The key driver to achieve goals- a sense of urgency

Many things will get done when you feel a strong sense of urgency.

Have you ever done your homework the night before its due date? (I have!) When I looked at the assignment online submission time of my classes last year, more than half assignments were submitted in less than 30 minutes to the deadline. I guess those assignments were more likely done in the last few hours leading to the deadline because it was urgent!

I remember a student told me that: “I couldn’t believe that I could do some much work in such a short time before the submission deadline!

There are two things to learn from this: (1) Internet (in particular Google) helped you greatly. Without the Internet, I don’t think you could do that; and (2) Your have potential and you felt the urgency to finish your homework. Imagine that if you started doing your homework a bit earlier, then how much better could you have done that same homework? You could easily ‘upgrade’ your mark from a pass to a high distinction!

You never know your potential until it’s so urgent to finish something, e.g. a homework? ^_^ (Photo by Pixabay on

Clearly, we all have been driven by different types of urgencies before.

In mid 2020, some of my clients faced the uncertainty of losing jobs. The urgency and the stake was so high that some people couldn’t focus on daily routines. The urgency pushed some to search for Plan B; urgently. When I reflected this situation with some clients in January 2021, many of them couldn’t believe why they behaved in such a way. That was the power of urgency and the irrational side of human brain that played up last year.

Urgency helps you focus on something. Maybe there is a tiger chasing behind you; the urgency (and adrenaline) helps you survive. Maybe you are to lose your job; the urgency pushes you to find another job, no matter how difficult the economy is. Maybe you dislike your job (or your manager) very much. Then, the urgency should be able to propel you looking for another job.

Many people don’t feel the urgency to create a ‘Plan B’ until it rains (because it then becomes urgent!). (Photo by Genaro Servu00edn on

I just saw a movie last week on my Amazon Prime: Brittney Runs a Marathon , which was based on a true story by Brittney. What an entertaining and inspiring movie to see! In short, the reason why Brittney could run a marathon (from can’t run even half a mile!) was the ‘urgency’ that she felt in her sloppy life style and self-doubt on her ability to live a better life. A lack of achievement and sense of no fulfillment in her life and career urged Brittney to do something. And, that sense of urgency changed her life! Losing her weight and running the NY Marathon became her tools to reshape her life.

The biggest block for many people who try to achieve something is the lack of urgency. Without this driver, you could delay your actions to tomorrow, to next week, or to next month, just like what Brittney did. You will procrastinate. You will find a million excuses to not doing something, although you know you should!

A looming Ironman race in 2 months and the urgency to train for a 180km bike ride.

Without urgency, you will not push yourself to eat less and exercise more, so you can lose weight. Without urgency, you will not build a side-hustle in the middle of the night, so you could leave the 9-5 job you dislike and fulfill your dream. Without urgency, you will not push yourself to learn new skills so you can recession-proof your career and upgrade your life.

Find the sense of urgency in your goal setting exercise, feel the urgency, feel inside you and stick your goal plan on your wall. List the to-do items and cross them one by one. Let the urgency drive you to achieve your goals.

It doesn’t need to be so urgent that your goals must be achieved in a short time. 3 months, 6 months, 2 years, even 5 years is a good time frame for your goals. Find the spark of urgency and keep it alive, so it lights up your path to achieving your goals.

Dr. C. Richard Wu @

(Note:Brittney Runs a Marathon‘ is an inspiring movie to see and I recommend it to all my coaching clients. It is so hilarious and fun to see the movie! ^o^ By the way, the movie didn’t sponsor this blog post but you are still more than welcome to donate to my Coffee Fund.)

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