Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them. ―Russell H. Conwell, “Acres of Diamonds”
Ever been on a tarmac road, or in the desert, or somewhere else with flat ground on a very hot day? You probably saw what might have looked like a sparkling lake or a pool of water far in the distance. If it happened that you were thirsty and did not have water to quench your parched lips, you may have been frustrated to realize that what had seemed like a lush oasis was nothing more than a mirage. Appearance is not always reality.
The fig tree grows to about 30 feet tall and has large, lobed deep green leaves that lend a tropical air to the tree. It produces the fig, a luscious fruit with high nutrient content. There is a story in the Bible about Jesus and the fig tree. On an early morning, Jesus saw a lush fig tree and being hungry; he drew near to it, certain he would get some figs to eat. Zilch. Disappointing.
Isn’t life so much like this? Our public self – how we project ourselves to others – can be very different from our private self – our core, or who we are instinctively. Public self is the behavior we exhibit according to how we think other people expect us to act. We spend an awful lot of time editing and managing our public self while giving little or no attention to the real we – our core. So when people are drawn to us by our attractive, well-managed exterior they get disappointed when they’re confronted by a different reality.
I read a story of a man who took his daughter to a carnival. Upon entering, the little girl immediately rushed to a booth and asked for cotton candy. As the attendant handed her a huge ball of it, the father asked, “Sweetheart, are you sure you can eat all of that candy?”
“Don’t worry, Dad,” she answered. “I’m a lot bigger on the inside than I am on the outside.”
How about making deliberate effort to be “a lot bigger on the inside” by spending more time “editing” your core – who you are on the inside? We can reach heights we may not think ourselves capable of if we plumbed the depths of whom we are and dug the diamonds waiting to be discovered.
I hope you flourish.