The modern world is the busiest version of it yet known. It can be difficult to bring everything into focus with all the responsibilities that require our attention. Sometimes it can feel like too much and we shut the bedroom door to cancel out the noise and hold the world at bay; we flip on the tv and settle in for some distraction, some sweet escape. That is how many of us choose to exert some form of control over our lives. But that is an illusion. When your adversaries are at your heels, you can’t close the gates and wait them out, that is just putting yourself under siege. Your adversaries grow stronger while you deplete your resources and have effectively cut off your own supply route. You have to meet them in the field and keep your supply lines open. It gets messy out there, you take losses and endure hardship and discomfort, but your supply lines remain open. I myself have spent much of my adult life hiding behind my own gates, thinking I was preserving my strength and waiting out the the things that I should have been facing. It was a long time before I realized I was only getting weaker.
Someone very special to me described this state of being in an even more concise and accurate way, they said, “You were sleeping in your life.” The truest words that have ever been said to me, spoken by the very person who woke me from that very slumber.
To really look at oneself from an outside perspective can be very difficult, especially if you are spending your time hiding and waiting for good fortune to find you. To observe and understand who you truly are, and what you are really doing, can be a gut-wrenching exercise especially if what you see does not align with the vision you have for your life. But it is the most important exercise you can undertake; the only way to awaken yourself, to open the gates and face your adversary (yourself).
Wasted time is trademark of the besieged and there are many ways we do it. Channel-surfing on your television (you know you’re in a bad place when you see the same Sportscenter intro for the third time in a day), Binge-watching shows on a streaming service (for f***s sake, go to sleep), drinking (a disease, but one that can be overcome), video games, and, of course, incessant internet browsing. Those are just the examples that have pertained to my particular situation; there are, without a doubt, countless other ways that we waste our time. I don’t think I’m going out limb when I say that these things are not the vision we have for our lives.
Plenty of people have the ability to recognize their dreams and the discipline to set goals and work fearlessly toward seeing them realized. Perhaps they simply had no difficulty in allowing themselves to be inspired by those actively living theirs. This is key. Allowing yourself to be inspired, wether by someone living the life that you dream about or even simply by someone you love. Fear, envy, and resentment are but a few of the obstacles that stand in the way of inspiration. Thing is, those obstacles are all created entirely within your own mind and there they can also be vanquished. Each of us is the only one standing in the way of our own inspiration, but reinforcements can also be found.
In my experience it was as simple as meeting someone new. Like a beam of light entering the window of the soul signalling me to awaken. Her words were concise and to the point, “You can be better” she said. Those few words were all I needed. It didn’t change everything in an instant, but it was the tremor that sparked the avalanche. I soon found that I had been viewing life through a clouded glass window. I had been heeding bad advice from those not versed in fulfilling their own dreams and listening to the haters, those who would seek, knowingly or unknowingly, to sow the seeds of doubt and fear in your mind. I had also been ignoring people who were achieving and growing and multiplying their goals; they had always been there, freely offering wisdom that I willfully evaded. The recognition of all the time was like a sudden squall that raged and soon cleared into calm seas and sunny skies. It hard to come to terms with your failings and seek help from the wise, your pride must be swallowed. But it is the first step on the correct path.
These discoveries are, of course a product of a single source. The person, the light, who sparked my awakening, is one I now know I was destined to find. Her energy a perfect compliment to mine. I was never spiritual or a believer in destiny before we met. But, as time passed, that changed rapidly. I felt like we had known each other for longer than the extent of our own lives. Our bond formed and became a catalyst. Again, this is my experience. Yours may be entirely different, but the result is the same. It is an awakening to inspiration, wisdom, and purpose.
The first and most difficult step is understanding your vision for your life and evaluating your current trajectory to discover if they are compatible. If not, you have to wake up and be your harshest critic, identify your fears and the ways you hide from them. Then open the gates and face your adversary. Be reinforced by the wisdom of those versed in achieving and setting new higher goals. And stop wasting time, its finite and far more valuable than we give it credit for.