Keep Moving and Keep Digging

 (This old photo speaks for itself.)

The old timers had a dream. It didn't matter if they were busting their humps in the cold, mountain streams of the American West, shoveling dusty clouds of dirt in desert heat, or clambering up steep hillsides to find a piece of ore. Their dreams pushed them forward as steadily as the steam engines of the day moved a locomotive down its iron rails.

The Grandest Play Ever

Like those of us who've followed in their foot steps, the old timers were a motley bunch from various walks of life. Some were young, some old. A few were highly educated for the day while no small number were illiterate or nearly so. Their ancestries varied as much as the terrains they prowled. Frenchmen, Spaniards, Mexicans, Germans, Irish, Chinese, Hawaiian, Dutch, English and Welsh, Australian, and Black, to name but a few. Even a few Native Americans became part of this messianic cause. All cast together in the grandest play ever presented on the stage of the American frontier. The search for gold.

Gold Was Where They Found It

Each and every man, woman, or child who ever hefted a miner's pick or shoveled dirt into a rocker or sluice box had a dream. For some it was great wealth, the chance to wear fine clothes and eat the best food. To be someone of substance who commanded respect. For others the dream was more modest. Paying off the family farm, starting a small business, or garnering a nest egg so they could begin anew with a better life. To get the gold they braved stifling heat, bitter cold, disease, Indian attacks, theft, murder, and the toughest and most grueling work of their entire lives. The dream clawed at them like a mountain cat, pushing them farther and farther into the wilderness, winnowing out the weak and unsteady while making others stronger than oak and more resilient than the willows lining a rushing creek. Gold was where they found it and they did whatever it took to get it out of the ground. You see, one thing the old timers understood well was that good intention or thought without action was bereft, just as the Good Book said.

 (As resilient as willows.)

The great dream fell short for most of these early Argonauts. Exhausted, disillusioned, and embittered they pulled up stakes and abandoned their workings. Some headed home while others helped establish new towns and communities or found work as ranch hands or store clerks. In the final analysis what defined them was not the dream itself but the very fact they had pursued it with every ounce of heart and muscle they could muster. The end result was, in essence, not as important as the doing. So it is for you and I. Finding some color and seeing that vial accumulate over time with gold is good, but what's even better is the doing of what we love.

Cast Aside Doubt

This is the way it works in our lives as well. Did you know you can dream a large dream just as easily as you can a small one? Think on that for a moment. Just as the old timers were wont to do, you can pursue your dreams too. Just as the old timers found out, dreams don't come to fruition by sitting around telling yourself "I can't," or "It's too hard," or asking "Where do I begin?" You begin at the beginning of course. One small step at a time with your mind always focused on the objective. It takes courage, stamina, and persistence to see your dreams become reality. But even more importantly it takes positive action. Again and again and again until that dream is realized. So drop the "I can'ts" from your mental vocabulary and replace them with "I cans." Cast aside all doubt and believe in your heart and mind that it will be. It doesn't matter what circumstances or problems or obstacles you face today or have faced in the past. Each new day is an opportunity to arise from the ashes of perceived failure and embark upon a new journey. The journey that will eventually help you realize your dreams and get the gold.

Hitting the "Big One"

Making excuses or complaining about things are the last resort of moral cowards. These fall-back positions are limiting factors that will prevent you from achieving your dreams as surely as a paystreak will eventually pinch out. Excuses and complaints are zero-sum equations that keep you spinning endlessly inside that squirrel cage of lack and want. Or dysfunction. Take your pick. You can't allow fear or laziness to dominate your thinking or your behavior. Want the gold? Then go for it. It's a simple as that. And while you're following that dream, let no man or woman dissuade you from the task at hand. Keep moving, keep digging, and keep your mind and heart filled with the dream itself. Do that and you WILL eventually hit the "big one."

Don't be afraid to fail. Be fearful about not trying in the first place.

My best to you.

(c) Jim Rocha 2016

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. Great advice JR. One of my Dad's favorite saying was "Can't is for quitters that won't even try". If someone else can do something, anything, than you can too.

  2. Awesome post. I have friends that don't understand my need to keep digging. To keep searching. To stay positive. I've only got about 6 years under my belt prospecting. But I learned early on that to succeed in this, you have to push yourself every chance you get. And Muskrat, my Dad's saying was, "When in doubt, punch it". He was a car guy. But the logic is sound.

  3. Thank You G...I like your Dad's saying. That's the core of this.


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