“This is it. Doomsday. All you have. Make it the best day of your year. The saddest words you can ever utter are, ‘If I had my life to live over again.’ Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your day!”
Og Mandino (Author, The Greatest Salesman In The World)
“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”
Leonardo da Vinci (Italian Painter & Polymath)
“Progressive improvement beats delayed perfection”.
Mark Twain (Author, Tom Sawyer)
I reached into my jacket for my wallet to pay.
I had just finished catching up with a friend at a small coffee shop in Manhattan.
I hadn’t seen him in a year and we talked for about an hour.
Funny—my wallet wasn’t in my jacket pocket.
I must have put it in the back pocket of my pants.
I had just flown back from London and was exhausted.
I couldn’t keep my eyes open.
I was looking forward to getting to my hotel and going to bed.
Nothing could make me stay up a minute longer.
Where was my wallet?
It wasn’t in my back pocket either.
Wait, where was my phone?
I frantically patted all my pockets.
I looked on, under, and around the table I was sitting at, ran up to the counter to see if I left it there on our way in, and then it hit me…
Someone stole my wallet AND my phone.
I was wide awake.
I was 100% focused on finding my stuff right now!
I borrowed my friend’s phone and called my credit card and phone companies to cancel my card numbers and service.
It was too late.
In less than 30 minutes, the thieves had already racked up over $8,000 at a string of gift shops, pharmacies, and coffee houses.
They bought dozens of gift cards at a time and took out as much cash as they could.
I couldn’t believe it.
I was livid.
I spent the next three hours talking to police and scheduling appointments with officials to get a new driver’s license, passport, and a dozen other things.
I was full of energy.
I had to get this done.
I was flying out of the country in three days and didn’t have time to wait around and do nothing.
In the end, the police caught the thieves and I got all my identification in order (just barely) and caught my flight.
Control Your Sense Of Urgency
The more you let others control your sense of urgency, the more miserable you will be.
A 30-year study published in Social Indicators Research and reported in Scientific American found that the most miserable people in the world are those who always feel rushed AND always have extra time.
But isn’t having extra time a good thing?
People who have extra time they don’t know what to do with, time they’re trying to kill, are unhappy.
The more extra time you have, the more unhappy you will be.
And people who have lots of extra time yet still feel busy, are the most miserable of all.
These are the people who have no control over their personal and professional lives.
They go to work, get told what to do, go home, get told what to do, and then when they finally get a few hours to themselves, waste it doing nothing because they’re too mentally drained.
They waste time because their brain power is gone.
If you want to be happy in life, you need to be in control of your time and you need to fill that time with something purposeful and productive.
How To Stop Feeling Rushed
Life will push you around if you let it.
If you don’t set the agenda for your life, other people will set the agenda.
On a long enough timeline, you’ll feel pushed and pulled by dozens of mandatory activities.
Get to work on time!
Go to this meeting!
Answer my email!
Then, at the end of each day, you’ll get home exhausted and have nothing meaningful to do.
So you’ll pop something in the microwave, sit in front of the TV for four hours, and pass out on the couch like a drug addict.
The only way to avoid this fate is to reclaim your sense of urgency.
You need to stop letting other people use your sense of urgency against you and instead start using it to your advantage.
The key is to never feel hurried but always feel driven to accomplish something meaningful in your life, even in the face of adversity. Here’s how…
1. Stop letting other people make you feel hurried.
Urgency is a blessing and a curse.
It depends on how you use it. It depends on WHO you let use it.
If you use your sense of urgency to your advantage, you will achieve your goals quickly.
If you let others use your sense of urgency against you, you will meet your doom.
Allowing others to constantly hurry you, to press you forward to do their bidding, is what will make you feel busy but empty.
Hurry up and wait.
This is how you will feel every day.
Like you’re running someone else’s race and you can never catch up.
You’ll be told to sit and wait your turn and then to hurry up and get the next task done and then to sit and wait your turn again.
The only way to break free of this cycle is to realize that nothing anyone else wants you to do is urgent.
Truly it’s not.
The only thing that’s urgent for your life is the achievement of your personal goals.
You can either chase your goals urgently, or live frantically trying to help everyone else chase their goals.
Start training others to never use your sense of urgency against you.
You can do this by being less and less responsive to other people’s urgent requests.
Your sense of urgency is a tool you should use on yourself to get your mission-oriented tasks done.
It’s not a tool that other people should use on you to get their tasks done.
2. Commit to the moment by eliminating backup plans.
Bet on yourself, not others.
The first step to making your biggest goals a reality is to make a decision—a real decision—one where you cut yourself off from any other options.
Too many people clutter their lives with secondary projects, stale relationships, and comfortable positions in hopes that they will always have something to fall back on.
They choke themselves with these safety nets.
Look—you can’t develop a master plan for your life until you’ve burned all of your sad little backup plans.
Most people are either too afraid to commit to or too lazy to decide on a path for their lives.
The explosion of choices now available to everyone in the world negatively impacts these people’s desires and expectations.
As a result, they vaguely desire everything without ever really wanting one thing.
They expect it all, but have no idea what to expect.
The only way to avoid this trap is to trust yourself. Rely on yourself.
Cast aside your backup plans and safety nets. Commit completely to where you are right now and to a single path forward.
Commit to the biggest, scariest thing that you want to achieve.
Realize that your life is ending one minute at a time and your one chance to achieve something great is now, not later.
3. Take risks that put you in do-or-die positions.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
This is an English proverb meaning that difficult or impossible scenarios create innovative solutions that would otherwise never be created.
The solution is only possible with the problem.
Without an urgent problem to solve, nothing would get done.
The same holds true for your life.
It’s only when you are forced to act urgently that you become imaginative and tenacious.
It’s only when you’re given no way out that you create a way out.
The key is to start using this to your advantage.
You have to step outside of your comfort zone and put yourself in an unsafe position where you have to either act or go down.
You have to take risks. You have to break rules.
No one is ever going to come up and tap you on the shoulder and say, “it’s your turn” or “it’s okay, you’re not breaking the rules”.
Instead, the world will continue to dump rules on you like “think before you speak”, “wait your turn”, “do what you’re told”, and “don’t get ahead of yourself”.
If you blindly accept these rules, you will wake up one day and realize that you have indeed missed your turn.
The price of security is mediocrity.
If you want to live a life that’s more than average, you’re going to have to rock the boat.
You’re going to have to get very uncomfortable.
The more uncomfortable you get, the more your brain will snap to attention.
Purposefully put yourself in do-or-die situations and watch your brain and body respond with increased awareness, creativity, and intensity. Stay energized by committing to the moment and eliminating your safety nets and backup plans. Refuse to let other people use your sense of urgency against you and instead start using urgency to your advantage to achieve your goals in life.
To learn more about creating a positive sense of urgency in your life, and to get instant access to exclusive training videos, case studies, insider documents, and my private online network, get on the Escape Plan wait list.