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Emergency Living

By Rachelle Disbennett-Lee

There are times, when I am driving in my car being passed by so many other cars speeding along, that I could swear there is an emergency somewhere and I wasn't invited. It seems everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere. The other day I was sitting at a red light, the light turned green and the car in front of me sped away. At the next traffic light the same car was sitting in front of me and, when the light turned green, off the car sped. This went on for three lights. I must say that I was rather amused that this speed demon only seemed to be speeding to a red light, and wasn't getting any further along than I was. In life, this same phenomenon can happen. Going faster doesn't mean we will get where we are going any sooner. We just burn more energy, or gas if we are in the car, than we would if we went at a much safer speed.

I am reminded of Stephen Covey's quadrants. Tasks are classified as important, but not urgent or important and urgent. Most things don't fall into the important and urgent quadrant. In fact, few things do, but many of us operate out of that quadrant. We treat everything like it is an emergency, and we rush around putting out fires that don't exist. The problem with treating everything like an emergency is, when we really have one, we might not recognize it or we will be so burned out that we won't be able to deal with it properly.

If you are not sure whether you are emergency living here is a list of signs:

  • You are consistently five to ten minutes late

  • Clutter has become a way of life

  • You are either in "hurry up" or "catch up" mode

  • You consistently forget things and misplace things

  • You ran out of patience a long time ago

  • You take pride in how much you can do

  • You consider multi-tasking an art form

  • You promise yourself that, when life slows down, you will take time to do the things you always wanted to do

  • You make promises you don't keep

There is a great line from a song, "I'm in a hurry to get things done. I rush and rush until life's no fun." Emergency living causes us to rush right through life. We don't notice what is happening around us and, when we get to where we are rushing to, we simply hurry through so we can get to the next emergency. Slow down! You will get to where you are going soon enough. Like the person in the car rushing to each red light, they got nowhere fast.

If you speed through life treating it as an emergency, stop. Let's face it. The end will get here soon enough. Do you really want to get there any sooner than you have to? Slow down and smell the coffee, smell the roses; just smell. Rushing is no guarantee that you will get to your destination any sooner, but it is a guarantee that you will miss the most important part, the journey.

About The Author

Coach Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, PhD, is a Certified Master Coach specializing in working with business owners and professionals in being more profitable and productive while staying sane and balanced. Coach Lee is the publisher of the award winning e-zine, 365 Days of Coaching. Her first book, 365 Days of Coaching - Because Life Happens Every Day (Universal Publisher, 2004) was named a finalist for Best Book 2004 by and has a five star rating on Visit Coach Lee at her websites and

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