I am a talker. I actually have a small level of what I would go so far as to call anxiety when I fear not getting out of my mouth the finished product of what is in my head in conversation. But it hit me today that there are crucial moments, such as when a surgeon yells out a life-saving instruction, when a military leader says “go” or “fire,” or when a parent yells “STOP!” to a child walking obliviously into the trajectory of an oncoming vehicle. In fact, there are crucial hours, a whole series of moments such as an entire surgery or the hours Houston spends communicating to astronauts during a crisis oriented shuttle mission. During these crucial moments brave people give up sleep, emotional impulses, and instinctive preferences in order to keep going in a life-saving or even world-changing way.

But this is not my normal daily experience. Many times throughout my day I desire to operate beyond limitations – some natural and some that should be self-imposed – in order to waste energy on what is not a crucial moment.


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