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Acres of Diamonds

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  8,298 ratings  ·  266 reviews
In Acres of Diamonds, Russell Conwell shows success is a spiritual idea--the result of spiritual principles. Though not a "get rich guide," Conwell's book shows how to find a fortune-if you know where to look. There are as many opportunities for success today as in Conwell's time, if not more so, because they are found first and foremost in one's own conscience. Through hi ...more
Paperback, 68 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Waking Lion Press (first published 1892)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  8,298 ratings  ·  266 reviews

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Chris Munson
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Based on a speech originally given as a lecture to raise money for what would become Temple University, this parable about seeing the riches around you can help give you a new perspective. Short and powerful (the book is much like "Who Moved My Cheese" in that it is brief, but contains an important lesson told in the form of a story) "Acres of Diamonds" will force you to take a new look at your own backyard when looking for opportunity. The basic story revolves around a Persian farmer who loses ...more
May 29, 2012 rated it did not like it
I wish I could remember what caused me to buy this book over 10 years ago. I have been taking it with me through 6 moves, and I finally read it last night. Horrid. Maybe it is the original prosperity gospel. I have never read so much bs in so few pages. I have never done this with a book before but I am throwing it in the trash.
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a small book with a large message that could potentially have an enormous impact on the reader with the 'ears to hear' it and the will to internalize it and put it into action in his or her life every day. The greatness that exists within every one of us does not exist in any external form whatsoever. Rather, it exists within us...waiting to be uncovered and unleashed. When used for the good of others and not for reasons of selfish gain, we discover that we, also, have more than we need; ...more
Ian Connel
Mar 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
There are some good values in Acres of Diamonds, but a pastor who argues that "poverty is the result of God's opinion of those people" and "rich men are the most honest men" is unbelievably misled. For one, does he know Jesus led a life of poverty, serving the poor? And for two, has he ever heard of advertising? If only he had any clue that many businesses would depend on, and thrive on, using fear and false information to sell things that nobody actually needs.

In fairness, I made it through ab
Book teaches:
1. Prosper where you are (there is a veritable gold mine where you are NOW, find it).
2. Great men are often plain men. Greatness does not come by gaining some "important" office.
3. Figure out what people want and then give it to them.
Mario Tomic
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm really amazed how much wisdom this book contains, every lesson is presented with a true story and it's very easy to recognize the value in these stories. The book itself really goes hard against the very common belief people have that the grass is always greener at the other side of the fence. To read this entire book it won't take you longer than an hour and it's full of powerful concepts that can be just as easily applied today as in 1846 when this book was first published. ...more
Jan 18, 2016 rated it liked it
I picked this book up on a whim, intrigued by the banner of text touting the words inside as one of the most famous sermons in American history.


I liked it at first. I liked the idea that we all strive for something that is often already in our lives and that we’re seduced by the idea that something better is out there in some far off place. It’s the old the-grass-is-always greener adage. I like the message that we don’t need to wait to do good or make an impact – we can start now, start small
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews-i-wrote
Sometimes we forget to look in our own backyard be it for answers or for ideas to further our wealth, health, or spiritual self.
We live in a society where everything better is assigned an 'elusive' tag. Where everything better is always something we don't possess.
This little book reminds us that that is not always the case.
We are taught to always weigh all our options before proceeding with a decision and too many times we only weigh 'outer' options failing to take stock of what we already po
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Everything you want to do lies within you, all the sources and the forces are in you..

" Greatness consists not in the holding of some future office, but really consists in doing great deeds with little means and the accomplishment of vast purposes from the private ranks of life."

" Let every man or woman here, if you never hear me again, remember this, that if you wish to be great at all, you must begin where you are and what you are, in Philadelphia, now. He that can give to his city any blessin
Written by the founder of Temple University, "Acres of Diamonds" is an inspirational lecture about success. (The edition I read also included a biography of Russell Conwell and a brief autobiographical note from the author.)

Conwell, who presented this lecture in excess of 5,000 times during his life, was a Civil War officer, lawyer and pastor. His family farm was one of the stops on the Underground Railroad and he established one of the first schools that would educate African-American children.
Diya Bundhoo
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Acres of Diamonds by Russell H. Conwell is a small, easy to read book with deep thoughts. It is an inspiring lecture on success in life, with emphasis on the perspective of wealth, money and doing good:

Some of his powerful words:

“Money is power, money is force, money will do good as well as harm. In the hands of good men and women it could accomplish, and it has accomplished, good.”

“You cannot trust a man with your money who cannot take care of his own. You cannot trust a man in your family that
Keith Aul
Nov 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Another great example of someone who started out in life with nothing and achieved greatness. Mr. Conwell believed if you can find enough people to fulfill then need you are giving, you will become 'wealthy' because it is an automatic process.

Mr. Conwell was driven for the need to help other people help themselves. His primary motivation was to meet the needs of other people.

