No. 68

Do you have any idea how many people waste their lives always searching for the "Pot of Gold" at the end of the rainbow, but they never stay with one thing long enough to find it? Based on the number of people I've talked with over the years, I would say the it has to be in the millions. There is hardly a week that goes by that I don't bump into someone who has a brilliant idea, a way to strike it rich, some new product, invention or innovation that just can't miss. However, I often run into these same people six months or a year later and they are doing something entirely different. If this person happens to be you or someone you love, I believe you will be interested in this story I discovered many years ago, called Acres of Diamonds.
This story is about a man who owned a farm in Africa and he became fascinated by the tales he began to hear about people who were discovering diamond mines. In his mind, this fascination became so strong that he could hardly wait to sell his farm and search for diamonds himself! After selling his farm for practically nothing, he spent the next 20 years searching for the gleaming gems that brought such high prices on the markets of the world. Then one day, broke, discouraged and despondent, as the story goes, he threw himself into a river and drowned.
Some time later, the man who bought his farm was out on his property and he picked up an unusual stone in the small stream that flowed through the land. Evaluation proved this to be one of the largest diamonds that had ever been discovered. When he went back to the same area and searched some more, he discovered that his whole farm was literally covered with them. So you see, the first farmer had owned literally "Acres of Diamonds", but he had sold them for practically nothing in order to search for them somewhere else. If he had just taken the time to learn what diamonds look like in their rough states, he would have had the millions he sought right there on his own property.
As you think about this story, can you see a parallel between the first farmer and the millions of working people in our country who never stay with one job or career long enough to become a great success at it? What we all need to realize here is that in the vast majority of cases, it's not the job or career, but rather it's the person who holds it. The job has all the potential in the world, at least it can be a starting point to move to any reward or position we want in society. In reality, it's up to us to turn our job or career into our own "Acres of Diamonds."
As a word of caution: please don't confuse the moral of this story with the person who starts to work for a company or organization, does a great job and builds a solid foundation of knowledge and experience and gets promoted to a higher position. This may occur several times over the years and well deserved promotions may propel this type of individual from the very bottom all the way to the top. Nor does it apply to the person who becomes highly qualified and takes a position with another company with equal or higher standing, because he or she sees more opportunity there. The key phrase here is "becomes" highly qualified.
The bottom line is simply this: if you are a 'job hopper' and take every job that comes along because someone offers you a little more pay, you may be missing the boat that will carry you to a very rewarding career in the future. The problem with being a "job hopper" is that in time, everybody knows it. Earning a lot of money is another story and I’ll address that in a future column. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)