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We often experience and emit a false sense of urgency. We overestimate the importance of the wrong things and underestimate the value of the right things. We are a funny race of people. Running this way and that. Getting excited about this and the other. We live life at a fast pace, slowing down only when we are unwell, and yet we wonder why our fragmented lives aren’t more fulfilling and more joyful.

How could they be when we are always hunkering down into our firetrucks and racing to the next roadside accident? How could they be when we are always performing CPR on our failing relationships? How could they when we don’t make the time to purposefully slow down and live a more self reflected life?

Self reflection is what we need a bit more of. We need it because it is easy to get wrapped up in all the things that have to get done. It’s easy to work our lists, but we never wonder enough why those lists are always full. Why is it that no matter how quickly or how efficiently we get at things, there always seems to be more and more for us to get to.

Perhaps not everything is important. Perhaps we don’t know what matter and what doesn’t. Perhaps our direction finder is a bit out of tune.

We have to fight false urgency. We have to be brave and accept the consequences of not always doing or jumping when we are told to jump. I am not suggesting that we need to become stubborn or selfish, not at all. We still need to be a member of a community. We have to value other people’s contributions and make sure we contribute what we can as well. But surely how much time is wasted on meetings that outline things everyone knows, or is capable of reading on their own? How much time is wasted answering hasty emails that didn’t need to be answered in the first place? How much time is wasted agonizing over the things that we need to get done, instead of spending that energy in getting them done? How much time do we spend on people who don’t appreciate us, and abandon the people who love us to pieces?

Life is urgent, or perhaps not to be taken lightly. We have to make good decisions and get to the things that matter. We have to get at the things that will make us better and stronger people. We have to learn to say no to the things that will whip us up into a frenzy, a frenzy that will dissipate and disappear.

Take greater care that you don’t waste your life. Take care that you don’t follow people who know how to bark and are proficient at filling your time. Learn to be present. Let your peace and calm be grounded in the reality that you won’t be here one day, and that the people who might remember won’t be here either.

I know it is frowned upon to discuss the inevitability off death openly and the subject is probably best treated like a well worn Playboy, hidden under the mattress somewhere, but I think I will. I believe that spending some time once in a while contemplating a future that doesn’t include us, may in fact better our present. It may unshackle us from the false sense of urgency that permeates our life and give us a real sense of urgency that will awaken us to meaningful living.

 

Cover photo generously provided by photographer Connor Betts via unsplash.com