In a recent story, the Independent newspaper reported how one woman responded when fire broke out in her house. As soon as she became aware of the emergency, she gathered up her four greyhound dogs and her son and ran out the door to safety.
When the fire brigade arrived, they asked her if everyone was out of the house. It was only then that she remembered that her grandson was still sleeping inside. Fortunately, firemen were able to rescue him, and so the drama didn’t turn into a crisis.
When I read this, I was reminded of how often the urgent gets our attention before the important. It’s easy to be regularly overtaken by events, and as a result keep putting off the most important things in our lives. Even at work, we’re not immune to these pressures.
If you find that you’re constantly putting off the important to deal with the urgent, then you’re headed for trouble. There’s a good reason why some things are important and others are not.
It’s all too easy to be critical of this poor woman who was used to having her son and dogs with her, but less so her grandson. Before we rush to judgment, we need to look closely at our own responsibilities.
Bruce Hoag, PhD, CPsychol