When everything feels urgent, choose significant instead

I think it’s safe to say that despite our quarantining and time spent at home, we all feel a sense of urgency right now.

We urgently want to make sure our kids are experiencing some semblance of a routine, we urgently want to find ways to be productive and use this time wisely, and we urgently want things to return to “normal.”

I feel it too—the desire to press fast-forward on what is clearly a very uncomfortable moment for all of us. But I think that would be a mistake.

I had originally intended to write this blog about urgent vs. significant living in the context of life on the go—work, social events, family dynamics, and so on. It was inspired by a quote I read in this Forbes blog about productivity.

Stop living urgent and start living significant.

But that feels miles away now. And yet, the meaning behind it has never been more applicable.

Friends, now is not the time to rush around, cluttering our days with shoulds and screens and avoiding how we really feel about the losses we’ve experienced, the incredible challenges ahead and the tension between what we want to be and what is.

We need to let go of that urgent way of living and let those feelings come, honoring our truth so that we can step into more significant living.

I’m reading Glennon Doyle’s new book, Untamed, and I think her description of significant living is spot on: The truest, most beautiful lives we can imagine.

It’s a grounded way of being—not necessarily easy, yet much more meaningful. Being present isn’t a struggle. Knowing and honoring our priorities takes precedent. And the people who matter most know it. 

Moving from urgent to significant isn’t a simple task, however, especially when our society is so clearly in crisis.

But it starts with acknowledging our discontent, as Glennon writes:

Discontent is evidence that your imagination has not given up on you. It is still pressing, swelling, trying to get your attention by whispering: “Not this.”

We’re all experiencing a heavy dose of Not this, and now is the time to tune in. Start writing down what feels uncomfortable and what a better present and future might look like. Talk it out with a partner or friend. Put your imagination in conversation with your discontent.

I’ve also noticed a heavy dose of self-imposed guilt making the rounds lately. We feel bad for feeling angry, sad, or anxious about our current circumstances because others have it worse. (And then we urgently try to avoid that guilt by completing tasks or mindlessly scrolling social media.)

But as my friend Alexis Joseph so wisely put in her recent post: Pain is not a competition.

Pain is relative, and you’re allowed to feel it. In fact, I encourage you to. Just don’t let it run the show.

If you need some help abandoning your urgent ways, reach out. I guide clients through difficult transitions so they can step into significant living, and I want that for you. Perhaps now is a better time than ever to invest in coaching to help you recalibrate so that when we emerge, you’re stronger than ever—and leaning into a life of significance. Here’s to ditching the urgent, and choosing the significant.

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