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My Acres of Diamonds by Dave LaRue

Paul Edgewater is a dear friend and a Comma Club member. He recently introduced me to a fantastic thinker and kindred spirit, Diana Nightingale. Diana was married to Earl Nightingale until he passed. Earl was one of my all-time favorite motivational/personal development creators. I would like to share something about him and his work for those who aren't familiar.

Earl grew up during the Great Depression. His father abandoned the family when Earl was 8 years old. After that, Earl's family lived in a tent city for a while. At 17, Earl joined the Marines, serving in WWII. He survived the attack on Pearl Harbor aboard the USS Arizona. After the war, he worked in radio.

Earl "went viral" before we had the term for it. A recording he'd made for a small group of salesmen was received so well that they asked him for copies to share. To meet this demand, he released The Strangest Secret on LP in 1956. It would become the first spoken-word record to sell more than a million copies.

The first summer after high school, my boss, Bob (who would one day be my father-in-law), gave me three cassette tape programs by Earl Nightingale: Lead the Field, Acres of Diamonds, and The Magic Word. I listened to each of these tapes no less than 100 times. I'll never forget Earl's booming voice on those tapes Bob gave me or the stories and lessons he shared.

In Acres of Diamonds, Earl tells the story of a farmer who sells his farm to seek his fortune prospecting for diamonds. He wandered and wandered, never finding a single diamond. Many years later, broke, starving, and dejected, he throws himself in a river. But the story continues. One day, the man who had bought the farmer's land notices an unusual rock in a stream on the property. It is a diamond in its natural form. It turns out that our ambitious farmer land was sold to the second man acres of diamonds, at a rock-bottom price. How many people, Earl asked, are living right now on their own acres of diamonds, lacking the knowledge and skills to spot what one looks like in the rough?

With this story, Earl taught that opportunities are not clearly labeled as such. Opportunities are hidden. They require knowledge and skills to be seen. To succeed, we must develop these. Earl shared the concrete steps to do so. Instead of dreaming of exotic ventures, he said, start now. Learn to see opportunities around you. Learn what they look like. Treat your daily work as an opportunity to grow and develop. Get so good at what you do that you create more options for yourself and attract more prospects. Study your company and its industry, study your job and your next career step. Learn about people and develop people skills.

I'll never know why Bob gave me those tapes, but I'm still grateful he did. And thank God I dared to listen to them. What a game-changer! There began my life-long habit of investing in my growth and development.

Earl's voice sounds as good today as it did 45 years ago, and his lessons are just as powerful. His clarity is just as inspiring and actionable as ever. Check him out. I would love you to feel this same magic.

Understanding all of this, you can imagine how incredible it was for me to meet his wife and business partner, Diana. We had so many values and beliefs in common. 20 minutes into our first conversation, I felt like we had been friends for years. I was thrilled that she felt the same energy. I'm not sure what our future holds, but I am sure I would love to see her have a platform to share her stories and wisdom and deliver the messages and programs she and Earl created together.

Our time together fired me up. Diana has such purpose in her desire to make a difference in the lives she touches, so much energy and a contagious zest for life. She inspired me to stay on track, stay positive, and stay full of joy, peace, and love.

Her successes and approach to personal development were inspiring too. I decided it was time to take The Comma Club to the next level and increase the impact we have with knowledge-seekers, people who invest in themselves, and people who love to learn and grow, helping them create a positive, happy, purposeful lives.

As Diana and I visited, discussed possibilities and opportunities, and shared some of our favorite stories, I couldn't help feel appreciation and gratitude for the significant impact Earl had on my life. I can say for sure that I wouldn't be on the path I am today without hearing Earl's thoughts and words 45 years ago.

How about you? Who has motivated, inspired, and informed you as you build the life you desire? What about the lives you touch? Are you helping others find their path or helping them to discover those paths on their own? Just as we have been moved and inspired, we can make a significant impact on the people we meet. These precious opportunities are available to each of us every day. Are you able to spot these diamonds all around you?

So, thank you to my new friend Diana, and thank you to Paul for seeing the value of connecting us. I find the more my desire grows to learn and develop greater personal awareness, the more I find myself in the right place at the right time to meet the people who keep me on the paths that I seek. In this way, all along my journey, the right people, answers, and tools have been presented to me. Paul and Diana are both a part of that journey. And so are all of you. I know your story can be much the same.

Let me know if I can help.



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