Today’s Tip: In genealogy, only wonder once!
When I first started out and was just getting started in genealogy and family history, I found I had a terrible habit. I would discover a clue, a name, a place, an idea and I would find myself saying “I wonder if …….”
Then I would think of a slightly different aspect of the same discovery and say, again, “I wonder if …..”.
Often I would move on and do the “I wonder if ….” three or four more times! I would become entranced with the concept of wondering if I did one thing, or called one person, or checked on fact …. I’d wonder if that was right. I’d wonder if that would lead me someplace. I’d wonder if that was the ‘right’ thing to do.
It was about this time that I also focused on a clear plastic block my father gave me that I now keep on my desk next to my computer monitor. In it is $1.00 in change. 90 cents in coins are facing one direction. 10 cents is facing the other by itself. My father gave it to me and said “Scott, remember that most folks spend 90% of their effort getting 10% of the most important work done. Do the opposite and you will stand head and shoulders above the crowd”.
I quickly realized that my ‘wondering’ was paralzing my efforts and destroying my 90-10 focus. So I made myself another of my little desk signs. this one says “Only wonder once ….. then ACT AND ASK”.
I made myself a promise. In my genealogy work I would only wonder about a path I could take, a person I could call, a resource that might help ONCE! Then I would ACT ON IT! I’d make that call. I’d reach out to that person. I’d check that fact. I’d try that phone number. I’d find that county genealogical/historical society and ask the question(s) I had!
I’d wonder only once ….. and then do whatl I could to get an answer!
Now that I wonder only once, my productivity is much better. My results much higher. My attitude much healthier. My outlook much more positive!
So, go ahead ….. wonder all you can! But remember to only wonder once, then grab that hammer and do what you can to break down that brick wall!
Onward To Our Past,