Newspaper headlines carried this one word that excited the imagination of the world. Tens of thousands of people left their homes and went west looking for the promise that few found. Gold had been discovered in California.
We often focus on the folly of those who searched for what they did not find. But some of those looking for gold found it.
From 1848 until 1955, three hundred thousand people poured into California in search of gold. True, most didn’t find it. But some did. The value of the gold recovered during those years in today’s dollars was in the tens of billions of dollars.
Sometimes, you do find what you are looking for. On your job, you may have told yourself that your job is awful. Then as you look for evidence to support that preconceived notion, you find plenty of data to support your position.
In your relationship, suppose you believe your partner to be selfish and disrespectful. As you look at your relationship through that lens, you can indeed find many examples that you believe prove your point.
Now what if on your job, you changed your frame of reference. What if you looked for evidence that you had a good job? What do you think you would find?
And in your relationship, what if you looked for evidence that your partner was selfless and respectful? Is there any evidence to support that view?
The truth is that in some jobs and some relationships, it doesn’t matter how badly you want to find something good, there is not much on the other side of the ledger. But for others, when they look for the positive, sometimes they find it.
Perhaps it is time to have a new gold rush.
Remember, some of those who look for gold find it. What are you looking for? Maybe someday you will be able to shout with jubilation, “I found it!”
“I found gold!”