As we rush from meeting to meeting, task to task, project to project, how and when do we take the time to ask ourselves if we are doing more at the expense of “being” less? John Kotter talks of this as “false urgency.” We’ve all gotten very good at false urgency. And it’s not healthy. For us. For our teams. For our organizations. For our world. And, it’s not sustainable.
At the end of “The House at Pooh Corner” by A.A. Milne, Christopher Robin is telling Pooh that he won’t be able to do nothing anymore and will Pooh think of him when he is out in the world not doing “nothing.” Pooh promises he will and Christopher Robin promises that he will be there too (in spirit). And the story ends with the message that in that enchanted place in the Forest a little boy and his bear will always be playing.
As we are out in the world not doing nothing, we need to create time for ourselves to do nothing. It is in this sacred time of doing nothing that we find refreshment, rejuvenation, reconnection with our self and our journey, our meaning and our place. From this place we can distinguish between real and false urgency. From this place we can engage others with authenticity. From this place we can lead with real power.
Remember the old western movies when the stagecoach gets shot at and the driver drops the reins and the horses begin to run wildly! The stagecoach is headed toward the cliff and all will perish! The hero jumps onto the stagecoach, jumps down into the midst of the horses and grabs the reins to regain control and slow to stagecoach. Who’s driving your stagecoach and how fast are you going?
As we journey through life we leave a legacy with every person we encounter. What legacy are you creating? Is it time to be intentional? Is it time to regroup, refocus, and re-energize? Is it time for you to be the hero and regain control of your stagecoach?
We all want to feel as if who we are and what we are doing has meaning. How can we reconnect with our truest inner voice and rediscover our capacity to make our own meaning? How can we intentionally walk a path that moves us forward on a journey of our own making? How can we distinguish between true and false urgency, engage others with authenticity, and lead with real power. I think it starts with our making the time to sit in our enchanted place with a bear and play for a while.