This raging water runs right through a small Japanese temple in Aizuwakamatsu, Japan. It is a beautiful source of sound, refreshment and energy. The lush area thrives on this movement and it brings life and joy to everyone who experiences it. One cannot miss the energy and vitality this raging water commands.
As I stood there watching the water do its thing, I was reminded that life is a lot like this river. It has high points, low points, things to command our attention and things that get over looked if we only focus on the noisy, busy work. Many people were watching the water, walking along its edge and following it along its path while totally missing the beautiful buildings and surrounding areas. By focusing on the loud and urgent they missed the quiet and serene.
I thought about all the times when I spent hours and hours getting things done simply because someone told me they were urgent, when in reality they were only urgent to them. If I had stayed focused on what was important to my world their task would have gotten done within my timeline not theirs, and I would have felt more focused and appreciated.
There will always be urgent things, urgent for other people and some intervening task that must be done in order for the world to keep spinning…or that is what the person asking you to do their urgent items will lead you to believe. When in reality the urgent item will come and go like water raging through a temple. It will demand attention, steal away your focus and if you let it prevent you from seeing or doing what you really wanted to see and do. The key is being able to put the raging water into perceptive while getting done what is important to you.
The best people I know have an uncanny ability to say yes by saying no. They usually do not say no, they say not now, or not in your suggested timeframe however I can have it done by ‘X’, or I can do it when I get these tasks I am focused on done. Being able to focus on what is important to you means you really are making choices to support what is important to you no matter who or what gets dumped into your world.
Maybe someone else can do it in the desired timeframe? Maybe someone else could learn a great deal by doing it instead of you? Maybe the urgent is merely important to someone else and has nothing to do with the earth spinning around the sun? Maybe you will feel better about everything if you focus on the things in your own world first, then allocate time to navigate the raging waters that are the urgent tasks from someone else? And maybe by not acquiescing to the urgent the important will get done and the urgent will later find itself not so urgent.