Blogging icon Darren Rowse recently shared this terrific story on Problogger.

In 1851, and the Cavanagh brothers stood by a bend in a creek near Ballarat in Australia that had wishfully been named “Golden Point” by gold prospectors in days gone by.

The two brothers had been digging, along with around 600 others, in their “claim” at Golden Point for days. Some gold had definitely been found on this particular bend in the creek.  In fact, numerous miners had made good, although not spectacular, money from their finds in previous weeks.

Most of this gold had been found in the sandy ground to a depth of around 1 metre (3.2 feet), but at that point, everyone who dug hit a hard layer of clay and received no reward for their effort.

The result was that the area was littered with abandoned claims; holes in the ground were everywhere, all dug to a depth of around 1 metre.

Miners around the Cavanagh brothers that day were beginning to talk of rumors coming from further up creek of richer pickings and in the 24 hours that followed, most of the men had moved on.

But the two brothers had a hunch.

They wanted to see what would happen if they kept digging, so they began the arduous task of digging into the hard clay that everyone else had given up on.

They chose an abandoned claim from another miner and began to dig.

The work was hard and unrewarding.

They dug and found nothing but more clay.

Inch by inch they chipped away at the clay only to find more clay.

All day they dug.

The next morning they continued to dig as the last miners around them abandoned their claims and moved on to chase their dreams further up the creek.

I can just imagine those miners abandoning their claims shaking their heads at the brothers and laughing at their foolhardy efforts.

But the brothers had a belief and kept their focus.

As sunset approached and after hours of back-breaking work, the brothers finally broke through the last of the clay at a depth of 2 metres.

Under the clay they found what centuries ago had been the old bed of the creek, and in it were pockets of gold that had been washed down the creek from the mountains over hundreds of years.

The brothers worked into the night feverishly until the light from their lamps gave up. Imagine how they must have felt as they attempted to sleep that night!

The next day they arose early and assessed their work. In the light of day the full reality of what they’d uncovered started to sink in. There was gold down below that clay… and lots of it!

In a single day, the Cavanagh brothers found 27 kilograms (60 pounds) of gold.

That day’s takings alone earned the men over  £3500, which was more than enough to set the two brothers up for life.

One month later 10,000 miners worked in the area around Golden Point – and the wider Ballarat area, and it became known as the richest known gold field in the world at that time.

I love this story as it reminds us of the value of persistence and never giving up on our goals.

This trait is often the difference between those who become successful and those who don’t.

In life you will have challenges and obstacles that will get in the way of your dreams.

Will you give up like the majority of miners, or will you keep digging like the Cavanagh brothers?

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