On Urgency

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli
On Urgency

My computer is about to run out of juice and apparently I left the power cord back in a hotel room in Philly.

I feel this is some great metaphor for life.

Because, here I am: racing against time to get the blog done before the battery dies—writing with a sense of urgency, trying to write fast, to THINK fast, to be creative, quickly! … Will I finish? Will I make it? Is the screen about to go dark?  And what about those emails I need to send out, ASAP? And what of that report I keep putting off? How will I do it? Why am I so foolish to have left the cord behind? (Insert wailing and gnashing of teeth, hands clutched to my head, general histrionics.)

When really, all I need to do is run over to the office supply store and buy a new cord. There is no urgency at all; rather, a minor inconvenience. A slight delay.

How often do we “place” urgency on a situation that really doesn’t demand it?

Why, just yesterday I found myself on the verge of a complete emotional breakdown due to the malfunctioning of our brand-new coffee maker. (But I mean, we’re talking about our morning caffeine and the prospect of starting the day without it… without it, people! … so maybe we’ll excuse that one.) And last week I nearly shoved a sweet old lady out of the way in order to stop my child from toppling off the seesaw. (A mighty foot off the ground! Treacherous!)

Anyway, I will be the first to admit that my reactions to certain situations might just contain a bit more… shall we say—gusto?—then they perchance need. It’s our knee jerk reaction rather than our thoughtful reflection. It’s what happens when we react first and think sometime later. It’s our tunnel vision rather than our big-picture contemplation.

Because, all it takes is one additional second to realize that I will just need to go buy another power cord. Or to remember that there are half a dozen coffee shops within a five-mile radius, should I not be able to acquire coffee within my own household. Or to know that should my child indeed topple off the seesaw, that twelve-inch topple will amount to nothing more than a mild “ouch!” before playing commences once more. Honestly, a split second of additional thought can make the difference between an “AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!” reaction and a “Hmmm” response. That split second, if we take it, can do wonders to reduce the amount of “urgent” situations in our days, lowering our stress levels and allowing us to take the day in stride.

I have to go. Because if I don’t get my co-workers some important information they need about some upcoming events… I mean if I don’t tell them TODAY, RIGHT NOW! … well, then I suppose I will just tell them tomorrow.

What “urgency” can you re-examine today?  


Interested in having Erika’s blog come directly to your e-mail each Tuesday? Have comments to share?  E-mail her at erika@tlpnyc.com.   Find all her previous blog posts at www.tlpnyc.com/author/erika

Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.