note: this post was guest-written by Jess Rimington, an activist, strategist and entrepreneur working to eradicate inequity that dehumanizes. Check out her work here!
We live in a society that propels us to think everything is urgent, all the time. Why? Because we’ve been raised and trained in an economy that values humans for their labor and production capacity, and not much else. It’s easy to get tricked. It’s easy to be fooled into thinking all we are worth is our productivity —to measure our days by how many widgets we created, or emails we sent, or to-do list items we checked off. In fact, structures in our consumerist society are set up to make you feel as though this productivity is wrapped up with your self worth!
It’s an easy jump to think: well if I produce more, and faster, I’m worth more! When we are surrounded daily by colleagues, and sometimes even family members, who are bought into this way of thinking, we create entire cultures in our organizations and home lives where there’s a sense of constant urgency…urgency to prove something…but to whom?
When we act with a sense of urgency, we often make decisions from a place of fear rather than a place of intuitive, grounded wisdom. When we act from a place of time abundance versus urgency, we often act with greater calm, awareness and wisdom. There is something about turning one’s attention to the impacts possible across long spans of time that creates this grounded decision-making effect. To act with mindfulness towards the long run means that many decisions no longer make sense: like war or oil, for instance.
What would it look like for individuals and even whole societies to only make decisions from a place of intuitive, grounded wisdom?
Today, notice when you feel a sense of urgency. Ask yourself: where is it coming from? To whom might I be trying to perform for or prove something to?
Sometimes things are actually urgent. If your self-reflection provides a satisfying answer as to why this must get done now —then by all means proceed! If not, then stop what you are doing for some time. Take a few deep breaths. Remind yourself of the big picture, and imagine how the actions you are doing today will extend to create ripple effects for the week ahead, the month ahead, the year ahead, and even (if you can go there) 100 years ahead. Now, assess what is most important to do.
Notice the difference of what it feels like to act from a place of time abundance, calm and therefore with greater clarity.
Thanks for all that you are,
Jess & Kelly