In this post I'll finish up dishing out a few pearls of mining wisdom for your consideration. Remember, these points apply to life in general as well and the way I see it, the more well-rounded you are as a person the more successful you'll be getting that yellow metal. It's a win-win proposition.
If you think and feel that you're successful, you will be. As I suggested before, you are what you think and feel. If you think you're a loser and nothing good will ever come your way, then you've pretty much sealed your fate as far as universal law is concerned. The energy, people, places, and things heading your way will reflect that attitude and emotional stance. If you feel inside that you can't do something, that the task before you is unachievable, then you draw that same context back onto you. Small-scale gold prospecting and mining are not endeavors that favor negative thinkers, complainers instead of doers, or those who consistently put themselves behind the eight ball through their thoughts and deeds. To get at that gold you have to man and woman up. The first step in that process is centering yourself in a positive mental framework where your ongoing personal and emotional message is that you truly are a success and a person of value, and that everything you do will be successful in the end whatever the setbacks. You might be surprised how this small attitudinal shift can begin to bring positive results to you...both in the field and in your life as a whole.
Be a big person. You know, it's relatively easy to be cold-hearted, selfish, greedy, arrogant, stingy, and self-absorbed. Like I said in the last post, I've come across all sorts of characters in my three and a half decades of small-scale gold prospecting and mining. Most of these folks were true "gems" in terms of the type of people they were (and those still above ground remain thus). Many would give you the shirts right off their backs or go out of their way to help you out or instruct you. On the flip side, I've come across my share of arrogant pricks and flaming assholes in the small-scale mining community and I hazard a guess that you have as well. These are the "Me! Me! Me!" types who feel so small and insignificant inside that they only feel good when they're berating or bullying others or strutting or posturing their way through life and across that gold ground you're working. I could name names here but I won't because I don't want to stoop to that level. So, don't you be one of these sad, miserable people. Be a big person. Take the high moral ground and stay true to your values. Don't budge from your choices and decisions and don't be tempted to let your ego run wild. Follow my advice and not only will good things come your way but you'll be respected and held in high regard by other gold prospectors and miners. (This latter is a bigger deal than you might think.)
Learn from your mistakes and move on. Much of what we experience and do in this life and in that streambed or dry wash is experiential...in other words we learn through experience and trial and error. Mistakes will be made but none of those are irrevocable if we learn from them. It's human nature to stumble and fall in this life. Ditto for that gold ground you're exploring. Understand that the past doesn't define you and that making mistakes is part of the small-scale gold mining (and life) process. As long as you learn the lessons you need to learn and incorporate those lessons into your day-to-day existence and overall mining approach, all is well. Remember that the true definition of insanity is repeating the same negative behavior over and over again and expecting different results. You're only going to dig a dry hole that way, trust me. So learn from your mistakes, leave them behind you, and move on.
Have the courage to do what needs doing. Courage is a very interesting character trait. So is its counterpart, cowardice. I've always viewed courage as being either physical or moral and spiritual. When I was a very young man serving one of my two tours in the Vietnam War I saw acts of physical courage that left me dumbfounded. I also witnessed acts of moral courage that were every bit as valid and impressive. That said, you don't need to throw yourself on a frag grenade to save your buddies or rush into a burning building to rescue a small child to be courageous (although both of these are highly noble examples). Nope. It takes courage just to get up each and every day, to do what needs to be done, to ensure that your family and friends are safe and well taken care of, and to gut out that daily grind that so many of us experience. But more importantly, it takes courage to do the right thing, to be a decent, value-driven person who cares about the welfare of others. Gold mining is a simply a microcosm of life in general. It takes courage to face hardships and obstacles and disappointments with a smile and a vow to keep on going no matter what. So have the courage to do what needs doing each and every day of your life, at home and out there in the gold fields.
Don't depend on others for affirmation or to feel good about yourself. If you believe that your validity as a person is ego-driven and comes solely from the approval of other people you are bound to experience a great deal of emotional pain in your life. If your life is driven by what others think of you or what they do or say about you (or fail to do or say) then you are standing on very shaky gold ground my friend. Stop and think for a moment. Can you imagine gold miner Tony Beets of the TV reality series "Gold Rush" being concerned about what others think of him?! I bet Tony would toss his head, snort, and simply say "I don't give a good ******* what those other ******* think and you can take that right to the ******* bank! Now I'm not suggesting you take Tony's bull-in-the-china shop approach or appropriate his colorful language, but I think you get the drift here. Always be your own man or woman and remain the type of person and gold miner that others respect even if they don't like you very much. After all is said and done your happiness and sense of fulfillment comes from your own heart, mind, and soul...not from others.
I guess I've waxed philosophic long enough. Bear in mind what I've written in this post and the previous post. You never know...you might just become the person and gold miner you always wanted to be.
Best of luck out there.
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2015
Questions? E-mail me at email@example.com