How To Achieve More by Living with Fierce Urgency

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January 5, 2018
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January 9, 2018

How To Achieve More by Living with Fierce Urgency


hen coaching people, a common question that I keep getting is:

How can I inject the aspect of urgency in my life?

Now that is a great question to ask. The few people who ask this question are those who are concerned by the kind of impact that their lives are having on earth. I think one of the most niggling things in life that chew on us unabated is leading an impact-less unfulfilled life.

The Natural Process of Getting Urgency

For the most part, the urgency in our lives is always created by an adversity. Nothing knows how to put life in perspective than adversity does. In my Book, Turn Your Setbacks into Major Comebacks, I talk about several phases that we go through in life.

The most dangerous phase is that “After a Crisis”. In this phase, we easily forget the hardships and setbacks we had because we are living in abundance. This can be one of the most deceptive phases of life. Seemingly, the bliss we are experiencing now appears to us as if it will never come to an end. Believe me, I have not come across a single soul who is experiencing life of bliss from the day they were born to the day they die.

What Happens when Adversity Hits

Somehow, as long as we are passionate about something, and as long as we are not in control of all aspects of life, we shall face a setback. It is when we are in a setback or when we have a hint of one coming our way that we start putting our house in order.

  • We start watching our nutrition
  • We start watching our expenditures
  • We start minding our reserves and savings
  • We fiercely guard what we have acquired
  • Time and resources seem so precious
  • We tend to develop a heart of care and compassion for others
  • We start to value our relationships
  • We no longer want to take things for granted

But Why Not Now?

These are very beautiful things to do. But pray tell me, why would we want to wait until a crisis hits us so that we get sensitive and alive to these things? Why is it that we cannot live by these standards each waking day? This article I write not to people but also to myself.

I am sharply reminded of the words spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr as he addressed the world when he took a bold stand against the Vietnam war:

“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there “is” such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”

We have already seen that one way of getting that fierce urgency of now operate in your life is to wait until tragedy hits you. Unfortunately, that is a little bit too late. I want to suggest two or three ways that we ought to live daily that will result in us living a daily life that espouses the urgency of now.

1. Life on Purpose:

Perpetual leisure is for the purposeless. Those with purpose live with urgency of time spent impacting the world. When a life of purpose is clarified, inherently it comes loaded with passion and urgency. Last evening I heard Steven Furtick saying that the advice we give young people to “follow their passion” is wrong. He says that purpose is steadfast and does not depend on how you are feeling. I agree. A life on purpose brings with it a life of urgency.

However, when you lead your life devoid of any purpose, any pursuit of something greater than yourself, it becomes so easy to:

  • Get bored
  • Gossip
  • Spend more time on entertainment than education
  • Watch TV/Series all day
  • Read all news papers
  • Watch all news
  • Go clubbing and hang out with friends

As you can see, all these things do not need any urgency in them…and yet I see people injecting urgency in them. Have you seen people speeding back home in order not to miss a TV show? What kind of profit is there in that urgency? None at all. If that self-same person had a white hot burning purpose and passion that they are pursuing on anything, the urgency is spent differently.

2. Getting Intentional

Like Steven Furtick says, you cannot depend on feelings to fulfill your purpose. I can say this with lots of confidence: The people who do not have a clear purpose or vision that they are pursuing but are intentional in how each minute of their day is spent, they are so close to getting to their purpose. When you get intentional about your day, week, month or year, it means that you work with goals, schedules and to do lists (as well as not to do lists).

Take a look at the life of someone who lacks intention in their day. They just show up (whether they are employed or not) for the day and let life dictate what they can do. That person lacks urgency. Unfortunately, many people are in that situation. They are waiting for life to dictate the agenda for the day. They have not taken time to be reflective enough and decide what they would love to do with the time that God has given them.

When you get intentional:

  1. You decide what, why, when, how and where to do something
  2. You decide the duration it will take to do something
  3. You communicate with everyone involved
  4. You prioritize time as precious
  5. You suddenly learn to say “NO” to requests that do not fit in your ultimate intentions
  6. You learn interesting and powerful ways to achieve more with less time
  7. You learn to track what you intended to do
  8. You get motivated because you are under a personal mandate

I think it is a seriously dull life to live if it lacks any form of urgency. Waiting for life to bring curve balls to us before we become urgent is not wise either. The fierceness of the now is what we need to work with daily. That is my personal ambition in 2018.