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Quality Management & Leadership Academy

Changing Your Mindset - The Junkman's Fortune 

Change starts in the mind. Regardless of what has happened in the past and what the present may look like, the future is contingent on what happens in your mind today. The scenario you constantly play in your mind will dictate the type of future you will receive. For example: many people deal with chronic health issues. Unfortunately, they have already decided in their mind that this is their penance in life because of past decision. However, what they decide today could either exacerbate their health issues or start them down the path to complete healing. The battle for healing starts in the mind.

Most people have read the R. U. Darby story called “Two Feet from Gold” told by Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich. The story focused on the mind of R. U. Darby and his uncle. The part of the story I want to focus on is the junkman who bought the mining equipment from the men. Now little is known about this junkman other than he was smart to hiring a mining engineer and eventually struck millions of dollars in gold ore. During this time in the United States many men left home in search of their pot of gold. They knew if they found a mine rich in gold ore they would be set for life. One man was more interested in collecting the junk left behind by these futuristic thinkers. He believed that if he collected enough steel from the equipment being junked, he could support his family. His thinking was limited by his circumstances.

One day two men came through a local pub saying they had been mining for this precious metal and finally reach the end of the vein. The gold ore was finished and therefore had no more need for the equipment or the mine. This junkman quickly stood to his feet and asked them how much they wanted to sell the equipment. The two men said give us two thousand dollars and the equipment and mine is yours. The junkman agreed and immediately went to his family and friends to raise the money. Shortly after leaving he returned to the two men and paid them their asking price. Without wasting any time, the junkman ran to the mine to inspect the equipment he just purchased. He sat on the ground next to the mine to figure out how he would turn his new investment into a decent return.

Minutes and then hours passed, and he was no closer to an answer and then a thought hit him. Let me see if this equipment works. He started the drill and realized everything worked. Then his attention turned to the mine and another thought hit him. How about I go find a person who knows more than me about mining and see if this purchase could yield a decent payout for me. The junkman scurry back to town to find a mining engineer who was very popular amongst the people. Prior to this junkman the mining engineer had helped many other men find gold for a percentage of their profits. The junkman told the mining engineer of his recent purchase and asked if he would be willing to inspect the mine for a possible percentage of the profits. The mining engineer agreed and the two took off to the mine.

Upon arrival the mining engineer said to the junkman, “I cannot make any promises that you will find gold, but I will provide you my best assessment”. The junkman sat back and allow the mining engineer to do his work. With his fingers crossed and sweat pouring down his face from the heat, the junkman prayed for good news to come his way. The only thought that kept running through his mind was, I need to recoup the money I borrowed and have a modest payoff for myself and family. 
The mining engineer walked over to the junkman and told him that he had some good news and some bad news. The junkman immediately asked for the bad news first. The mining engineer informed the junkman that the men he bought the equipment and mine from hit a fault line in the rock. With his face downcast as he mentally saw flashes of his investment sprout wings and fly out the window.

Then he looked at the mining engineer and asked for the good news. The mining engineer looked at the junkman and clasped his hand inside his hand and said, “Sir I believe you have hit the jackpot”. Two feet below that fault line I believe is the biggest vein of gold ore you will ever see. You are on your way to be a wealthy man. 
With great excitement, the junkman turned on the equipment and began to drill through the rock. With his mind made up and heart fixed he remained steady on his goal to get to that new vein filled with gold ore. Minutes then hours passed. He knew he was close but did not know how much longer it would take before hitting his jackpot. Although he was only two feet away from the vein, the rock was treacherous, and his equipment was used and worn.

 The junkman decided to take a break to rest from his tireless efforts. In his mind he thought he would never hit that vein but refused to give up. He felt that he only had a few inches to go. So, after resting about an hour, he turned the equipment back on and began his mission to drill through the rock. Thirty minutes later the drill abruptly stopped and refused to spin. He bought the bit back up to inspect it and saw traces of this yellow dust on the bit.

He covered up the mine and immediately ran back to town to get the mining engineer to inspect the yellow substance. The mining engineer looked at the junkman and said, you reached your jackpot now let’s go get this money. The moral of the story is the junkman started off with limited thinking. His first thought was buying the equipment so he could quickly scrap it for a minimum return on his investment. Then once he thought about the endless possibilities then his mindset changed. Now of course this story is based on my own interpretation to drive home the point. This story is not based on any facts that happen in that event.

When we can see the endless possibilities in terms of gains in our lives, change becomes just that much easier. Our instinct is to drive toward what we think is best for our lives even if that means we must drastically change to make it happen. If we can see it, believe it, then we can produce it. Here is Wisdom: Write your vision, make it clear and concise, that the person reading it can understand and see how they can help you implement it (Habakkuk 2:2). In terms of the junkman he had a vision to grow his business by buying used equipment. It just so happens that he was able to purchase a mine with it. The equipment fit into his vision and the mine was another vehicle for him to secure his future. Remember the decision you make today could change the outcome of your tomorrow.

The junkman also knew he did not know enough about the mine to determine its true value so he hired someone who would know. His vision was to run a successful business and since his investment corresponded with his vision, he was able to recognize the value of hiring an expert. Is your vision plain enough to allow someone to read and know exactly how they would quickly fit in and add value? Chapter one is all about identifying your vision and making it plain. It will be the jumpstart of changing your life for the better. Like the junkman you will able to see wise investment through the junk because it will fit the overall vision for your life.