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Finding Water in the Bush

Years ago I was walking through the bush and I realized I needed some water.  Unfortunately, I could not see water anywhere.  Fortunately, I found a group of baboons and remembered an old trick to have them help me find some water.


I found a big ant mound and dug a hole in it that was deep enough to reach one of the tunnels inside the mound.  Then I took a handful of melon seeds and stuffed them in the hole until they dropped inside the tunnel.  I made sure one of the baboons was watching me do this.  After I put the seeds in there I moved away but still close enough to keep an eye on the baboons.  One baboon’s desire for the seeds caused him to reach inside the hole and grab the seeds.  Once he had a fistful of seeds he was stuck.  Simply, his fist was too wide to pull his arm out and he wouldn’t let go of the seeds, which would have released him.


I quickly moved over to the baboon and put a rope around him.  Once I did this the baboon released the seeds and was able to get unstuck.  Unfortunately for him, I still had him tied up.  I had to tie him to a nearby tree so he could help me in my search for water though.  Because I am not a cruel person I gave him one of his favorite snacks – clumps of salt.  He quickly calmed down and decided to snack away.  After a few hours we both knew he was very thirsty.  I then untied him, he took off like a shot and I had to hurry to follow him.  Where was he going?  Well, because he was thirsty he was heading straight to his water source.  I was letting him lead me there so I could get some much needed water.


Okay, so none of this happened to me.  I was reminded of this story with an interview Dave Chappelle did recently.  In case you are not familiar with him, Dave walked away from a very lucrative contract to continue to produce comedy shows on cable TV years ago.  Dave used the story of the baboon as an analogy of how he decided to walk away from this big offer over a decade ago.


I guess this is one way people in the bush do find water.  They know the baboon gets so fixated on something he wants he gets himself stuck.  When I heard Dave’s interview and the use of this analogy it instantly reminded me of how many different ways any of us get ourselves stuck because we won’t let go of the melon seeds.  I will simply leave this email here as I am guessing you may already be thinking of times you held on too long and got yourself stuck.  Next time that happens, please take a moment to decide if you should let go.  Otherwise, someone may tie you up and start feeding you chunks of salt.

About Dan Johnson, CFP

I am the President and CCO of Forward Thinking Wealth Management, LLC, which is the flat-fee financial planning firm located in Akron, OH, and set up to work virtually with clients across the country. I charge clients a flat fee of $4,800 regardless of asset size. My firm is a solution to what I feel is a broken system where clients pay advisors based on something out of their control - the performance of the market.
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