Today I was listening to a podcast from BiggerPockets.
The guest was talking about something that I’ve been fighting against and losing for a good portion of my adult life.
He describes the fight that we all have when we’re trying to go from Zero to One while maintaining all the machinery that keep our day-to-day lives on track.
He explained how our brains were not designed to address the important, but instead were made to ensure the urgent was taken care of.
The problem comes from the fact that the important is almost NEVER urgent.
The actions that will lead to financial security in 20 years does not feel urgent.
The workout that you should do today to stave off illness in 40 years does not feel urgent.
The schooling that you should pursue in order to have a better life in 5 years does not feel urgent.
Figuring out how to work less so you can spend more unstructured time with your children doesn’t feel urgent.
On the other hand..
The bill laying on the kitchen counter with the red writing feels urgent.
The email your boss sent you about a report due next week feels urgent.
Because of these misleading feelings – we can go our whole lives taking care of the urgent and missing the opportunity to do anything truly important.
Distractions like tv, social media, and screen time don’t help.
They distract us from our inner voice and prevent boredom from creating space for us to reflect on where we are falling short and missing the mark.
Adding to the problem is the fact that addressing the truly important often feels like wasted time. We may put in hours, weeks, months, or years of work before we see a significant change in the circumstances we are trying to affect.
He calls the urgent that fills our daily life “the whirlwind”.
Our biggest challenge to being truly effective is learning how to manage the whirlwind and make sure that daily we are accomplishing something truly important.
This has been the biggest struggle I’ve faced in the past 5 years, as what is most important get’s a lot murkier after graduation. The surrogate marker for success of schooling or certifications isn’t always the most efficient way forward.
I’ve set goals, and tried to make my important goals tangible.
I’ve started to work on those goals, but usually give up when the whirlwind of life has made being consistent too difficult. And I usually don’t spend a-lot of time defining the actions that will make my final goal attainable.
I’m tired of this cycle and not seeing progress.
I have to move forward this year. By setting clear goals, defining clearer action plans and lead indicators, and finally by executing on those goals.
And I wrote today.