Practical Life Extension, Part 1.2, Urgencies
The earlier advice about starting with health, psychology,
and efficiency does not apply if you are faced with urgent
problems more important than minor changes to your health,
psychology, and efficiency. Your health or psychology can
themselves be an urgent problem. Efficiency is unlikely to
be an urgency but the more urgent things are, the more
important it is that you be efficient.
An important urgency is something which will significantly
effect some important aspect of your (or someone's) life
and which you may be able to do something positive about if
you act soon (quickly, efficiently, etc.). If you can not
influence it don't sweat it. If it is not as important as
minor changes to your health, psychology, or efficiency,
don't sweat it until you get those running smoothly.
Even if you are a fairly generous person consider being a
little selfish here. You will never be able to help as
many people or help them as much if you do not do a good
job looking out for your own health, psychology, and
efficiency. Triage is not pleasant but it beats the
Some possible urgencies are, medical problems, suicidal
impulses, moving towards major psychiatric disorders,
things that will save or cost you a lot of time or energy,
significant and easy changes to your income or financial
well being, rare opportunities for something really
important, physical hazards, likely accidents, likely
violence, a war or unrest which affects you directly (or
which you can do something significant about), sufficiently
important political issues, rapidly evolving legal
problems, fires, disasters, etc.
Preparing for unlikely urgencies is not urgent compared to
working on your health, psychology, and efficiency because
there are so many possibilities that preparing for them all
will take a long time and be easier if you are at your
best. The same principle applies to dealing with important
long-term goals. Get the ball rolling on your health,
psychology, and efficiency and keep working on them anytime
you can make significant improvements. In the long run a
little bit of time spent on these three things will help
you reach all of your other goals. I'll talk about how
much time to spend on them later. The answer is neither
none nor all day.
Some urgencies are obvious and some are not (obviously).
There are urgencies in the world, which you do not know
about. Things that may effect you which you do not know
about. Do not try at this point to figure them all out.
Most people would find that overwhelming. And once again,
there are many of them so focus on your long-term
performance. Many people will die today. You may die
today. Live with it. However there are some things worth
keeping your eye on. And if you see a significant positive
difference you can make, do it.
Look for a source of local news. AM radio news stations or
talk stations often have the most up to the minute news. A
few minutes at the right time of the hour a few times a day
will keep you more informed than most people. A local
daily or weekly paper will also give you some news focused
on your area. For now look for urgencies. Things that
could significantly effect you soon, which you can do
something about. A local Internet news sight also may do a
good job of keeping you informed. I will say a lot more
about news later. For now just avoid being an ostrich. If
you flip on the radio, tune three or four local am news or
talk stations and hear nothing urgent odds are there is no
urgent important news.
Another way to check on news is to say hi to your friends
every now and then and ask them what is important to them
lately. They are your friends, so you want to help when
you can easily do so. While you are at it, share your
current interests with them and see if they have anything
to offer. Friends can also pass on general news. When you
are out and about asking people what's new or what they
think is important may net you some news or ideas.
Try to stay aware of your surroundings. Your surroundings
are about five or ten light years but closer things tend to
affect you more often. Missiles, diseases, wars, etc. can
travel the globe quickly so pay some attention to what is
going on. If you hear a commotion, alarms, etc. cautiously
check it out until you figure out what is going on or
decide on some prudent action. Try to stay as aware as
practical of the sensory (sounds, smells, tactile
sensations, and sights, in your environment. See if you
can expand your range and awareness. Don't be paranoid.
Most of what you sense will be pleasant and relaxing or of
no concern to you but sometimes you will benefit from
knowing what is going on sooner rather than later.
There are also many lesser urgencies, appointments, work,
bills, favors, opportunities, romance, classes, moving.
Rearranging your schedule to do these things may make
sense, putting off minor heath or psychology issues for a
few days may make sense sometimes. There may be
compromises to be made. However, none of these things
should interfere with paying attention to your basic
health, psychology, or efficiency. Be careful not to let
your life become a series of pseudo emergencies. Think
about which things will be most important over the years
and learn to let some things go. Whether you are an inmate
in a forced labor prison camp or the master of a chateau on
the French Riviera in the absence of urgencies (plotting an
escape or taking a rare stroll on the beach) health,
psychology, and efficiency are a good place to start.
I. William Wiser [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Life Extension and Quality of Life Consultant
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