How to Strike Gold in Your Life

Written by Raymond Salas

Years ago, I watched a documentary on the historic California “Gold Rush” of 1849. It was an interesting story of how the then-territory of California went from a local gold discovery outside of San Francisco attracting 6,000 miners looking for gold in 1848 to an international “gold fever” phenomenon bringing 90,000 “forty-niners” by land and sea in 1849 and over 300,000 gold-seekers, merchants, and other immigrants by 1855. The U.S. Geological survey estimates that over 12 million ounces of gold was discovered between 1848-1853. Today this would be worth over $7.2 billion.

As I watched this story, I realized that many of the characteristics from the early “Gold Rush” experiences reminded me of the law of attraction as seen in the incredibly successful documentary “The Secret.” With its compelling message from the symbolic genie telling us “your wish is my command,” the DVD has now sold over 1.5 million copies and the book is the fastest-selling book of its kind in the history of publishing (yes, since the invention of the printing press), with over 2 million copies in print in just over 5 months after its release.

As a result, people flocked to the Law of Attraction teachings, teachers, and “The Secret” in droves, the same way gold-seekers rushed to San Francisco and its surrounding areas in 1849.

So, I wondered:

What can we learn from the earlier “Gold Rush” now that a new kind of “Gold Rush” could be upon us?

What are some key lessons from the “Gold Rush” in 1849 that we can apply to our lives now?

More importantly, how can we each “strike gold” in our own lives using the lessons from the historic California “Gold Rush”?

Key Lessons from the California “Gold Rush”

Here are some key lessons from the California “Gold Rush” that I was reminded of:
  • Become successful by helping others to become successful.
In 1848, in the early days of what was to become the great California “Gold Rush,” it was possible for ordinary prospectors to collect thousands of dollars worth of gold in a single day. However, those who achieved the greatest success during this era were actually the individuals who became successful by helping and supporting others to become successful. These included business people with restaurants, lodging, retail, shipping, entertainment, and transportation focused on serving the gold prospectors and miners.

  • Discover the opportunity in every situation.
The wealthiest person during the California “Gold Rush” era was Samuel Brannan, a merchant and newspaper publisher. He definitely learned to take full advantage of the unique opportunities available to him in this situation and period in California history.

At the first signs of the discovery of gold in California, Brannan was the first to publicize the new discovery. He took a sample of gold back to San Francisco, purchased every available shovel in the city, and quickly set up a store to sell gold prospecting supplies. Next, he literally ran through the streets yelling, "Gold! Gold! Gold from the American River!" Of course, this got people’s attention and the news quickly spread.

Then, Brannon opened additional prospecting supply stores in key locations along the California “gold fields.” His store in Sutter Fort (Sacramento) earned over $150,000 per month in 1849 simply by selling goods and supplies to miners.

As a result of his business success and subsequent real estate purchases, Brannan became California’s first millionaire.

Some of his other accomplishments included:
  • Elected to California State Senate in 1853.
  • Built San Francisco’s original famous Cliff House restaurant in 1858.
  • Bought over 2,000 acres of land, which included some natural hot springs, and founded the city of Calistoga.
  • Founded several other California cities, including a land subdivision that later became the city of Sacramento, the state’s capital.

The Most Powerful Lesson from the California “Gold Rush”

For me, the most powerful lesson from the California “Gold Rush” can be found with the Chinese immigrants. Like many other foreigners, the Chinese came to California in search of gold and riches. In fact, they even referred to California as “gold mountain.”

As the number of Chinese and other immigrants to California grew, gold was becoming increasingly difficult to mine, without large scale gold recovery techniques. As a result, Americans began to force out all foreigners by physically attacking them and imposing a “foreign miners tax” to discourage them and keep the most accessible gold available for the Americans only.

This left the Chinese with the single option of mining the gold fields already abandoned by the American miners, who only worked a gold site long enough to determine its potential value. If it was determined that a site had a low-value (as most were), the American miners would abandon the site to go in search of the greater “legend of El Dorado” type of gold sites. The Chinese immigrants had little choice but to mine the sites abandoned by the Americans.

Then, a funny thing happened….

As the Chinese worked and mined these abandoned gold sites daily, they began to slowly discover gold. As they continued their efforts, their amount of mined gold increased too. As their amount of mined gold increased, the amount of their “foreign miners taxes” paid to the new California state government (established in 1850) increased too. In fact, at this point in California history, the “foreign miners tax” was the largest source of revenue for the California state government.

So, what can we learn from these Chinese immigrants during the California “Gold Rush” era?

Commitment and perseverance are keys to manifesting your vision and desires.

How to Strike Gold in Your Life

So, why do I feel that it is so important to discuss this time in California history?

What is the big deal about these events from over 150 years ago?

What does any of this have to do with personal development?

I believe that with the popularity of the Law of Attraction principles and “The Secret” now, we experienced a new or modern-day version of a type of gold rush.”

Millions of people are now getting into the Law of Attraction and “The Secret” because they are looking to “strike gold” in their own lives. By “strike gold,” I am referring to the manifestation of their desires.

Abraham-Hicks agrees:

“The truth is ‘The Secret’ is merely a powerful catalyst that presents the possibility of a better life.”

But often, just like the gold miners in 1849, many are abandoning their efforts too soon when they don’t “strike gold” immediately and manifest their desires quickly. As a result, they give up and might think that the Law of Attraction is a bunch of “BS,” some sort of marketing “scam,” and doesn’t work (or has stopped working for them). However, the reminder from the previously discussed lesson with the Chinese immigrants of the California “Gold Rush” era is to “commit to our vision and persevere with our desires.”

As I discussed in Does the Law of Attraction Really Work:

“I know that many people are looking for a ‘quick fix,’ instant results, and instant manifestation. When I have been in this mode and nothing seemed to change for me, often I realized that I was planting ‘oak tree size’ seeds of desire, yet expecting a ‘tomato plant’ seed timeline. Can you relate to this?”

In my own application of these principles, I know that I have proven to myself, without any doubt that the Law of Attraction does work. However, I have also found that it is important to stay committed to the manifestation process and be patient until I “strike gold” and my desires fully manifest in my life.

As A Course In Miracles reminds us:

“Now you must learn that only infinite patience produces immediate effects.”