(Hard times are only a dead end if you allow them to be one.)
One of the many good things about most gold prospectors and miners is that they tend to be their own persons and rarely march to someone else's drumbeat. That's why I think the contrarian approach has much to offer when applied judiciously to your mining and prospecting endeavors.
CONTRARIAN PRINCIPLE #4: Be at your best when times are tough, not easy.
You know, most people out there do just fine when times are easy and life isn't throwing any curve balls their way. That may be human nature to a great degree, but in my view it's also symptomatic of American culture as a whole these days. As long as things are free and easy and various stressors aren't heaped upon them, the maddening crowd will roll with things and, if it's presented to them...take the easy way out. But watch what happens to these fair-weather types when the shit really hits the fan and it's time to man and woman up. In most instances they'll throw in the towel with an emphatic, "I've had it...I quit!"
Do Whatever it Takes
As you know only too well, to be successful at gold prospecting and mining requires a lot of heart, determination, and plain old hard work. Mining's never been easy anytime, anywhere, for anyone. So a person who folds up like a cheap suit as soon as the going gets tough is probably not going to do very well at gold prospecting and mining over the long haul (or even the short run, for that matter). You see, it's very easy to stand tall and be at your best when things are going the way you want them to go and you're not challenged or shaken in any way.
(There's nothing easy about gold mining...anytime, anywhere.)
What we're interested in here though is the contrarian point of view...contrarians know that being at your best when things are free and easy has no real intrinsic value. This is especially true when it comes to gold mining and prospecting. On the other hand, to shine in the face of adversity is to win half the battle (the other half being won by doing whatever it takes to get the job done).
The Mining Way
If you've been at this gold prospecting and mining thing for a while you know that adversity is always lurking just around the corner, that whatever is going right with your mining endeavors will eventually go wrong, one way or another. Equipment will expire, parts will fail, that pocket or paystreak will pinch out, the weather won't cooperate, some a-hole will raid your hotspot or claim jump...the list goes on and on and on. It's a rare day when gold miners have everything go their way and that's a fact. When they do go your way, enjoy the blessings and the gold you're getting because the planets have obviously lined up in your favor.
So where's the value added if you can only rise to the occasion when the planets ARE aligned and things are going well for you? Anyone can walk tall when things are going smoothly but real miners are at their best when Murphy's Law is in full effect and nothing seems to go right. That's the mining way and the contrarian way.
Contrarian miner or not, be at your best when times are tough, not easy. There are far too many slackers and non-hackers out there as it is...
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2014
Questions? E-mail me at email@example.com