The modern world rushes by us with a trillion distractions, each wanting to grab your focus and hold you occupied. Sometimes this is referred to as the tyranny of the urgent. It makes it sound like it holds us against our will and we just can’t help ourselves. But I think we like it. It keeps us from having to really consider the deeper questions of life but with the pleasant excuse of telling everyone it’s not that we don’t care, it’s just that we are too busy.
We are addicted to urgency. The little things that demand our attention right now and they provide immediate satisfaction. It feels like we did something. We responded to that email, we retweeted that insightful quip, we caught up on the news. The problem is in the river of urgent requests that we all find ourselves swimming in, when do we get out of the stream and reflect.
For many of us, the holidays and new year provide some time for reflection though at times it feels unpleasant. Like the chill after a swim without the sun to warm us up. We see all the things that we believe are important but that have been neglected. Maybe its how our body feels, maybe it’s relationships, or doing good for others. It’s not pleasant to reflect on those things and so sometimes we take the cheap path, throw down some goals and jump back into the river.
We need to find a way to get out of the river more often, experience the withdrawal from our drug of choice, and figure out where we are. When we find ourselves saying we were too busy for something or we didn’t make time for it, we should then ask ourselves why?
Lean into that hard question because that is where the important lies.
Photo Courtesy: Trey Ratcliff