Five Golden Things



Read a simple, thought-provoking piece from Dan Pink that opens with the following:

There are two kinds of people in the world … those who make your life easier — and those who make it harder.

It’s a litany of those – people on either side of a dash. It struck me. I hope you’ll take 45 seconds to read it and another few minutes to think about it. I hope.


Speaking of which, it’s easy to be productive when you’re in the flow of things.

What do you do when you’re not? What do you to keep going when things are hard?

When you’re sick, or when your brain’s cramped, or your kids are wreaking havoc?

What do you do? Where do you turn? (Any resemblance to bloggers living or presently typing these words is purely coincidental.)


Oh, yes. Ritual – maybe you rely on habits to get you through?

For example, even though I feel like poo, I just got off the treadmill – which is a strange side-effect of this experimental new drug two doctors have recommended to me in the last six months called, I think, exercise.

We put the kids down … err, rather … we put the kids to bed, I put on the Pardon The Interruption podcast and walk between a mile and a mile-and-a-half, then I come upstairs and write my 750 words, then I write a blog post, then I get my to-do list ready for the next day.

Four Check out this email I got this morning.

And I just finished my fifteenth day. It’s a private journaling site where you can get stuff out of your head and onto a screen, but they put a little twist on it by keeping track of how many days in a row you do it.

It’s free (donations welcome) and it’s a simple idea, but I’ve really enjoyed the mental calisthenics of it. At the start of each month, they challenge anyone interested to go the whole month without missing a day.

I’m pert near halfway through.

As you may have noticed in the image – we started with just a little over nine hundred, and we’re down to around four hundred. No, you don’t get to take weekends off. It’s every day.

I’ve written about good stuff, bad stuff, dark stuff, weird stuff and tonight I wrote this five-part blog post which I just decided to call Five Golden Rings as I type this (and as I reeeeeally hope I come up with something better by the time I get from word number 435 to word 750).


Who’s the person in your world who – without fail – is rock solid?

I mean, like, ridiculously dependable? Seriously – do you have one? Who is it?

I’ll hold … …

Like warm blanket folks, these people are more valuable than gold.

I can think of a couple. I ain’t one of ‘em. I’m as flaky as my old gym teacher’s scalp.

But I married one. Thank God.

In fact, I think I’ll keep words 516 through 750 private.

Have a good day. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Dan Pink post once you’re done reading it. I wish every post I wrote could be that simple and thought-provoking.

But no, as you can tell I could really use an editor for Christmas. (561 and counting. Sorry.)

Maybe this should have been five different posts. So it goes.

Anyone remember that bit from Ferris Bueller at the end after the credits?

It’s over. Go home.

Or, then there’s that bit from Almost Famous – “You are home.”

And so I am, and so I am to be of the shutting up now.

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As CEO and Head Custodian of Miles & Company, Tim Miles helps owner-operated companies do more with less. He's the author of Good Company: Making It, Keeping It & Being It.

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Good advice? Please share. Thanks!
  • JoeyH

    I’m not sure it is quite that defined. Yes, there are those few people who seem to always fit into the first half of Pink’s comparisons. And, I’m sure we all know people who always seem to be on those opposite sides. But I suspect most of us are in the middle somewhere. Most of try to do the right things…to be an inspiration, giving, etc. But we probably do better in some things….do better on some days….and do better with some people. Still….it’s a great list to think about and remember.

  • Amy

    Dan Pink’s summarizations remind me of the one thing I took away from Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits, the Circle of Influence and the Circle of Concern. Always work to make your Circle of Concern smaller, even if your Circle of Influence doesn’t grow at the same rate. It keeps me sane and focused, and away from the drama that seems to jump in my face at every turn. Staying focused is just something that I always have to remind myself to do (the electronic world is such a distraction), but when I lose my “way” I just try to re-center, and sometimes I will send a quick email to my rock, my husband Joe. He always brings me back around and gives me strength.

  • Nanci

    I found Dan Pink’s comments very similar to the notion of the bucket and the dipper from “How Full is your Bucket?” ….bucket people fill the buckets of other people, thereby re-filling their own…while dipper people take from the buckets of others , I’d agree with JoeyH that most people are a hybrid of the two. The key is to reflect on what kind of person are you, and what will you DO with that knowledge?

    My rock for the past 30 years is my husband Randy. I am also blessed with 3 incredible sisters who at various times have been the rock I can cling to when the going get’s rough.