Have you heard of the Chinese proverb - 'Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed h
Avel Rudenko
Think about a simple lesson you may have learned in your life. How about: The answer you are looking for is usually right in front of you. Well...this is what the book depicts for the reader. It really is well written and the story makes you wonder. Really enjoyed this little gem. Abe Lincoln's success formula and others are filled with common sense tactics to leading a rich life. Looking forward to using some of these pearls and passing this book on to those I care about. Gold Nugget of a book! ...more
Will Simpson
The message of this speech which Russell gave over 5500 times over the years, is something we all could learn from and continue to relearn. Appreciate what we have and resist the urge to search afar for fortune in whatever form. I’m reminded about a couple of lines from a old Zen poem, "How sad that people ignore the near / And search for truth afar: / Like someone in the midst of water / Crying out in thirst, / Like a child of a wealthy home / Wandering among the poor.' ...more
Aug 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book speaks of looking at your life and having a go at making it better. It encourages people to succeed. I really liked it. It is a classic for a reason. If you like to keep yourself motivated you can't go wrong with this one. 4 stars. ...more
Don Gubler
Sep 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: improvement
Good advice in knowing and using the resources all around you.
Mark "Lefty" Holencik
Nov 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Very uplifting story of how he followed his heart and built a legacy.
Aman Kabra
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
This speech-to-text conversion of the words of a Philadelphian will give you a message long known yet frequently forgotten, in less than 50 pages.
Feb 20, 2017 rated it liked it
A very Christian book, but there is a lot to learn in the first quarter of the book.
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
From a very famous speech in the 1800s. Hilarious in places, and with some surprising historical information. I'm listing the historic info first, followed by a few quotes on self-improvement.

1. Inventions originally by women (but patented by men)
Jacquard loom
cotton gin
sewing machine
trolley switch
iron squeezers in steel mills

2. Funny meeting w/ General Robert E. Lee
"The general told me about his servant Rastus, who was an enlisted colored soldier. He called him
Donovan Richards
Feb 22, 2012 rated it liked it
An Inspiring Story

For some reason, the simplicity of the standard “success story” conjures the hopeful sentiment that such accomplishments could occur in any life. Truthfully, most successful stories begin with an idea, a notion of which all human beings are equally capable. In Acres of Diamonds, Russell Conwell utilizes positive and negative narratives in order to inspire productivity in his community.

In Defense of Wealth

Simply speaking, Conwell is pro wealth. While many theologians and ethici
Mar 09, 2017 added it
Mind awakening powerful message so many nuggets of truth and idioms. Must read!

Nuggets of Truth:

The man who inspires nobly is open to noble inspiration
In a deep silence
Marvelous heights you have attained
Naturally enough
Deep tenderness crept into his voice
Enthusiasm invites enthusiasm
I have a large hearted regard
Use illustrations that illustrate
Delightful and confident way
Delightfully terse common sense
Each illustration is a hammer in which I drive home a truth
I can see at a glance all that is
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Two huge takeaways from this book that I loved. Read the stories though still to get the full effect:

1) Don't go searching for "diamonds" in other areas. Take advantage of where you are right here and right now. Consider what's under your feet and in front of you right now. Don't get caught up in other endeavors outside of your "territory" but focus on what you can impact here and now. Very good practical application to focusing on your work, your company, and your clients here and now.

2.) In
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is really about looking for what you have right around you, and being capable of being in control of your life. It is within everyone's grasp to make the most of what is right in your "backyard". I think it's a good one to read, and full of good little stories, but it is what you make of it. ...more
Will Edwards
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Another self help classic in the public domain, this text is essentially the transcript of Conwell's popular lecture on the subject of success. If you are struggling to find the right opportunity, its certainly worth a read to refocus your attention on the opportunities that may be right under your nose. ...more
Ben Russell
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A short and quick read. This book was highly recommended from Dan Miller, one of my favorite mentors for business success. Its full of inspiration about how you might be sitting on top of your own fortune, if you simply tap into what you already have.
Eve H
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: inner-game
"One way to sum up Acres of Diamonds would be to say this: the greatest opportunities in life are often found in our own backyard. Conwell clearly writes about the importance of being aware of one’s own world and that great success can be found in doing the simplest of things that no one previously had the insight to notice. The opening story of the essay in particular has become a classic tale of the cannon of the New Thought." - introduction

My review here represents both my feeling towards the
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book was recommended by both Jim Meisenheimer and Jeffrey Gitomer.

This book did not live up to their recommendations or hype for me.

I cannot recommend this book.
Killer of Dreams
Oct 06, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it liked it
-“When I stood beside the body of John Ring and realized that he had died for love of me, I made a vow that has formed my life. I vowed that from that moment I would live not only my own life, but that I would also live the life of John Ring. And from that moment I have worked sixteen hours every day—eight for John Ring’s work and eight hours for my own.”
-“Every morning when I rise I look at this sword, or if I am away from home I think of the sword, and vow anew that another day shall see sixte
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Russell Herman Conwell was a Baptist minister, philanthropist, lawyer, and writer best remembered as the founder of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and for his inspirational lecture, Acres of Diamonds.

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“Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.” 12 likes
“Begin where you are and what you are.” 7 likes
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