For Goodness’ Sake with William Brown: How to find a sense of urgency

In my last article, I wrote what it means to be in a rush when you feel the lack of time. This week, I want to talk about what it means to move with a sense of urgency. The two are quite different.

Having a sense of urgency means that you are able to move with purpose at the speed of thought – that the distance between having a thought and acting on that thought is short.

A key factor in developing a sense of urgency is confidence – the confidence that what you are doing is the right thing to do and an important thing to do. If you are sure that what you are doing is worth it, the willpower to take action will present itself. Sounds great, right? Well, sometimes we need a little confirmation.

And that’s when it’s time to rely on our intuition, on our instincts. According to Deepak Chopra, “intuition is an interesting form of intelligence, which is beyond the rational mind… contextual, relational, holistic; it does not have an advantageous and losing orientation as it eavesdroppers into the context of the larger mind and, in spiritual traditions, intuition literally eavesdrop on the mind of the universe. It taps you into the bigger picture and your role in it.

Your intuition, that gut feeling, is the compass that tells you to move and points you in the right direction. Your intuition, says Chopra, “should actually guide you to make evolutionary choices spontaneously.” Your intuition is all the confirmation you need to flow with that sense of urgency, to act confidently towards the right, the important, the useful.


Having a sense of urgency means that you are able to move with purpose at the speed of thought – that the distance between having a thought and acting on that thought is short.

William Brown - Bonfire GraphicsNow, having a sense of urgency can apply to inaction just as to action. As quickly as our intuition can lead us to action, it can lead us to inaction, to hold on, to let what seems like an opportunity pass, to make sure this is not the time to act with a sense of urgency. Our intuition can lead us to determine that something is wrong, irrelevant and non-essential. And that’s fine.

Because sometimes knowing when not to act also requires urgency.

Truth be told, the next time you need to express your sense of urgency, appeal to your intuition first. Does it push you to action? If not, stay still. If it does, run with it. Go, and the speed of the intestine.

William W. Brown is the founder and chair of the board of directors of Legacy Early College. [email protected]

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