Success Requires Urgency

Success Requires Urgency

Everyone should have a sense of urgency -- it is getting a lot done in a short period of time in a calm, confident manner. - Bob Proctor

One of the interesting things about the holiday season is that we look back on last year's results and look forward to next year's opportunities. Most of us started this year saying "This is MY year!" The end of the year brings a natural urgency. We see another year gone and we want be more successful next year.

Somewhere around mid-January though, we gave up on our resolutions and went back to business as usual. This cycle stops now. This article will serve as the first installment of our six-week series on the keys to success. I will begin with one of my favorite topics and words: urgency.

My reason for urgency was clarified October 16, 2013 at 6:15a when my family woke up to the sounds of fire alarms and the smell of smoke. We all made it out of the house safely, but when you realize your life could have ended, it makes you consider your impact. I stay urgent because I know I have so much more to give. 

Urgency has many sources, fire alarms going off; a spouse tells you they want a "break"; your boss tells your job is being downsized; or your bank account dips uncomfortably low...again. Complacency is the mortal enemy of urgency! 

Complacency, that feeling that this is as good as it can get and I shouldn't expect more. Complacency lulls you into a false sense of security and you start living on autopilot. The days begin to blur together.

You lose your edge, sense of purpose and settle for what's available instead of working for what you really want. No one gets up in the morning and says "I'm phoning in the next decade," complacency sneaks up on you over time. 

What's really horrible about complacency is that deep down you know you are destined for something better. Urgency, on the other hand, pushes you to accomplish more than you think you can because you know you have no choice.

A sense of urgency is created when you realize you only have a limited amount of time to make your impact. There is good news. Whether you are 25 or 75 you can shed the warm blanket of complacency.

Here are a few of the ways I stay in an urgent state of mind.

Take a longer view

Success Requires Urgency

When you are going day-to-day or week-to-week you are more likely to be caught up in the daily grind and unable to think about your big picture goals and desires. This shortened time horizon also makes it more difficult to make better decisions for your long-term success.

Do This: Begin today thinking about what, where, and who you will be with in 1, 3, or 5 years. Taking a longer view on your success will help you in a number of ways. You can start to make decisions based on your 5-year destination instead of your 2-week situation. Make decisions based on your 5-year destination instead of your 2-week situation. Make decisions based on your 5-year destination instead of your 2-week situation.

Get clear on your goals

Nothing lights a fire like getting clear on your goals again. The mere act of setting new goals and clarifying old goals reawakens urgency. When you have a destination you are more likely to continue the journey.

Do This: Take 15 minutes today and write out your top 5 goals. If you have more fine, but get these down on paper. Be vivid, be descriptive, and set some stretch goals.

Get uncomfortable

You've got to get mad as hell and decide you aren't going to take it anymore. The unforgettable scene in the 1976 movie Network is still relevant and should jump to mind for you. And the funny thing is you never had to take it. You have always had the power to achieve more, do more, and be more you just have to exercise your power. But you have to become so uncomfortable with your current situation that you are ready to change.

As long as complacency has it's icy grasp on you won't have the desire to make big changes. You will be fine in a job you can't stand and a marriage that could be better. You will continue to make excuses for things that can be remedied. It's time to get uncomfortable with average and the status quo.

Do This: Reclaim control of your situation. You are where you are because of your choices. Different choices, different outcomes. Think about where you want to go, what you want to become realize you are the change agent.

Enlist help

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Find a mentor, a coach, get into a mastermind, or find or create an accountability group. History has shown that success is very rarely a one-person act. You need to enlist people who will support and encourage your development and success.

This could be one of the best things you can do for yourself this year. If you do just this one thing, it could spell the difference between repeating last year's results or making real progress on your goals.

Do This: Today, look for a success support group, a mastermind, a coach, or a mentor. This process might take several weeks or months but don't stop looking until you have found someone who will support you on your journey. You can check our Momentum community out here.

Meet New People

Complacency is never going to be crushed if your inner circle is complacent. It has been said that we will become the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. Consider your social circle, as it goes, you go.

Do This: Think about your closest friends and the people you spend the most time with. If you are the average of them, how does that make you feel? Find a networking group where you can meet other people who are on a similar life trajectory.

About the author 

Dr. David Arrington

David a husband, father and the principal of Arrington Coaching. He and his team work with leaders, teams, organizations, and entrepreneurs. He regularly speaks and writes on leadership development, team alignment, and peak performance.

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