Ali Hafed, the main character in the book Acres of Diamonds by Russell Conwell, is in search of diamonds. Spoiler Alert: He sells his large plot of land and travels great distances in search of the valuable gems but becomes so caught up in finding them that he becomes lost himself. Ironically, the man who purchased Hafed’s land discovers diamonds in a stream on the property and uncovers one of the largest diamond mines ever found. Everything Hafed was searching for had been right in front of him the entire time. All he had to do was look.
This reminds me of a clever joke I’ve always enjoyed.
A man believes deeply that if he could just win the lottery, all his problems would be solved. He prays to God, day in and day out, to win a grand lottery prize, but it never happens for him. After weeks turn into months, he starts to lose hope. He becomes depressed and begins to doubt. He prays one last time, “God, why won’t you grant me my wish?” In a moment of silence and clarity, God whispers into the man’s ear, “My son, please, go and buy a lottery ticket.”
We all have blind spots that prevent us from reaching our fullest potential and finding our true selves. That is to say that we are often our own worst enemies. Sometimes our blind spot is simply recognizing we already have everything we need.
Self-awareness goes a long way. We just need to sit quietly and listen long enough to hear whatever it is that we are missing. That doesn’t happen in the past, nor does it happen in the future. It can only happen in the present moment. Sitting quietly for a moment, ask yourself what it is that you are really looking for. What are you doing to get in your own way? What is the lottery ticket you must go and buy today?