Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Now

Caught Barack Obama on CSPAN late last night. He was in Boston, delivering a primary-eve talk to a raucous crowd. Amazing stuff; it defies logic that he can lose, but paradoxically it will be extraordinary if he wins.

Early in his speech Barack quoted Martin Luther King. Something about the urgency of now ... thirsting for more, I Googled the relevant passage from MLK's speech (4 April 1967 in NYC):

We are now faced with the fact , my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now… We must move past indecision to action.
Tomorrow is today. The urgency of now. Moving past indecision to action. Redkindles several rants herein, including our Just Do It lament.

Moving beyond inspiring words to pragmatic actions, think of personal, professional and athletic experiences, memorable, meaningful and measurable accomplishments in your life. Could be a tennis tournament where you kicked it into sixth gear, acting with an uncommon urgency and purpose. Or the moment you decided you wanted to spend the rest of your life with your spouse; tomorrow, perhaps you mused, is today -- let's do this. Or, the point in time where you truly -- emotionally, professionally, personally and financially -- committed to start a company. The time was then (now), and you shifted from indecision to action. You pointed your tips downhill with a great sense of urgency and purpose.

The urgency of now is paradoxically inspiring and scary. Reminds me of Eleanor Roosevelt's challenge: Do one thing every day that scares you. Living in today, floating through indecisive moments, resisting change (now!) is comfortable. Shifting gears to tomorrow, to action, to now is the spark (or ante) to great things. And, it beats the pulp out of the apathetic, ambivalent alternative.

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