It’s Closer Than You Think

by Bryan Golden
During the gold rush of the 1800’s one fellow, Roger, headed West, bought a claim, and started digging for gold.  After a few weeks of excavating, Roger hit pay dirt.  The vein he struck was fairly substantial, yielding a consistent amount of the precious metal.  Roger didn’t get rich but he certainly made quite a good living from his mine.
Roger’s good luck lasted for about a year.  Then the gold he tapped into seemed to run out.  Undeterred, Roger kept digging.  After a month of no success, he sold the mine and all of the equipment for pennies on the dollar.  Roger wasn’t really that upset.  He had been able save up a sizeable sum which he was going to use to start a business back east.
William had also gone west hoping to strike it rich.  Having very little money, William was happy to buy Roger’s mine for next to nothing.  William didn’t care that the mine was no longer producing gold.  He saw it as an opportunity.  William had more time than financing so he figured he could devote his time to further exploration.
Since he knew nothing about mining, William hired a geologist to examine the claim and advise him as to where he should dig next.  The geologist calculated that the gold vein Roger originally discovered had turned inward about half a foot.  All William had to do was dig a few inches in a different direction.  William followed the recommendation and struck a major find that made him very wealthy.
Roger called it quits when he was literally inches from more gold than he could have imagined.  He was closer to success than he realized.  Every day, people all over the world give up on something they conclude is unobtainable.  Usually, they are literally a mere grasp from their goals when they throw in the towel.
The problem is that until your reach your destination, you often don’t know how far you have to go.  Like Roger, you are usually closer than you think.  What a shame to abort your quest when you may be so near.
You will only fail when you give up.  Since you don’t know how near at hand success is, it doesn’t make any sense to quit.  Had Roger understood this principle, he would have struck it rich.  I’m sure if Roger ever discovered how close he was, it would have haunted him for the rest of his life.
As a society, we have grown impatient.  We expect immediate results.  We can communicate instantaneously with virtually anyone on the planet.  It’s possible to travel anywhere in a matter of hours.  We can see the pictures we take instantaneously.  A person can win the lottery and become wealthy overnight.  There are examples of people being plucked from obscurity to obtain instant celebrity status.
So it’s very possible you expect to reach your goals rapidly.  If you are impetuous, you will abandon your quest prematurely.  It really doesn’t matter how long it takes, the time goes by anyway.  Just imagine how you would feel knowing you gave up when you were so close.  You don’t want to be in a position to always wonder how things would be if you had just kept going a little further.
Continually keep in mind that you are closer than you think to attaining your dreams.  Don’t repeat Roger’s mistake and quit when you are just around the corner from success.  Since you never know how close you are, you have no option but to keep going.
NOW AVAILABLE:  “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book.  Visit Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at or write him c/o this paper.