True urgency starts with a yellow light

Yesterday, a truck almost creamed me in North Hollywood. 

I was turning left and the truck was going forward.  The light was yellow.  He felt so much urgency he gunned it.  Fortunately, I did too – and my BMW 135 had enough beans to get me out of his way.  Whew. 

The whole experience caused me to think about his urgency, and urgency in general.  Taking a page from John Cleese, I slept on the idea. 

This morning I realized something:  Urgency is a yellow light, a half block and a fast car.  Action ensues, and sometimes accidents happen.  That's how life really is from personal to professional.  We have limited opportunities, where the light eventually turns red.  Sometimes, we get through life's intersections when the light is green (on schedule).  Others, we get there when the light is yellow, going on red. 

There are two types of urgency: 
*  Limited opportunities — These are presented to us with a limited window to respond or execute.  Often, by seizing the moment, we are rewarded.  These are actually few and far between.  Most opportunities have ample time to respond to, plan for or work against.  
*  Poking around too much — We put off, procrastinated and met about this project until it's over deadline.  We've thought more than acted on this opportunity, and now it's fading.  Much of our urgency lies in this area.  

Here's my bigger point:  Urgency requires sudden bursts energy, and much of its is frantic and dangerous.  We should strive, taking a page from Covey, to live in the important-not/urgent quadrant of life.  Today, I'm reviewing the opportunities I'm persuing and giving each one a light:  Red (over or not an opportunity), Yellow (act now or wait for the next one) or Green (There's time to effectively act on it).