What Really Matters?
Written By karibu box
Published

The stuff that’s the most urgent is never the most important.

by Benji Jackson, 15th June 2020

Six weeks ago, James and I launched karibu. We’ve learnt a lot so far - from the excitement of how to build a website and get our own business email addresses (sounds dull but trust me, strangely exciting) to the detail of accounting software and cardboard flutes (sounds dull… and is dull to be honest). But by far, the best lesson I’ve learnt? The important things in life are never the most urgent.

I’m sure you can relate to this; I seem to get lost in an urgent detail and give it a weight of significance that it really doesn’t deserve.

Let me give you an example – tissue paper. It turns out tissue paper has the longest lead time of all our packaging. Which means we need to order it the soonest. It’s urgent. But tissue paper is definitely not the reason why people are buying our boxes. It’s not important. And yet I managed to spend the majority of this morning occupied by, that’s right, tissue paper.

Here's a pretty simple matrix to help illustrate what I mean:

What Really Matters? Diagram

It’s that top right box that really matters. 

This matrix got me thinking, beyond karibu what’s in that top right box in my life that I should focus more on? And how?

An obvious example to start with is relationships. We all know it’s one of the most important factors to happiness and yet it’s always relationships that seem to go on the backburner, substituted by the tissue papers of this world. 

So, I’ve decided to try and do something about it. It’s called Gratitude Letters. An activity created by the founder of positive psychology (Dr Martin Seligman) which had by far the most positive effects of deepening relationship and increasing happiness of all the studies he carried out.

It works like this - write a 300+ word letter of gratitude to someone in your life and send it to them. (In the actual study Seligman had people read their letters out to each other in person, but I feel like he will forgive me for that in a pandemic).

And that’s it, one simple way to start stepping into that top right-hand box. Easy to do but just as easy not to. No lead times or deadlines on a gratitude letter - not urgent. But then again, the most important things in life never really are.