I don’t know how you play Monopoly, but the rules at our game table are strict. If you roll doubles one time, you get to roll again. Hooray! If you roll doubles three times in a row, you go directly to Jail. What?! That seems a little rough. How could good fortune and moving quickly around the board game result in you being sent to Jail?
If you throw doubles, you move your token as usual, the sum of the two dice, and are subject to any privileges or penalties pertaining to the space on which you land. Retaining the dice, throw again and move your token as before. If you throw doubles three times in succession, move your token immediately to the space marked “In Jail”.
The question of urgency here is often a double-edge. On the first roll, being able to move a couple of extra spaces can help move your game along. On the second roll, things become more risky. You are definitely skipping over some things that could be useful to your game. For example, you may want a chance at Community Chest or Free Parking that you will miss on that second turn.
How could good fortune and moving quickly result in you being sent to Jail?
Your 29 Days to Diva Day 25 Challenge is to Balance Your Ambition.
Striving for a goal can be glorious and, at other times, can be very ugly. We do not want our desire for career and artistic success to drive us toward ugliness. That ambition can blind us. We start playing farther afield than our token has moved. We are playing a different game in our mind than we are in real life. What a clear recipe for disaster!
The Cons of Urgency
The dark corners of our brains want us to believe that everything must be urgent. There it is, nagging at us again while we are enjoying dinner with our loved ones. There it is again while we are taking time to refuel. That voice that constantly tells you, “there’s somebody else out there who is younger and hungrier than you.” They are in the practice room. They are sending out that email. They are filling out applications. Stop! Nagging ourselves in this manner doesn’t help us work smarter. This type of self-talk puts us in a constant state of anxiety which only produces mediocre work.
It’s that constant voice, “there’s somebody out there younger and hungrier than you.”
Mediocre work, in fact, is a hallmark of destructive urgency. Urgency manifests fast work. Fast work is never our best work. They don’t talk about 10 hours to mastery. It’s 10,000 for a reason. Divas, I am writing this probably more for myself than any one of you. As a younger singer, I was hoodwinked from the get-go by urgency. I wanted to be fancy and showy before I knew how my voice worked. I wanted to impress people before I understood anything about my field. Urgency is a smooth talker. Do not get suckered in.
The Pros of Urgency
A sense of forward motion and understanding of importance can highlight the most beautiful aspects of our ambition. Sheryl Sandberg’s Ban Bossy campaign writes, “They’re bossy as little girls, and then they’re aggressive, political, shrill, and too ambitious as women.” We all know why these words come off as ugly. But, we can change the connotation in our own careers. The positive aspect of urgency will push us to work on projects we really care about with people we respect and admire. Zeal for our career ambitions will inspire us to connect with colleagues, directors, audiences, patrons, and more.
Have a sense of urgency in the day-to-day work. We cannot control every aspect of our career. We only have control over the work we set out to do. Urgently pursue the tasks you have set before yourself today so that you can gift yourself the feeling of accomplishment. The more we are able to give that to ourselves, the less intensely we will need it from other people.
Divas, I think ambition is a beautiful thing. But, I also have a keen sense when myself and others are rolling triples and finding themselves sent to jail. Constantly vying with professionals more mature than you will, at some point, turn into defensively guarding what you have earned from those who are coming up in the field. That is exhausting and no way to enjoy the path you have set for yourself. Don’t let urgency trick you into mediocre work. Do great work, divas. I know you can.
Ready to turn mediocre work into great work?
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