What are Your Acres of Diamonds?

Sometimes hearing inspiring stories can help us keep our focus as we build our businesses. Today I want to share two stories that inspire me to keep doing more than I am doing with less than I’ve been using. One story is about a sage and a bird, and the other is about acres of diamonds.

First, I want to share the story of the sage and the bird.

The Sage and the Bird

There was an old sage who lived at the top of a mountain. This philosopher could answer any question that was posed to him. Some young men in the village at the bottom of the hill decided to put the sage to the test and try to trick him.

One bright lad thought he would capture a bird and hold it in his hands. They would then ask the sage what was in his hands. When the sage answers a bird, the young man would ask the sage if the bird was alive or dead.

Here is where the trick would come in – if the sage answered alive, then the young man would crush the bird, thus killing it and proving the sage wrong.

If the sage replied dead, then the lad would open his hands and release the bird, proving the sage wrong. As you can see, it would be a no-win situation for the sage.

So that is what they did. They captured a bird from the woods, and the leader held it in his hands. Then they went to the sage and said, “We understand you can answer any question you are asked. Is that true?”

The sage answered, “Yes, that is true.”

So the boy with the bird asked, “What am I holding in my hands?”

The sage replied, “You’re holding a young bird.” Of course, everyone was astounded that he knew that answer. But he did.

The lad, trying to be smart, then asked, “Is the bird dead or alive?”

To which the sage replied, “That’s a question I cannot answer.”

The surprised boy persisted, “I thought you could answer anything. Is the bird dead or alive?”

The sage paused and then said, “My son, the answer lies in your own hands.”

Did you get that?

The answer often lies in our own hands.

Ali Hafed

The next story is about Ali Hafed, an old Persian farmer. Ali had a fantastic farm along the banks of the River Indus. He was both wealthy and contented – wealthy because he was contented; contented because he was wealthy – until one day when an old Buddhist priest came to visit.

The priest told Ali how God created the world by sticking his finger in a vast bank of fog and swirling it around until it became fire. From that came granite, copper, silver, gold and diamonds. According to the priest, diamonds are actually congealed drops of sunlight.

Ali was entranced by the story and kept asking the priest about the diamonds. The priest told Ali that if he had a diamond the size of his thumb, he would be one of the most wealthy men in the world. If Ali had a mine full of diamonds, all of Ali’s children could be placed on the thrones of the world.

Unfortunately, that night Ali went to bed a poor man – poor because he was now discontented and discontented because he believed he was now poor. The entire night, he tossed and turned.

The next morning he sought out the priest to inquire more about the diamonds and where to find them. The priest replied, “You need to find them in a river that runs between two mountains, and there’s white sand and invariably, when there’s a river with white sand running between two mountains, then you will find diamonds.”

Ali determined to sell his farm, put his family in the care of a neighbor, and headed off to find diamonds. First, he started in the Mountains of the Moon. Then he headed through Africa. And finally, wretched and miserable, he wound up at the Bay of Barcelona in Spain. It was here that he walked into the ocean and drowned himself.

Now back at his farm, the new owner was walking through the garden with his camel when they stopped at the stream for the camel to get a drink. The farmer looked down and saw a sparkling black rock. He picked it up, took it home, and put it on his mantle.

Later, the Buddhist priest came through and stopped to visit. He noticed the stone on the mantle and said, “Ah Ali Hafed’s returned and brought a diamond!”

The farmer answered, “We have not heard anything about Ali. And this isn’t a diamond. It is just a rock I found in my stream.”

The priest replied, “No, I think you will discover that it is a diamond.”

So, they had the rock examined and discovered it was, in fact, a diamond. They then went back to the stream and uncovered acres of diamonds.

What they found is called the Golconda mine where the Koh-i-nor diamond, a diamond in the British Crown Jewels, and the Orloff diamond which is located in the Russian Crown Jewels. The mine became one of the most productive diamond mines in the world.

Ali Hafed had owned this mine free and clear – acres and acres of diamonds – only to go search for them elsewhere.

Ask Yourself

Where are you acres of diamonds?

What answers are in your hands?

Is it your current database with all your clients and customers all you could ever want?

Is it within yourself, with all the skills you have to succeed?

Do you have all the skills required to succeed and are just not using them?

Consider these stories and what you can learn from them.

Each time I do, I’m inspired.  Hopefully, you will be too.

Peter Thomson

About Peter Thomson

Peter Thomson is now regarded as 'The UK's Leading Strategist on Business and Professional Growth.'

Starting in business in 1972 he built 3 successful companies – selling the last to a public company, after only 5 years trading, for £4.2M enabling him to retire at age 42.

Since that time Peter has concentrated on sharing his proven methods for business and personal success via audio and video programmes, books, seminars and conference speeches.

With over 100 audio and 100 video programmes written and recorded he is Nightingale Conant's leading UK author

Over the last 25 years he's been guiding coaches, consultants, speakers and trainers to create their own information products so they can reach more people than they ever dreamed possible - make a positive difference in the world; be rightfully rewarded and build for themselves a business and a life of choice!

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If you want to be successful, don’t ask how do I become successful. Ask yourself why am I failing?” Chip and Dan Heath,

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