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“I’ll get that to you ASAP,” I start typing. 

I feel a clenching in my jaw and shoulders. 

A tightening of my energy.

I picture a foreboding figure standing over my shoulder holding a stopwatch and scowling.

What does “as soon as possible” mean, anyway? 

As soon as the laws of physics will allow? 

As soon as my own inner sense of meaning declares it’s a priority?

What agreement am I making with you here as I say “ASAP”?

It’s POSSIBLE for me to get it done overnight —  if I don’t sleep. 

It’s POSSIBLE for me to do it right this second — if I choose to make it more important than four other things I’m committed to.


I’m not interested in perpetuating a world that reveres “ASAP.”  

I want to build a life and a culture that honors balance. One that’s devoted to a sense of right timing. 

I erase “ASAP.”  I don’t agree to that.

Instead, I type a new acronym a friend and I invented together recently: “ASAIL.” 

It stands for “As Soon As Is Loving.”

I feel my shoulders relax. 

That’s what I want to ask people for. 

That’s what I want to commit to. 


I’ve been using “ASAIL” for at least a year now.

It’s a tiny switch that signals a big intention in my life. 

Try it on. See what it does for you.

This post was original sent as an email to the Magic Words of the Week newsletter list. Every week, I share reflections on a word, quote, or phrase I think will help you thrive in your life’s work.

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