Mining Tips From an Old Timer (Part 11)
By popular demand (I'm a legend in my own mind, you see) I'm back with a few more old-timer tips that should produce positive results in all your endeavors, small-scale gold mining and prospecting included. If you're able to look past the obvious and see what may exist between the lines, well...that's all for the better. Let's get started.
32. Love what you do.
One of the primary drivers behind success in any field or pursuit is the sheer enjoyment taken in those efforts. Ya gotta love what you do. I'll tell you right here and now that I love all things gold mining...its history, its characters, its gear and equipment, its processes and methods, its highs and lows, and its natural settings. But most of all I love seeing that yellow metal show up in the bottom of my gold pan. It's a thrill like no other, even after all these years. The fact that I truly love small-scale gold mining has, over time, made me a damn good prospector and miner, has increased my ability to get the gold, and in truth...has made me a better person overall. I'm a success in my own eyes (what others think of you is of NO consequence in the long run) and loving what I do has facilitated that success. On the other hand, if you come into this small-scale gold mining thing of ours with only dollar signs dancing in your eyes and little else or with a half-assed mental attitude and approach then I'll clue you in to a simple fact. You aren't going to stick around very long. You see, strictly mercenary or lazy approaches to anything in this life are doomed to failure sooner or later. Don't get me wrong here though. For example, striking it rich or becoming wealthy is a good thing as long as you love what you're doing and it isn't based on causing harm to others. What I find truly sad is that many of us get up and go to jobs each day that we hate. If we don't hate those jobs, then we're simply indifferent toward them. Paying the bills is what it's all about and we think we don't have the luxury of doing anything else. Fear and worry dominate our thinking in this regard and we tell ourselves we have no alternatives. This thinking is, at the very least, extremely self-limiting. You always have alternatives if you can only stop talking yourself out of those alternatives. I'm telling you right here and now that the only way you'll be a true success in this life is to follow your dreams and do what you love doing the most. Gold mining or otherwise. Do what you love and do it well, and the money will come. It's a simple equation really. Emphasize the love it part and drop the fear and worry parts. There is simply no value added in the latter.
"Focus, focus, focus!" How many times have you read this three-word phrase in print or heard an actor speak it in some sports movie? I know I've read and heard it dozens of times myself and despite its overuse this phrase has tons of merit when it comes to small-scale gold mining and prospecting. What is it that you really want from small-scale gold mining or life in general? Satisfaction, challenge, more money, a few ounces of gold, a better job, more efficient equipment, becoming a better mother or father, a miner's miner? Do you just want to kick back in the great outdoors, have a little fun, and turn up some color in that gold pan of yours? Or do you want to be some sort of super star at whatever it is you enjoy doing the most? It really doesn't matter what you choose to be or do in terms of goals, mining or otherwise. What does matter is the beam-like focus you place on achieving those goals, without wavering regardless of what others think, say, or do. You all know that I've said over and over again here in Bedrock Dreams that making a living as a small scale gold miner is a tough act to pull off. But that doesn't mean it's impossible. If that's what you're set on doing because you love gold mining, then by God focus on that goal and let nothing stand in your way. You can make it happen if you want it bad enough ("it" being whatever you are seeking), are willing to work at it, and are 100% committed to that course of action. When you focus on your goals, never take your eyes off the prize. Do that and you'll do just fine...in small-scale gold mining and in life as we know it.
34. Keep it simple.
I've harped on this point before and here I go again. I'll hazard a guess your current mining and prospecting activities aren't all that complicated and furthermore, don't require a huge outlay of money, time, gear and equipment, or personnel. Am I right? If so, you're on the right track and you should keep it that way. On a smaller and more personal scale, gold prospecting and mining require nothing more than you yourself, a gold pan, a few hand tools, and some patience, persistence, and perseverance. Oh, and a willingness to let go of your ego and be willing to humble yourself enough to learn from others. That's it. This is especially true for you newbies or greenhorns out there who are just starting your gold mining and prospecting careers. The worst thing you can do as a newcomer to small-scale gold mining (or mining in general) is to start purchasing all sorts of expensive and complicated machinery before you even know how to find gold (i.e., not knowing your ass from a hole in the ground). It's sheer idiocy in my book and we've seen examples of that same sort of idiocy on the boob tube in a certain reality TV gold show. In small-scale gold mining it's always best to keep things simple, no matter your level of knowledge and expertise or the type of equipment you're running. The more you complicate things, the more things are gonna go south on you. Trust me on this. I learned that lesson the hard way early on. Even in this hectic day-to-day life we lead, simplifying things wouldn't be a bad strategy at all. Complication creates stress. So why complicate things? As the late Hollywood actor John Wayne once said, "Life is tough...but it's tougher if you're stupid."
35. Repetition is your best friend.
Small-scale gold mining and prospecting is, among other things, all about repetition. Stay in this thing of ours long enough and you'll repeat certain tasks and approaches over and over and over again. Gold mining can be a grind of sorts at times and repetition is an essential part of that equation. But what you need to understand here is that particular sort of repetition is your best friend. Doubly or triply so for you newbies out there. You see, those small repetitive acts that you complete time and time again out there in the field are what make or break you as a gold miner. Those without color in their veins will find the repetition thing boring as hell, especially when viewed against typically small returns in gold. They'll shake their heads in disgust and walk away. I say good riddance. For those of us who hang on and endure, that repetition...that doing things again and again...helps solidify our expertise and enables us to make finely tuned adjustments to our prospecting and mining activities, including our use of equipment and the methods we employ in using that gear. Do something over and over again long enough and guess what? You'll get very good at it. So the more you can get out and DO today, the BETTER off you're gonna be tomorrow. Learning to get good at anything takes time and repetition. Time and repetition. Time and repetition. Now you're getting the message!
My best to one and all.
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2015
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org