You’re Three Feet from the Gold!
by Dave Skattum
“Knowledge is NOT power. Knowledge is only POTENTIAL power. Action is power.” — Tony Robbins
When engaged in self-improvement, especially when dealing with our personal health, we tend to explore new things, like a new diet, a workout routine, or a new form of meditation. But when the rubber meets the road, we sometimes fail to follow through. It’s just too hard to implement, or we can’t completely figure it out.
In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill tells the story of a man who went seeking adventure and riches in the American west during the gold rush. He bought a claim, and started digging. After a lot of hard work, he found a vein of gold ore. He knew he needed some heavy equipment for running this new mine, so he covered up his claim, and raised the money for the machinery to bring the ore to the surface. Now he was ready to make his fortune.
IThings started well and before long, he had enough to pay off his debts. He was excited! Everything from here on in would be profit. But suddenly—the supply of gold stopped. The vein just dried up. After all his hard work and determination, he quit in dismay and frustration and sold his machinery to a junkman for a fraction of the price he had just paid. He went home, licking his wounds, barely able to pay off his investors.
The astute junkman called in a mining engineer who checked the mine and calculated that there was a vein of gold just three feet away from where the man had stopped digging. The junkman went on to make millions from that mine!
Let’s look at how the junkman handled the situation compared to the guy who initially found the vein of gold. The big takeaway is that he brought in an expert who understood what was happening underground. By taking a small action based on the new information, he achieved great success. Yes, getting a professional opinion was important, but nothing would have happened if the junkman hadn’t acted based on that new knowledge.
&The other day, I was talking to “Mark,” one of my health-coaching clients, who was complaining about being overweight, inactive, and having no energy. Mark’s doctor told him he was beginning to show signs of hypertension and that he needed to make some lifestyle changes. He came to me asking for help with nutrition and implementing an exercise program. We talked about the steps he would need to take to get healthier. He bristled and mumbled something about “a lot of hard work,” and then he walked out! I thought to myself, “Dude, you’re three feet from the gold!” Like the original miner, he chose to walk out too soon.
In my work with clients, we focus on the four pillars of health: nutrition, exercise, accurate thinking, and spirituality. In my research, I learned so much about each of these four areas, but more important than the facts were the action steps I needed to take.
I grew up on a Montana ranch. Pancakes, sandwiches, and meat and potatoes were the mainstay of my diet during my growing years. But in my thirty’s and forties, I started to pack on pounds and eventually became technically obese. I had to not only learn about good nutrition, but I also had to make some serious changes in my diet. And let me tell you, changing one’s diet is not easy—it’s downright hard work! What we eat is a subject that runs deep and ties into emotions, addictions, and our feeling of well-being (comfort food, right?). But by applying the knowledge and making small incremental changes, I’m now eating a highly nutritious diet that is both delicious and feeds my body what it really needs.
In the United States, over two-thirds of us are overweight. It’s a real problem, costing the United States billions of dollars, and millions of people are getting sick. Some are dying earlier than they should. According to a World Health Organization report, obesity has tripled around the globe since 1975. It’s staggering—and it is preventable.
After getting our nutrition dialed in, proper exercise is of primary concern. Just by taking the small step of doing something physical to raise our heart rate up for thirty minutes three-to-four times a week, we will see a drastic impact not only on our weight, but also on the quality of our life, and we’ll save some money to boot.
The next areas I explored were my thoughts and my relationship with Infinite Intelligence. If you think the first two areas will change your life, just wait until you move into the improvements in thinking and spirituality!
It’s up to you. What will you do with the knowledge you have garnered in all areas of your life? Don’t give up on yourself or your dreams. Don’t stop with what you know—act on it! Don’t give up. And never stop three feet from gold!