Achieving Your Fullest Mining Potential (Part 1)

You know, I try to bring you a different slant to small-scale gold prospecting and mining here at Bedrock Dreams. Notice I said "try." That implies that I don't always succeed in this endeavor but the fact remains I always give it my best shot. This post is a bit out of the norm, but I trust you'll find value in it just the same.

A Smaller Reflection of the Whole

One of my major beefs about the gold mining information thrown around in books, videos, TV, and on the internet is that it focuses solely on the "how to" aspects of our much beloved pursuit. Don't get me wrong here...knowing how and what to do is the fundamental key to becoming adept as a gold prospector or small-scale miner. But once you have those basics down there's not much else to be had in the way of knowledge except the fine tuning aspects. I don't necessarily think this is the whole ball of wax myself.

I believe there are important subjective considerations that you should incorporate in your mining and prospecting activities so that you not only become more well-rounded as a miner or prospector, but you also become a better person while you do this thing of ours. I've met all sorts of characters during my 35 plus years slinging gear in dry washes or along mountain streams and the people who've stuck with me over time were those small-scale prospectors and miners who were kind, helpful, and value driven as people. Conversely, I've come across others whose egos were way overboard and who were...for lack of better terms...nasty, selfish, and mean spirited. This is to be expected I guess. Life is full of both types of people in general and mining and prospecting is just a smaller reflection of that greater whole.

 (Never underestimate the power of subjectivity.)

Whether you realize it or not, achieving your fullest potential as a human being has a direct correlation to your success out in the field. We tend to draw onto ourselves that which we put out. If you're consistently operating from a negative framework as a person, then I'll hazard a guess that your mining and prospecting endeavors will suffer accordingly (not to mention your life as a whole). On the other hand, those with a positive, "can do" outlook tend to have lives that are filled with abundance and their gold pokes sit heavy in the hand. It's universal law that like attracts like. Both life and mining are tough nuts and you make them what they are. Trust me on this point.

So here are a few philosophical points I'd like you to consider in the dual context of mining and life in general:

Your only limitations are those you place upon yourself. If you bind yourself up in mental or emotional limitations of one sort or another, you're just asking for pain, not gain. Sure there are some limitations that can't be helped...especially those involving physical or even mental disabilities. But understand that if you're involved in gold prospecting and mining you'll find yourself in countless situations that call for fluidity, open mindedness, and the ability to step out of the box. When those situations arise limiting phrases like "I can't do this," or "This is just too damn hard," are bound to pop up. When they do, you need to start thinking instead in terms of what CAN be done and how you're going to go about doing it, not letting self-imposed limitations bring you to a screeching halt. That gold is either going to sit right where it is or get recovered and end up in your poke. Which will it be?

Don't make things more difficult for yourself or others. You know, there are always two paths you can take in this life and in mining: the hard way or the path of least resistance. Notice I didn't say "the easy way out." Taking the easy way out of anything is essentially the coward's path, push come to shove. So drop that from your mind. As I've said more times than I can count, gold prospecting and mining is very hard work and making it more difficult than it has to be is just plain stupid. Ditto for life as a whole. Always seek the path of least resistance when it comes to getting the gold and in your dealings with people. The bull in the china shop routine is only going to make you more angry and frustrated and will push others away from you. It'll also make it much harder to get the gold sitting under your feet.

Understand the power of feelings and intuition: We live in a world that proclaims analytic thought and rationality as the only true means of solving problems and gaining knowledge or success. That's horseshit in my book...and I'm a very analytical guy for the most part. Yes, you need to be practical and analytical to a great degree in your prospecting and mining endeavors, but if you fail to listen to that little inner voice that tells you to "Look over there instead," you may end up on the short end of the stick when it comes to some very good gold recoveries. Learn to combine your intuition with your rationality when you're out and about. Do that and I guarantee you'll be more successful in mining and in life in general.

Whatever happens on any given day is for your greater good. Many people fight this concept every day of their lives and gold miners and prospectors are no different. Good things happen to us and on our worst days, bad things enter our lives. Good or bad, it was meant to be whether you choose to accept that concept or not. There's undoubtedly a lesson to be learned either way and personal growth to be had. You can rise to the challenge or sink back into depression or misery. Again, small-scale mining is chock full of challenges that will sometimes make you and at other times, nearly break you (financially and otherwise!). Treasure those good days when everything seems to go right and that yellow metal is safe and secure in your hot little hand and on those days when the bear bites you on the ass, toss it off as a learning experience and vow to do better the next time.

That's all for this round. I'll have more along these lines next time. In the interim, stay positive, stay motivated, and never give up.

(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2015

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. JR, you are 100% right. Have you ever noticed you can have a bunch of happy people and one or two unhappy, negative people. The negative ones are contagions! First thing you know everyone is in a bad mood and no fun to be around. I would rather be alone than with those types of folks any day. "Things happen for a reason", right again! Some folks don't believe in destiny, I do. I think you can change your destiny by your actions, but what is meant to be, will be. Loren Green (Bonanza's Ben Cartwrite) Had a song called "Destiny". He was not a great actor, and a worse singer, but I've always liked that song. One lyric go's "Destiny,destiny, there's no escape for any man." All any of us can do in life, no matter what the goal, is to try your best and never give up. If you don't reach your goal, at least you will know you gave it your best.

  2. I wonder what Tony Beets was thinking when he first laid eyes on that dredge. He could of easily walked away.


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