Determining What Matters

This weekend just gone, my wife and I drove our kids to a park on the other side of town for a kite flying contest. Let me just say that kite flying inspires me for all of 10 minutes. Maybe… just. I guess it’s sort of pretty but it’s completely pointless and, unless you could get the kites to fight one another, I really can’t get enthused.

In any event… After putting her kite together, my daughter dropped the car keys on what is an immense field. A field which was by now teeming with hundreds of kite flyers, sausage sellers, ice cream carts, and other parents who were probably aching to get home to do something else while smiling at their spawn saying, “Oh, yes Johnny, isn’t it lovely?” as Johnny giggles at a kite shaped like a bucking donkey. Or maybe it was a horse. Or a seahorse. I don’t know.

Once the realisation hit that the car keys were lost somewhere on this immense landscape of green grass, I immediately longed for the boredom of watching kites and people, mumbling platitudes to excited children.

Now the hunt was indeed on and hunt we did. It turned into two flipping hours of hunting.

While walking around in circles, mumbling, and staring intently at the grass, the only thing distinguishing me from a mentally ill person was the lack of drool coming from my lips. And this was when I bumped into another lost soul. A woman was doing pretty much the same thing. “I lost my engagement ring,” she told me in a whispered but somewhat hysterical voice. I felt really sorry for her and normally would have grabbed my kids and set about helping her find it. Where were you last? What does it look like? Etc.

But no! After just a few seconds I quickly evaluated her problem and my problem which involved night falling soon and having to call a friend to come and pick us up. I wished her luck and continued my search.

For me it was more important that I solve my problem before attempting to help solve hers.

Determining what is most important and clearing the noise – no matter how “important” it may seem – is of course the hallmark of many a successful person.

For today’s podcast I have recorded a brief message to you regarding recent events and what they may mean for all of us going forward.

I cover Brexit, China, and gold. There are many other areas that are indeed important but it’s also wise to take in information in bites size chunks as our brain actually assimilates and synthesises information better when doing so.

I was going to publish this on Monday as per my usual schedule but then realised with irony that it was the 4th of July and the US readers would be celebrating their own “Brexit day”.

And so let me wish all readers a fantastic Independence Day. Independence from ignorance and independence from bad ideas. My wish is that, as a reader, you’ll be gaining critical thought which is easily the most important step towards self independence.

– Chris

PS: Some kind soul picked up our keys and – since they were branded – managed to somehow (not sure how) find our car, leave a note on the windscreen with his phone number and a message to call him, and then hide the keys under the hub of the wheel. Thank you! You saved me from more bloody kites as well as the logistical pain of getting home for a spare set.

“Focusing is about saying no.” – Steve Jobs


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