“Let every man or woman here, if you never hear me again, remember this, that if you wish to be great at all, you must begin where you are and with what you are, in Philadelphia, now.”
The words above were offered by Russell Conwell in his classic lecture called Acres of Diamonds.
We think to have a great life, we need to uproot our lives.
We tend toward the old adage, “The grass is always greener on the other side.”
This traps us in a quagmire of inaction. The hill of change is too great so we cave.
We remain stuck living a life of mediocrity because we think a truly great life can only be found in a new place with new people doing a new thing. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Get the Great Life Right Where You Are
Stop just dreaming about a great life. You are wasting valuable time that you can’t get back.
The timing, the circumstances, the plan will never be perfect. If you keep waiting for the stars to align or for your opportunity to suddenly ripen to perfection, you will forever be stuck in a life of quiet desperation.
Conwell’s message is that you shouldn’t fall for the trap that all great success is found somewhere else. He challenges you to realize that there are acres of diamonds in your own backyard.
In other words, you can be successful, prosperous and happy right where you are – in your present circumstances.
You just have to quit overlooking all the opportunity that is right before you.
Begin where you are, with what you have and with who you are. The good fortune before you is just waiting for you to see it and make something of it.
The Key to Success Right Where You Are
“He that can be a blessing to the community in which he lives tonight will be great anywhere, but he who cannot be a blessing where he now lives will never be great anywhere on the face of God’s earth.”
~ Russell H. Conwell, Acres of Diamonds
The level of success you enjoy is directly related to your ability to find a way to serve the needs of others.
Those that are highly successful understand this.
They find a way – right where they are – to serve and be a blessing.
When you are a blessing, when you serve a useful purpose, people become willing to give you money. The money they give could be in the form of a salary, a donation or possibly to purchase your product or services.
The greater your service, the greater they give.
I don’t want you to miss what Conwell says in the quote above. Those that are great, discover a way to serve right where they are, in the community they live in tonight.
That little phrase, “in the community they live in tonight,” implies a lot. It says that those that create a great life for themselves find a way to be great beginning right where they are, with what they have and with who they are.
How do you do this?
I think you begin by embracing this attitude:
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Find a way to be a blessing and do that thing with the utmost of excellence.
People spend too much time in our culture today trying to be clever.
In reality, greatness is found by starting right where you are and delivering astounding service. It is a simple recipe, but one that works and that is available to everyone.
The path to greatness lies directly in front of you. There are acres of diamonds before you. Do you see them?
Once you do, you will be on your way to an amazing life!