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There is this spider outside my window (the actual damn thing ^^) that does not give up. Each day, Vancouver’s rain will destroy his web, and at least once per day, I see him rebuild it. It’s an excellent spot if not for the rain. On days it does not rain he is safe from most everything. Though, curiously, I don’t see him catch anything. Maybe he eats it before I notice. Perhaps I haven’t watched closely enough on days where it didn’t rain. So why doesn’t he move? Seek out crevices with more bounty? Safer from the elements.

I wonder if he (he looks like a dude) has the capacity to dream like us humans. Not in his sleep, but more like we do… of ‘greener pastures.’ As the idiom goes, of grass greener on the other side. Or does this spider know more than he lets on? Maybe it knows that when that rain lets up, the sky and its web will fill with bounty. Like the seasoned, freshwater fisherman knows where to put his fly.

I recently read a book called Acres of Diamonds by Dr Russell Conwell and another fellow I don’t recall the name of. The author uses a different example to explain the same thing. A farmer and landowner who is wealthy by all counts, but hears of great mineral riches out West, and that night, goes to bed poor for the first time. The next morning he sets off to find gold wealth, after selling his land. The fellow who buys his land, works the land hard, day after day, and happens upon a huge store of natural, uncut diamonds. The previous owner finds nothing and dies poor and miserable.

The book spends very little time on that particular story or example but tells of a man, Dr Russell Conwell, who created wealth for himself and others on the ground he stood on, in Philadelphia. Through his understanding of what people needed, he built churches, universities, hospitals and more. In every one of his undertakings, he started with zero funds, took no loans, had a vision, and like the spider put himself in the right place. His ventures didn’t take off at once, and Dr Conwell waded many storms, but through his persistence, he created for his community, and for himself.

For me, the takeaway is while sometimes I find myself wondering if I can hire better people, or quit what I am doing and build something else…the problem isn’t the people or the business. Rarely is that the case. More accurately, the problem is more likely that I haven’t dug enough, or waded through enough storms. There are acres of diamonds all around us, right beneath your and my feet. Time will teach us where to look, and how to look. And sometimes, we will just be ploughing our fields, and there they’ll be.

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