Last fall we accompanied our six grandchildren to a gold/gem “mining operation” in the north Georgia mountains. This was in celebration of one granddaughter’s 6th birthday. I understand that this was the site of the first major gold discovery in America. Guests of this operation “pan for gold” out of local sand and rocks placed in individual buckets. Semi-precious stones are also found by sluicing the sand and rocks. It takes quite a bit of “panning” to find a small flake of gold from the buckets, but I have never seen youngsters so thrilled with the activity!
I was reminded of this experience when I recently began cleaning out and reorganizing my extraordinary amount of files. It conjured up the realization that during my career I had been constantly “panning for gold and gems” in the research data I had collected. In fact less than 5% of my research, which I had been collecting for over 20 years, appeared in The Millionaire Next Door. What about the other 95%? Was it a waste of time collecting that information? Categorically, no!
In order to find the gems you are looking for (a satisfying career, spouse/family, financial independence) you often have to move a lot of dirt and sand. And you must develop the ability to distinguish a gem from the sand and rocks in your bucket. It takes patience and steadfastness to accomplish this task.