Lift off
  Michael A.T. Stewart
September 2014

Living in Emergency Zone


There are many persons who structure their lives to operate in emergency mode only.  By this I mean, these people get energy to deal with their circumstances only when things are at critical stage.


Let me explain; some people have exams or assignments two weeks in advance, but they cannot muster the time or energy to start or complete them comfortably within the deadline date.  However, two days before, or, even the night before the deadline these same persons stay up all night completing the two week old assignments.  They live life on the edge, under stress and nurture procrastination as an ally.  What an unnecessary way to exist.


I was in the gym one day and there was a senior gentleman I met there on the treadmill.  He told me that he has been overweight most of his life and has been warned by his family that his weight and the fact that he does not exercise will result in some health issues.  He knew this but was lived a very busy and I am sure productive life.  He suffered a stroke soon into retirement.  He visits the gym now everyday but pays a hefty medical bill to stabilise his health. Why did he wait so late to do what he clearly could have done earlier in his life?   Maybe because he, like so many others, operate life only by crisis. He told me that because of his present condition he is not to stress himself out too much with exercise. He is to do an average of 15 to 30 minutes.  He said to me that he has been on the treadmill for one hour already. I exercised for 45 minutes and left him there.


Why is it we let things get to breakdown stage before we put things in place to keep things together?  People restore rather than preserve,  repair instead of maintain, make up after break up instead of kiss-up and build-up. 


There are many people reading this article who are just like this man, people who can only find time and reason to do the inevitable when it becomes an emergency.   There are some who are predisposed to hypertension and diabetes but are not paying strict attention to prevent severe illness.  Ask those who have suffered kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and/or diabetes.  They will tell you that the sacrifice of adjusting your diet before it becomes a critical matter is well worth the pain of discipline. 


Do not wait to get your prostate tested or your breast examined because you currently feel fine.  Constant vigilance will save you money and keep you in good health longer.  Illness is no respecter of persons.  It confronts the rich and the poor, the high and the low, the weak and the strong.  Nothing in life is worth more effort, no situation takes priority, no activity is more urgent than the preservation of good health.   Hard work is meaningless if you do not have health to fully enjoy the fruits of your labour.  How can you travel on the highway of your dreams with a body that cannot withstand the rigours of pursuit?


Couples argue with each other to win points and prove the other person wrong, rather than focusing on mending fences.  There are times that ego gets in the way and one person may hold out in stubborn resistance.  When the relationship breaks down completely and the spouse walks out, invariably, it is the one who was unrelenting that calls for intercession and he/she is willing to apologise and make a greater effort to make the relationship work.  Where was this resolve and effort before the crisis?


We can go on and on with these examples.  Some persons find the money to pay bills only after there account is referred to a bailiff or they threatened with court action.  


Have you seen how some people drive on the roads?  They leave late for appointments, do not cater for traffic and become road hogs and endanger lives with speed and indiscretion.  They are always in a hurry and create emergencies through their emergency.  


Get out of the emergency zone.  It is far easier, cheaper and appropriate to structure your life in such a way that you do not have to be rushing under breakneck conditions.  How can you smell the roses, feel the calm effects or a gentle rolling river, admire the setting of the sun, bask in the glow of a full moon if your life is one big emergency? 


Take some advice.  You and I do not have long here on earth.  Be present to the moment. Spend time doing things that will make your days here on earth as meaningful, fulfilling and happy as possible.  Manage your time carefully.   Appropriately balance your life with play and work.  Too much play is not good; too much work is no better. 


When next you are tempted to let things get into emergency zone, ask yourself three questions, “What could I do to avoid it getting critical?”   Is this thing a real priority or am I allowing it to appear as one?  If I don’t deal with this matter now what further crisis will happen?  


Life is not meant to be an emergency so do not make it one.

By: Michael A.T. Stewart | FEATURES | September 2014

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