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How to Live With Urgency (And Avoid Regrets!)

by Steve Siebold

Most people operate like there is an endless amount of time in a day, week, month, year and life. One day you’re in college and before you know it you’re in your Golden Years of retirement. Indeed, life goes by quickly, and there is no such thing as an endless amount of time.

The most successful people realize this early on and are extremely sensitive to time. The great ones have a sense of urgency because they are operating at a level of awareness that constantly reminds them the present moment is all any of us really have.

stopped watch

Champions are on a mission to fulfill a dream, and they know the clock is ticking. The only time amateur performers develop a sense of urgency is toward the end of the day, week, or before they go on vacation. Imagine if they channeled that same energy, enthusiasm and focus into their everyday performance. Worldwide productivity would probably triple in one day.

Professional performers constantly remind themselves that life is short and if they are going to make something happen, now is the time. This thought process makes most people uncomfortable. Remember, the average person is operating in a state of mild delusion. Knowing the clock is ticking and none of us know how much time we have left is too uncomfortable for emotional amateurs to think about.

For pros, on the other hand, who operate from objective reality, or the way things really are, it’s a primary motivating force. It’s one of the reasons the great ones tend to pursue large, magnificent visions. They know their time on earth is limited and they want to leave a legacy. Their sense of urgency goes back to the beginning of the mental toughness process – clearly defining what they want.

Start acting with urgency and see more results

What do you have a sense of urgency to do? If you know the answer, you can implement this world-class philosophy immediately. If not, make it your mission to discover the embers that burn within your sole and focus that passion on what you really want. Don’t stop until you find it. Ask yourself questions like:

  • If I could have anything, what would it be?
  • How do I define success?
  • What do I really want to get out of my life?
  • When I’m 90 years old and looking back on my life, what do I want to see?
  • What legacy do I want to leave for my children and grandchildren?

When you figure it out, create a sense of urgency to act on it now. Don’t hesitate. Don’t put it on the backburner and say you’ll revisit it again soon. Soon will never come. Make the decision to do it now. Pursue your dream boldly and fearlessly now, because today is all you have.

To heighten your sense of urgency, do a little mathematical calculation. Based on statistics by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the average man living today in America will live 76.4 years. The average woman will live 81.2 years. Based on your current age and these statistics, how many days do you have left to live? Keep this number in front of you as a reminder the clock is ticking and there is no time to lose.

If that doesn’t do it for you, ask yourself this critical thinking question: is the goal for my life to arrive safely at death? The number one regret of most people on their death beds is that they didn’t take more risks and as a result missed out on major opportunities that could have drastically changed the course of their life. Don’t let this happen to you.

The Takeaway

Decide today to get into the great game of life. One of the best ways to do this is to start living with a sense of urgency in all that you do. Live big, dream big and go for it now while you still can. I promise you won’t regret your decision.


steve siebold headshot 2Steve Siebold is author of 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of The World Class, and a mental toughness consultant to Fortune 500 management teams, entrepreneurs, professional athletes and other super achievers.

Featured photo by JD Hancock

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