I read a book a couple of years ago called Tyranny of the Urgent by Charles E. Hummel in which Hummel describes that in business, there’s a constant tension for a leader between tasks that seemingly require immediate attention and more strategic tasks. The tension arises because the leader knows they need to focus on strategic work, but the stream of day-to-day responsibilities is endless and will prevent the accomplishment of strategic work if it is allowed to, effectively creating a Tyranny of the Urgent.
This concept has stuck with me since I was first introduced to it because it’s very simple and, well, because it’s totally true. If we don’t make time for strategy, “urgent” tasks will eat us alive. Moving well beyond the business context, you have to be willing to set some things aside from time to time, or even quit some activities altogether to get where you want to go in your personal development journey. You’ll never just have time. You have to intentionally make time. You have to make time to think about your life and what you want to do with it. You have to make time to think about what changes you wish to bring about and how you wish to bring them. You have to make time to consider how you want to show up in your life and how you may be able to bring more of your best self to your life. Life will just keep on coming whether you’re winning your dreams or not.
Strategize and Get After it!
Listen, you’re not getting any younger. What do you really want? What’s preventing you from getting after it? From many change initiatives that I’ve taken on, I have learned that the first step is the hardest. Sure, there’s fear sometimes (or a lot of times) but you know you have to get started or it will never happen, right? What you need is a plan. No, more than a plan. You need a strategy. You see, plans can change but a strategy can allow you some flexibility to allow plans to change while keeping you on track and in a healthy mental and emotional state to make progress toward your goals.
Once you have taken the time out to figure out what you want and you have a working strategy that can get you there, the next thing you’ll need to do is…actually get started. Don’t be one of those people who are all talk. So many dreams go unrealized in this world because so many dreams go un-chased. I think of it like this: I don’t know how I came to be here, a conscious being in this world. I don’t know how my dreams came to be, either. Perhaps it’s my cosmic responsibility to chase my dreams. Perhaps someone needs to hear what I have to say in order for them to chase their dreams. There’s a lot about this existence that I don’t know, but I do know this: I’m going to chase dreams and help people chase theirs, because life is just too damn short.