Friday Ficks Column
The Facebook post sounded pretty urgent. It read, in part, that â€śI have an immediate need.â€ť Immediate is usually defined as â€śoccurring, acting or accomplished without loss or interval of time.â€ť
In other words, synonymous with instantaneous, swift, rapid or prompt. As in, this needs to happen NOW.
Was it urgent? Nope. The person was looking for someone who could strip off wallpaper. Really? Who knew there could ever be a code-red for wallpaper removal.
Rushing to the hospital to deliver a baby? Urgent and immediate. Escaping a burning building? Definitely urgent. Stopping a gushing water pipe before it floods your entire house? Equally urgent and immediate.
Stripping off wallpaper struck me as decidedly not urgent or immediate. The Facebooker seemed to lack perspective.
Perspective is an awareness that came in handy when a recent trip had me changing planes in Atlanta. The pilot flagged a tire issue at the departure city, leading to a six-hour flight delay and the inevitable missed connection.Â I also knew with absolute certainty that my checked bag would be swallowed by the same black hole where socks go to disappear once placed in the dryer.Â
Sadly, but not surprisingly, displaced passengers commenced verbally abusing airline personnel, as if the gate agents were solely responsible for the landing gear tire that needed to be replaced. Aviation "advice" also flowed freely, including "this plane doesn't need all six tires to take off or land." And other assorted gems like that, most missing the perspective mark.
In lieu of teeth gnashing and pearl clutching, I dipped into my perspective reservoir and asked myself if I had an "immediate need" to get on those flights.Â As in, it needed to happen NOW.
And in that pause, perspective ruled the day. Flight delays, a missed connection and a lost bag? Faux immediate needs, and grossly overrated.
I'm grateful for the gift of perspective (and the pilot who flagged the defective tire).
Carl Ficks helps busy professionals and their teams get back in the fitness game to reduce stress and increase productivity. He practiced law in New Britain for many years and is a proud member of the Generale Ameglio Society. He has run and cycled thousands of miles and competed in dozens of races, so when you're ready to get back in the game, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.