(Your goal is to rise above the crowd.)
As always, there's a method to my madness here at Bedrock Dreams. My recent post, "Taking the Contrarian View," was meant as a lead in to the following series of posts which I hope will open your eyes to the value of taking a contrarian view in your gold prospecting and mining ventures.
No Magic Bullet
First things first. What I'm about to share with you is not a "magic bullet" that will allow you to suddenly strike it rich or turn every one of your mining forays into a profitable venture. As you already know, I'm not here to play the role of dream merchant or huckster to your gold prospecting and mining aspirations. For one thing, the competition is way too fierce out there in this regard and secondly, it just ain't me.
Next, let me make certain that you understand I am not negating gold prospecting and mining basics here. What you've already learned in terms of the "how to" factors is the basis or the foundation for everything you do, right on down to how to use a gold pan properly. Without that basic, "how to" foundation none of us are going to get much gold regardless, right? Still, in my view basics are basics and although important, the generic, run-of-the-mill gold prospecting and mining information has its limitations at some point or another.
Anyway, for better or worse here are my contrarian gold prospecting and mining principles. As I already stated, they aren't a magic bullet but if you meld them into those basics you've already learned and applied, I do believe you'll increase your chances of success out in the field:
CONTRARIAN PRINCIPLE #1: Don't Follow the Crowd
This is going to be a touchy subject for some, but if you really want to take your prospecting and mining endeavors to the next level then don't become a sheep or a slave to "group think" or group behavior in general. I'll clarify things a bit by saying that this principle is more relevant to those of you with greater experience and mining acumen than it is to the novices or "newbies" out there who really need that early instruction and mentoring. That said, greenhorns are also more susceptible to general BS and even bad mining practices in some instances.
Understand here that I'm not taking a negative shot at prospecting and mining clubs, although the group think mentality is often abundant in those venues. This can be a two-edged sword...on one hand you can share in a communal enterprise with a common cause, use club claims, see a range of mining gear in use, and get schooled in the basics by others who trod that "newbie" path before you. On the flip side, you can get stuck in a rut with the communal approach and never end up working really good gold ground or coming up with your own solutions to difficult prospecting and mining problems. All of us are different though. Some people enjoy the shared crowd experience and camaraderie while others like going it alone or with a good pard or two. I fall in this latter category.
Don't be Collared In
I know I'm not expressing myself very well here, but what I'm trying to say is that just because someone else tells you to "go here" and "use this" doesn't mean that's always the best thing for you personally, especially if you're looking to get more gold and get it doing things your way. You need to use your own abilities, your own intuition, and your own assessments of any given mining situation if you want to separate yourself from the thundering herd. You should also make it a habit to get away from the easy-to-get-to locales that the crowds hit time and time again and find your own hot spot that's not beaten to death. After all, you're an individual with unique insights and potential prospecting and mining approaches that could easily separate you from the maddening crowd.
This "don't follow the crowd" attitude should extend into every aspect of your mining endeavors. Why? Because the potential for reward is greater than it would be if you were to sublimate your potential by constantly listening to or following others (including yours truly). Look at it this way. Nearly every important scientific achievement or life-altering invention in history was brought about by individuals who refused to be collared in by group think and sought their own path to discovery. Sure, this is a high-faluting example but it doesn't mean you can't apply it to greater or lesser degrees in your own gold prospecting and mining activities.
A Fine Line
A contrarian approach means that when the crowd says "there's no gold over there" then you take it upon yourself to find out if this is true or not. It means that when the crowd is "ooing" and "ahhing" over some new piece of gear and shelling out big bucks to get it, you're researching and checking things out to see if it'll do you any good or simply be a waste of your time and money. When the crowd tells you that what you're doing is all wrong and suggests you do it their way, just smile and thank them and then go on about your merry way getting the gold.
Of course, there's a very fine line between listening to good advice and becoming part of the group think mentality. It's also more difficult when you take the contrarian path, so you'll need to sort that out for yourself when it comes to gold prospecting and mining. I can tell you this though...very few of the legendary gold mining old timers made their their way through life or got their gold by following the crowd.
Think on that for a moment.
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2014
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org