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Life is full of opportunities and how we choose to handle them makes the difference between wearing a smile or a frown.

Many of our opportunities present huge challenges and are difficult to carry to fruition. However, there may come a time in life when an opportunity is well within reach, but we choose not to explore the possibilities that exist beyond the surface. We may feel the reward is not worth the effort required or we may simply be too lazy.

This short tale about a pile of boulders in the middle of an old farmer’s field is a good example.



Year after year, an old farmer plowed around the boulders in the middle of his field. Each year, he talked about removing the huge boulders to increase his production. Unfortunately, all he did was talk and never took the time to remove them.

The young farmer who owned the adjacent farm offered to help him remove the boulders on many occasions, but the old farmer just kept plowing around the boulders—for fifty years.

The old farmer became too old to continue plowing the field and realized it was time for him to retire. Unfortunately, the only tangible asset he had was his boulder-laden field. Once again, he thought about removing the boulders, but decided it wouldn’t be worth the effort and chose not to remove them.

One day, the young farmer approached the old farmer and offered to buy the field. The offer was more than the old farmer thought the field was worth, so he sold it to the young farmer. He wished the young farmer well and was glad he no longer had to plow around the boulders.

The first thing the young farmer did was start removing the boulders from the field. One by one, the boulders were loaded onto a truck and hauled away until only one bolder remained—the largest one.

When the young farmer lifted the last boulder, he noticed there was a hole in the ground beneath it. The hole appeared to be the entrance to a large cavern. With flashlight in hand, the young farmer crawled through the opening and began exploring the cavern.

Near the rear wall of the cavern, he discovered a large-locked chest. It was too heavy to lift by hand, so the young farmer used his tractor to pull the chest out into the field.

When he removed the lock and opened the chest, he couldn’t believe his eyes. The chest contained numerous gold relics—vases, necklaces, urns, and medallions. On top of the gold was a note that read:

Life is full of opportunities and those who are willing to remove the boulders from their field of dreams are likely to reap the greatest rewards. Bill Smith – 1792

As the young farmer celebrated his newly found fortune, he paused and thought about the many times he offered to help the old farmer remove the boulders from the field—he smiled.


There are many morals presented in this story. I’ve listed a few of them below. Can you add some others to the list? Please take a moment to share your thoughts.

Morals of the Story

One man’s loss is often another man’s gain.

An opportunity that appears to have no value on the surface may be the best one you have.

Just talking about doing something doesn’t get it done.

Being old does not mean you are a wise person.

There may be more to reap than what we sow.

Have a great day, and remember, remove the boulders from your field of dreams. The results may surprise you.

Tom Tatum – Author – 2016

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Thanks to Tom Foster at HUGEFloods.com for giving me permission to use his photo.