A Sense of Urgency

I think we’ve all read at some point that a sense of urgency is a key component to taking action. I believe this is true – most people I know wouldn’t do anything if there wasn’t some underlying importance involved. What I’ve come to discover however, is that the creation of that sense of urgency can be intentional.

A person’s ability to create and maintain a strong sense of urgency is directly proportionate to their ability to take action. We’re talking all sorts of actions – washing the dishes, finishing a report, even making a career change. Not all actions have an equal effect on your quality of life, but I’m sure we can both agree that some are more important than others.

So we know that a sense of urgency is important to taking action. How do I create this sense of urgency when it’s not there? How do I consciously become aware that I might be lacking in this department, then make an intentional decision to make a change?

Your Environment is a Catalyst for Change

“We make the world we live in and shape our own environment.” – Orison Swett Marden

FrustrationTake a look at your current situation: more specifically your job and relationship with loved ones. I would speculate that there are few that are able to make take action when their environment doesn’t force them to. Most of the time, the world around you is screaming for change and you have no choice but to react.

You could have a job you hate, or possibly be involved in a relationship that’s unhealthy. Either way, your situation is in the pits and you need change. Your environment is fostering your sense of urgency.

Sometimes you’ll run into a situation where your environment is actually just peachy, but you still want to change. If you lack a sense of urgency, it’s pretty obvious the reason – you’re environment doesn’t need you to change.

In this case, may have to go out of your way to create an environment that pushes you to make change happen, otherwise the change will either come extremely slow or not happen at all (probably the latter). This is exactly what happened to me.

When I had my son, I had the opportunity to work from home full-time while my wife continued to work as a nurse and take care of all monthly expenses. She gave me the gift of pursuing any career or business I wanted, as long as I was pursuing something. Guess what? Change didn’t come nearly as fast as I wanted it. I simply had no sense of urgency for it to happen any sooner than it was.

Once I decided to resume my job with my previous employer, then the wheels started churning like crazy. Here I am with a job that I don’t want forever and now I need to find a way out! I began to invision successful business ventures, and other scenarios such as becoming a master web developer designing useful apps for business professionals. I didn’t think about these things nearly as often compared to my life as a stay-at-home dad. Not even close.

My new environment screamed for change and my conscious-self reacted by first creating a sense of urgency, then driving my thoughts towards solving the problem and finally taking action.

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill

What Do You Believe?

I used to believe that some people were just born with that spark; an indescribable personality trait that always steered them towards greatness and success.

I don’t subscribe to that belief anymore. As long as I am intentional about always moving myself outside of my comfort zone by creating an environment that screams for change, I can count on my conscious-self to create a sense of urgency to take action.

Are there any important decisions you’ve made in the past that didn’t stem from a sense of urgency? How did you get yourself to take action?

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