Many perceived “emergencies” in our daily life and work are not real emergencies. We treat them as emergencies due to our preference to finish and to focus on more positive items. I have run into many seemingly urgent and unexpected obstacles which I did not have a solution for at the time. In the past, I would attach myself to a problem and tirelessly force its resolution. I have had a good success rate – one can not argue with persistence! However, that persistence may come at a very high mental and physical expense. The solution is not about working hard, rather knowing the urgency of an issue and the degree we put our focus and energy into it immediately. Some call it working smart.
Now, if I run into seemingly urgent, unexpected obstacles which I do not have a solution for, I ask myself, is it a real emergency? Can it wait an hour or two? If the answer is yes and I go back to the issue after a while, I either have a solution for it or somehow it has been resolved (consider user error, network outage …).
The bird in the poem below can be you or I in some aspect of our life. Sometimes by just sitting idle, observing and assessing our situation we can be more effective; otherwise, sometimes our exhaustion may force us to be quiet and idle waiting for resolution of our perceived emergency.
Bird in the Glass House
Have you heard the story of the bird
who flew into a house with many large windows?
A scary new environment
with clear views of open skies.
Confined, tight spaces are not part of his nature.
A person chases him and makes gestures
toward a door.
Bird trusts no one.
He can get out of this situation by himself!
He musters all his energy to force his way out.
Bird tries and tries to fly through the glass.
Each try brings more pain to his small body.
Panicked and out of breath Bird keeps trying.
Exhausted and hopeless
Bird collapses on the floor.
Giving up hope, Bird accepts his perceived demise.
The stranger holds the bird gently in her hand
taking him through the door outside.
She lays Bird gently in a small tree.
After a while
Bird flies in the open skies again.
Did you realize Bird’s exhaustion and subsequent letting go
was the key to his freedom?
What part of your life is similar to this bird’s story?
Copyright . 2011 by Shervin Hojat