Don't let the energy of your attention flow towards the infinity of urgency.
Urgency creates an attention poverty. It deprives us of the present moment and encourages us to make rash decisions, to act before thinking and to commit before considering.
Urgency disregards priorities and blatantly ignores what's important. It demands nothing short of immediate, unmindful action.
Things that are urgent are fleeting. They lose their value and their sense of importance with every passing moment and they feel important because they're fleeting.
We buy something because it's on sale or jump into a conversation so that we're heard; we stay on top of what's trending or keep up with our favorite shows, authors, or magazines; we stay with our job because it's a great opportunity or we indulge in the luxuries of life because, hey, life is short.
We chase these things because they're fleeting, because the unstoppable and relentless marching of time ensures that they will be gone, possibly forever, if we don't act now.
But what's important, what's truly important, remains important. It doesn't fade into the background when we ignore it. It doesn't disappear after a few days, weeks, or years.
It doesn't matter if we're rich or poor, if we're ten years old or a hundred years old, if it's Monday or Friday or if it's the weekend with a full moon: the important things remain important.
The important things are here to stay. They remain with us, patiently waiting until we're ready to sit quietly, bring our mind home, and give them the attention they deserve.
Urgency will never wait; you'll never catch it. Chasing what's urgent is a fools game. But embracing what's important, that's something that has meaning. That's something that has real value.
The urgent stuff will always be running away from us, but the important stuff -- the stuff that gives our life meaning -- is waiting patiently with open arms.
Now more than ever we need to stop listening to everyone else. We need to stop reading articles and books, watching videos, and listening to interviews where other people tell us what to do and what to think.
If you want to be a writer, stop reading about writing and start writing. If you want to build a business, stop looking for business advice and start failing. If you want to get in shape, stop saying you want to get in shape and start pushing your body beyond comfort.
If you want to change your life, stop reading about other life's and start taking the steps necessary to begin changing yours.
Do you think anyone could've changed themselves, or the world, if they had spent their lives snacking on social media, devouring stories of how other people changed the world, and thinking about all the things they could do?
We should all aspire to be great, not to imitate others but rather to discover what greatness exists within each of us. We should develop an insatiable appetite for empowering ourselves and exploring that vast source of untapped potential we all carry within us.
So consider this a plea from me to stop reading and start tinkering; stop talking and start being; stop dreaming and start doing; stop listening and start exploring. Yes, that includes not listening to me.
It includes ignoring people who constantly seek your attention. It includes disconnecting from being always-on and available. It includes prioritizing your life based on what is important instead of what is urgent.
Lots of stuff is urgent, but the important stuff is what makes us who we are. You must remember to do the important things first, because you are not what you read, or think, or say: you are what you do.