May 02, 2015

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Fool's Gold

No one was as determined as Marion. Growing up, people would say that she had an iron will. If anyone was going to succeed in life it would be Marion – without a doubt.

When she turned 16, Marion left school to join the mining rush in Colorado. Marion had a sweet tooth for money. She started off as a young apprentice with her uncle. He promise that he would teach her all she needed to know to mine her own stake and get rich.

Mining is not an easy business by any means and it took her many years to learn and master the basics of mining. Her uncle assured her that she would be a millionaire. “The price of gold only goes up” he said “whatever makes me $1,000 now will make you a million when you’re older.”

While working the mines and studying all she could about gold, Marion made a good friend named Will. Will was young and he worked the mines so that his younger brother could go to college. They became great friends. Will always said to Marion “you work too much.” To which she always replied “one ay, I’ll never have to work again.” Will thought she was crazy but Marion always assured him that her work would one day pay off.

When her uncle retired, Marion took over his business. It wasn’t worth much but Marion was so well trained and had some great ideas about how to mine more gold. She took all of the cash she had and bought a stake. She used her uncle’s machinery to mine this stake. According to her calculations, this stake would make her a million dollars a year. This is what she had worked for the past 30 years.

Just as sure as Marion was alive, she struck gold. Her first year on this new stake, Marion pulled up more gold than her uncle had in his whole life. Marion only cashed enough gold to pay her employees. She held onto the rest because – as her uncle said – the price of gold only goes up.

Marion pulled up gold by the pound until one day only Will showed up to work.

“Where is everyone?” She asked.

“Haven’t you heard?”

“Heard what?”

“The price of gold dropped. A pound aint worth a penny anymore.” Said Will. “Everyone is smart enough to know that they aint got a job. That’s mining.”

Hearing this, Marion knew her gold that was once worth a few million dollars was only worth a couple thousand now. That’s a few weeks of living expenses, she thought.

Out of her mind, Will couldn’t talk any sense into her. He decided to take a few days off and let Marion calm down. She was angry. When Will returned, he had a great idea to share with Marion. “You feel like you’ve wasted the past 40 years of your life, don’t you?” He asked. Before she could answer, Will said “I don’t. You postponed your happiness until you had enough money to never work again. I did the opposite. I enjoyed every minute of my life. I enjoyed the mines and I enjoyed being your friend.”

“You enjoyed all of that work?” Asked Marion.

“I loved every minute of it.” Said Will. “Your happiness – like the value of gold – was relied on the opinion of others. My happiness – like the value of my time – is relied on my own opinion.”

“I guess you won.” Said Marion.

“Winning doesn’t make anything feel better. You’ll learn that. But, I did save a lot of money working the past 40 years with you. I’ve got a couple of million dollars in the bank. If you agree to enjoy the present moment, I’d offer you my hand in marriage.”

Need I explain the rest of the story?

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