Are You Going Long?

Then get yourself free of distractions

Darren Matthews


Photo by Huy Phan on Unsplash

The greatest threat to the life you want comes from distractions.

Nothing will stop you from playing the long game more than stuff that has nothing to do with what really matters.

And today, I want to show you why you need to rid yourself of the unimportant — and concentrate on the important.

Distractions interrupt us from playing long-term games. The upsides of a fulfilled life, enjoying compounding and goal achievement are worth the fight.

Let’s first look at these two areas in more detail.

Regrets of the Dying

Ask the dying what they regret the most, and it was that they didn’t pursue their dreams. Bonnie Ware, a palliative care nurse made a list of the top five.

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish I had let myself be happier.

Simplifying the list shows distractions got in the way of what was truly important.

In their lives, the people Bonnie spoke to lost sight of what mattered until it was too late. They let distractions get in the way.

Compounding Comes With Time

Morgan Housel starts his book with a story from Ronald Read.

Read was a retired janitor in Vermont when he passed away in 2015. There was nothing extraordinary about him, except when he died his estate was worth $8 million.

No one knew he was a multi-millionaire.

How did Read achieve this?

He invested early and with regularity. He lived a frugal life, but amassed savings from investments over time.

Ronald Read played the long game.

The story is remarkable because it shows us what happens if you’re prepared to play the long game.



Darren Matthews

I’m utterly curious about decision-making | Sharing lessons learned from the thousands of decisions I’ve studied and made | Founder