Article: Let defeat guide you

Temporary defeat is a situation we often come across in our lives, especially when working toward personal success.

People often tend to give up the moment defeat comes to the surface. In reality, these moments are often indicators of when we are close to reaching our goal and just need to take a few more steps.


Temporary Defeat


Perseverance and resilience are traits one has to master when seeking success in life. Moments of temporary defeat are ideal opportunities to train your mental resilience, persevere and overcome any obstacle. When repeated over and over, this will form a habit and you will never again stop 'three feet from your goal'. 


'Think and Grow Rich' by Napoleon Hill, a self-development classic and a must-read if your seeking to attain success in finance, contains a beautifully illustrated story explaining the importance of not being stopped by temporary defeat.


The story is called 'Three Feet From Gold' and this article is an homage to the great Napoleon Hill, who shaped the self-development sector with everlasting changes. 


Three feet from gold 

This story is taken from the copyrighted book 'Think and Grow Rich' written by Napoleon Hill, Thinkark does not own this story in any way. Will remove upon request.

Napoleon Hill writes about an uncle of R.U. Darby who was caught up by the gold fever in the gold-rush days. The uncle went west to literally 'dig and grow rich', Working with pick and shovel combined with his lust for gold, the uncle started to digging for gold.


After weeks of labor, he got rewarded by discovering the shiny ore. Now his determination was even greater. He carefully covered up the mine and returned home to tell the news to a few of his relatives and neighbors.


Now he was in need of machinery that would cost him a fortune, therefore he asked his relatives and neighbors to step in.


Together, they got the needed funds for machinery and had them shipped to the place of interest. 



The uncle and Darby went back to the mine to start the work. After mining the first cart full of ore and returning it to a smelter, the profits proved they had one of the richest mines in Colorado. 


With high hopes, they continued the drilling, needing just a few more carts to make up the debt for the machinery. Then trouble struck the two, the vein of gold had disappeared. 


Desperately, they drilled on, hoping to find the vein again, but all to no avail.

When they finally decided to quit, selling the machinery to a junk man for a few hundred dollars seemed like the best option. 


'Some junk men are dumb, but not this one', wrote Napoleon Hill.

He took the wise step of calling in a mining engineer and doing some calculations.

His calculations showed that the lost vein could be found three feet from where Darby and his uncle stopped drilling.

The mining engineer was right and the junk man managed to gather millions of dollars in gold ore.



When some time passed, Mr. Darby was able to recoup his losses when he went into the sale of life insurance.

Remembering that he lost a great fortune, just by stopping three feet from gold, he came to profit from this experience.


He said to himself: 'I stopped three feet from gold, but I will never stop because someone says no'. 

Taking this saying to heart, he managed to sell more than a million dollars in life insurance. 


Before writing his timeless classic, Napoleon Hill interviewed 500 of the most wealthy individuals of that time. All of them were under the supervision of Andrew Carnegie, they went on questioning these individuals. Not surprisingly, all of them told Napoleon that their greatest success came just one step beyond defeat. 


This recurring trait inspired him to write the story 'Three Feet From Gold' and put it in his well-known book 'Think and Grow Rich'.

Closing remarks


Temporary defeat will come in your life no matter where you are in your quest to achieve greatness. It can serve as a guide to push that little nudge further.


Don't be fooled when life throws some hardship at you, it just wants you to be resilient and get over your current hurdle.

Bounce back and return even stronger, never quit and reach your desired goals no matter what.


The story of Three Feet From Gold contains everlasting wisdom, and as Napoleon stated in his book:

'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'.


Let Napoleon's wise words be a guide in your current endeavors, and whenever you are struck with temporary defeat, think back on the mining experience of Mr. Darby and how he was three feet from gold to make a life-changing amount of money.


Image is copyrighted and not owned by Thinkark in any way, no profit will be made from this article. Will remove upon request.

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