67 days and 21 hours…the sand in the hourglass is slowly descending…and the time is approaching for me to leave what I have known into an exciting unexplored adventure….

This week, I drove 4.5 hours to Chicago to try and submit my visa application for the second time…after about 10 breath holding minutes as a stranger perused our months of preparation…my application was accepted…I breathed and turned around and drove back another 4.5 hours…and now the wait truly begins…

That was the bright spot in the week…there has been such a swirl of differing emotions…excitement…sadness at leaving family and friends…happiness at leaving a job that has been extremely stressful…yet, a melancholy for leaving my friends with whom I have spent more time with than my family…and have truly become family…the enchantment of a new love…anticipation…fear…just about every emotion that one can experience in a lifetime…all within a relatively short period of time…

All par for the course…I would think…when making such a life changing choice…but the last week…it all imploded…situations all came together at the same time… like gale winds and hard rain in a tumultuous storm…beating me with continuous force until I didn’t think that I could not bend any more…that I would break…the devil’s blue funk descended…

I have been through some bleak and dismal places in my life…where I could not get up from where I had landed…but always in the midst of the immediate chaos…you feel it is the absolute worst…

When my girlfriend and I had a miserable night out and there were no relief in sight…we would always joke…”this too shall pass”…and ultimately it always does…

“Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not obsess. Just breathe and have faith that all will work out for the best.” …which ultimately it does…might take a minute…a day…a month…a year…or years…but it does..that I can promise…

“There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.” ~Paulo Coelho, ‘The Fifth Mountain

When I come to a difficult time and really feel like just chucking it…there is a story that Napoleon Hill wrote in his ‘Think and Grow Rich’ that always comes to mind… I cannot give any better illustration for the reason to keep getting up and trying again…

Three Feet From Gold

by Napoleon Hill

One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat. Every person is guilty of this mistake at one time or another.

An uncle of R. U. Darby was caught by the gold fever in the gold-rush days, and went west to DIG AND GROW RICH. He had never heard that more gold has been mined from the brains of men than has ever been taken from the earth. He staked a claim and went to work with pick and shovel. The going was hard, but his lust for gold was definite.

After weeks of labor, he was rewarded by the discovery of the shining ore. He needed machinery to bring the ore to the surface. Quietly, he covered up the mine, retraced his footsteps to his home in Williamsburg, Maryland, told his relatives and a few neighbors of the “strike.” They got together money for the needed machinery, had it shipped. The uncle and Darby went back to work the mine.

The first car of ore was mined, and shipped to a smelter. The returns proved they had one of the richest mines in Colorado! A few more cars of that ore would clear the debts. Then would come the big killing in profits.

Down went the drills!  Up went the hopes of Darby and Uncle!  Then something happened!  The vein of gold ore disappeared!  They had come to the end of the rainbow, and the pot of gold was no longer there! They drilled on, desperately trying to pick up the vein again— all to no avail.

Finally, they decided to QUIT.

They sold the machinery to a junk man for a few hundred dollars, and took the train back home. Some “junk” men are dumb, but not this one! He called in a mining engineer to look at the mine and do a little calculating. The engineer advised that the project had failed, because the owners were not familiar with “fault lines.” His calculations showed that the vein would be found just three feet from where the Darbys had stopped drilling! That is exactly where it was found!

The “Junk” man took millions of dollars in ore from the mine, because he knew enough to seek expert counsel before giving up.

Most of the money which went into the machinery was procured through the efforts of R. U. Darby, who was then a very young man. The money came from his relatives and neighbors, because of their faith in him. He paid back every dollar of it, although he was years in doing so.

Long afterward, Mr. Darby recouped his loss many times over, when he made the discovery that desire can be transmuted into gold. The discovery came after he went into the business of selling life insurance.

Remembering that he lost a huge fortune, because he stopped three feet from gold, Darby profited by the experience in his chosen work, by the simple method of saying to himself, “I stopped three feet from gold, but I will never stop because men say ‘no’ when I ask them to buy insurance.”

Darby is one of a small group of fewer than fifty men who sell more than a million dollars in life insurance annually. He owes his stickability to the lesson he learned from his quitability in the gold mining business.

Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit. That is exactly what the majority of men do. More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them. Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning. It takes great delight in tripping one when success is almost within reach.

Never…never…never…quit…no matter how many times you get knocked down…knocked out…

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