Welcome to the May edition of our Best Book of the Month series. The book we picked for this month is Russell Conwell’s inspirational book entitled Acres of Diamonds.
Russell H. Conwell was an American philanthropist, lawyer, Baptist minister and orator. He founded the Temple University in Philadelphia and was a Pastor of The Baptist Temple.
His book Acres of Diamonds originated as a speech. The author delivered this speech over 6,000 times around the world. Conwell used the income that he generated from these lectures to establish the Temple University.
The message delivered by R. Conwell in Acres of Diamonds is very simple, yet often disregarded: Instead of looking elsewhere for fortune, opportunity and success, one should “dig in one’s own backyard”.
The book starts with a story credited by Conwell to an old Arab guide. A man wanted so badly to find diamonds and become rich, that he sold his farm, left his family in charge of a neighbor, and left in search of diamonds. The new owner of the farm discovered a rich diamond mine that was located right there on the property. This is the central theme of the book.
Historian Howard Zinn quoted the following from Conwell’s speech, implying that Conwell held elitist attitudes:
I say that you ought to get rich, and it is your duty to get rich … The men who get rich may be the most honest men you find in the community. Let me say here clearly … ninety-eight out of one hundred of the rich men of America are honest. That is why they are rich. That is why they are trusted with money. That is why they carry on great enterprises and find plenty of people to work with them. It is because they are honest men. … I sympathize with the poor, but the number of poor who are to be sympathized with is very small. To sympathize with a man whom God has punished for his sins … is to do wrong. … Let us remember there is not a poor person in the United States who was not made poor by his own shortcomings… [Source: Wikipedia]
Before I highlight the benefits of reading our May best book of the month, I’d like to share with you a YouTube link where you can listen to the entire audiobook…
Best Book of the Month – Acres of Diamonds
Two of my favorite quotes from our best book of the month ‘Acres of Diamonds’
#1: “You can journey to the ends of the earth in search of success, but if you’re lucky, you will discover happiness in your own backyard.”
#2: “You cannot trust a man with your money who cannot take care of his own.”
Why should you read this book?
Best book of the month: Acres of Diamonds
- You will discover that the story told by the old Arab guide applies nowadays too. And if this story doesn’t apply to you, it certainly will apply to people you know, or have met.
- You will learn some pretty valuable financial lessons from the founder of the Temple University himself. Along with these lessons you’ll be able to collect a few quotes, like the following: “The same effort that wins a small success would, rightly directed, have won a great success. Think big things, and then do them!”
- You’ll learn how to find acres of diamonds in your own backyard. The following principles of success are revealed: be open to new ideas, look at things in new ways, find out what people want and than provide just that, knowledge beats capital – that is, you don’t need to be rich to start a business etc.
Best book of the month: Takeaway…
Opportunities are all over the place. You don’t have to travel and look for diamonds in faraway places, you can find diamonds just where you are. The challenge than is to be open minded and look at things in a different perspective. Put on a new pair of glasses: what does the world you live in look like now? If your lenses are pink, you’ll see everything around you in pink. If your lenses are green, everything around you will look green. The world stays the same, only the way you look at it changes.
What about you?
Have you read Acres of Diamonds? What was your biggest takeaway?
Let me know your thoughts about our best book of the month series.