Avoiding the “Tyranny of the Urgent”

A few years back, I stumbled on a great little booklet, “Tyranny of the Urgent” by Charles E. Hummel. “Tyranny of the Urgent” … isn’t that a great phrase?

In life, there is the urgent and there is the important. They don’t necessarily overlap. Most people are so used to being ruled by the tyranny of the urgent, that a person who puts the important first can be perceived as a bit eccentric if not downright crazy.

Another phrase for putting the important first is LIVING DELIBERATELY. Putting the urgent first all the time is defensive living. I liken defensive living to standing on a melting ice-floe and trying to make oneself smaller and smaller to adjust to the shrinking space. No way to live!

Further Reading:

• Living Deliberately (book by Harry Palmer, author of The Avatar (R) Course materials). Available in print form, or immediate download as PDF. “Many people are trapped in mind-numbing routines. Their lives carom through a changing landscape of directions, rules, wins, and losses. THEN, occasionally, someone wakes up and realizes, ‘Hey, I am alive.’ This is an extraordinary moment. When it is examined, a seeker is born …”

Review of Charles Hummel’s Tyranny of the Urgent (Tsh Oxenreider, theartofsimple.net): “In the 1960s, Charles Hummel published a little booklet called Tyranny of the Urgent, and it quickly became a business classic. In it, Hummel argues that there is a regular tension between things that are urgent and things that are important—and far too often, the urgent wins. …”