Golden Nuggets

A metaphor on how we see things and how we feel things

In the deep dark wild west somewhere near the end of the gold rush there was a river and on either side of that river were two men, Bob and Jim.

Their jobs were panning for gold.

Both sides of the river had EXACTLY the same amount of gold to mud ratio, but Bob on the far side of the river each morning would wake up and groan, dreading the day….he knew it was the end of the gold rush and he KNEW there was never any gold to find……all there was….MUD….mud mud MUD!  And sigh… Off he went to another miserable, empty day of work.

Now. on the near side of the river a different man, Jim, worked….from the beginning of dawn….. He just couldn’t miss a moment of light! Up he would jump at first light and literally run to work, eager for the day to begin because …..he could find MORE GOLD!!!!

In his pan, as he deftly shook the mud away Jim found the tiniest specks of gold and carefully collected each speck until over the days the specks became the tiniest mound of gold, and each day the mound grew bigger and bigger…. And Jim couldn’t WAIT to see all the beautiful gold he had collected.

Then one day miserable, tired, and fed up as anything, Bob on the far side of the river shouted over…….. “Oi”! (he couldn’t contain his misery and contempt)…. ”Why are you so happy when this river is just full of MUD?!!

Jim looked blankly and said….. “What mud?”

The message

We all have mud in our lives. So much so that sometimes it is all too easy to miss the tiny golden nuggets we have too! We go to bed at night and we think about all the mud we have seen in the day just gone, and all the mud we have to come in the day ahead.


Tonight when you go to bed look forward to finding the golden nuggets of your day gone by, they may be small, but they are there. Perhaps it was a friendly smile from a stranger on the bus, a lovely comment from a neighbour, or a call or text from a family member or friend. Then think about the golden nuggets that you may find tomorrow, they may be small but they are there if you search for them. Be Lucky Jim.

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Published by The Sage Page


5 thoughts on “Golden Nuggets

  1. This is a wonderful message, Andrew. I like it so much. It reminds me of myself in recent weeks – always downhearted, sad and depressed like Bob. I think I just assumed every day, on waking up, that the present and my future days will all be more of the same – more and more mud and that I’d never see the gold. I can’t predict how I’ll feel from one day to the next under my current difficult circumstances, but yesterday, I wrote my first more cheerful post (not a hint to read, by the way) and that poem contained these tiny amounts of gold (figuratively speaking.) Thank you for opening my eyes to this (it didn’t occur to me until I read your post just now). A super message 🌞.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind words Ellie. I used to tell this story a lot as a therapist. It is especially useful to remember when we have bouts of insomnia. I think if you collect your golden nuggets last thing at night you sleep better and have good dreams. One of my favourite quotes that goes with the story is: “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” from Henry Ford. Out attitude and view point does effect the outcome. I’m so pleased you have panned away some mud and can see some golden specks.

      Liked by 1 person

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