-miners who abandoned hard-worked mines for all sorts of issues. Every so often those seemingly ‘empty mines’ were found to be full of gold by the very next prospector to do some digging.

Much like these abandoned-yet-rich mines, “…most of us have potentialities that have never been developed simply because the circumstances of our lives never called them forth.”  Because we don’t spend time pursuing these potentialities “systemically or at least avidly”, we never really see just how much we can do.

I bet you know a lot of ‘successful’ people. I’ve got a friend who has been a State debate champion, college football player, Navy Seal, successful business person, PhD, and is an all-around great dad. He’s consistently put himself into situations in which he develops different capabilities and talents to their fullest.

But…

The Other Miners

He’s always had help when needed.

Whether it was a coach, parent, instructor, professor, teammate, partner or bride, my friend was supported, pushed, and aided by people who cared all along the way. He found new situations in which to push his own limits along with people to help him through the inevitable hard times. Rather than staying stuck, he asked for help. By learning, he has continually moved forward.

Though not impossible, it’s incredibly difficult to find the depth of your own talents on your own. It’s so much easier to battle through roadblocks and moments of doubt with the help from those around you, those who’ll pick up the shovel and lead you in a new direction or encourage you to keep digging.

That’s what community is all about, what camp is built upon: building a connection between those with so much potential and experienced people who want to help that potential flourish. We build camp in order to help us all keep digging, to find some self-set limits and pass them by on the road to the next iteration of ourselves.

Striking Gold

When the combination of courage, effort, and humility fit just right, you find levels of thought, performance, and success that originally seemed out of reach. It helps to have few or no expectations. Rather, by remaining curious, thinking to yourself ‘what if…’ and enjoying the journey, you’ll go further.

Will it be as fast as you want? Probably not. Will you get ‘there?’ Maybe not.

Will this approach give you the best chance to get where you want to go? Yes. Even better, this approach may uncover riches inside yourself you never dreamed existed.

So, pick a direction and start digging. Tell a trusted friend, loved one, or mentor the direction you are going. Ask for some help when you get stuck or feel there is nothing on the other side. They’ll help you through the obstacle or help you decide to stop digging.

Either way, it’ll be amazing what you uncover. Let’s start digging!