There is that great quote from the film Ferris Buller’s Day Off:
“Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop once in a while to notice it, you might just miss it.”
It’s not that a living person could “miss” life if they’re alive—it’s just that they might have been not fully awake at the time.
Some Of The Early Signs To Look Out For Sleepwalking Through Life Are:
- You dread getting out of bed in the morning
- You are constantly overwhelmed with putting out fires at home and at work
- Your emotional state is tied to your boss’s, your partner’s, or your friend’s mood
- You have an inner negative belief about yourself that prevents you from changing what is not working
- You keep reacting to the same people, in the same way, feeling stuck in a pattern of behaviour you can’t control
So What Is Sleepwalking?
“Sleepwalking” is a metaphor that describes how some people live their lives day-to-day.
I’ve preferred to the metaphor – “auto-pilot.”
Being on auto-pilot means that life has become so routine, that a person is “going through the motions” or “sailing through.”
Another way to view this is that a person is not being present in the moment. Not taking the time to notice the beautiful things or to appreciate them, or simply not stopping to reflect on life.
One of my favourite quotes is,
“If it is to be, it is up to me.”
A person who is sleepwalking or on autopilot is deferring their control in hope someone else will take over or do it for them.
Or so fixed on the future that they miss the present or even worse than they imagine or their hopes and desires will arrive by magic without any effort.
A Lot of Times in Life We’re So Busy We Don’t Take Any Time To Think.
We simply wake up, eat breakfast, go to work/school, mindlessly get work done. Eat lunch, mindlessly get more work done, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed. Then we repeat that for the entire week.
When we get to the weekend, we feel too lazy and unmotivated to do all the things we wanted to during the tough work week. So we don’t do them. Instead, we sleep a lot, and eat, and watch more shows.
We get so focused on the when we forget about the now. Sometimes we need to think about what you’re doing, what you want to be doing, and use your time productively when you get a chance.
Sometimes I think we get so caught up in “tomorrow” that we forget about today. We keep wishing for something in the future. See the purpose of everything you do. Monotony can’t always be avoided, but “sleepwalking through life” can.
Think About How You Feel As You Wake Up
It’s usually a gradual process as you let go of your dream and that world slips away from you as you face the real world once again.
You’re not awake and you’ve shaken off the dream (whether it was a lottery win or recapturing an old love) and you realise that’s gone and you’re back in the room. That’s essentially how many of us operate on a daily basis, except we’re not truly waking up.
Stop & Start
- Stop operating on autopilot and start noticing what is happening around you.
- Stop having the same conversations with friends and start tackling the subject from a different angle.
- Stop listening to the same songs and start broadening your horizons and challenging your mind.
- Stop eating the exact same breakfast, the exact same lunch, and the exact same dinner. Tantalize your taste buds with a wide range of foods.
If you feel bored with your life and have to force yourself to get out of bed every morning it’s because of all the choices you make each day. You’ve fallen into a habit where you make the same choices each day and your life becomes a literal Groundhog Day. It’s just a loop that you repeat day after day and you lose interest and slip into the sleepwalking routine.
Break the Cycle
Think about it like this – what’s your favourite movie in the entire world? Imagine how bored you would get off it if you played it on a constant loop, day after day?
Repetition will drive you to boredom, exhaustion, and drive you crazy. It’s important to find hobbies, activities, and jobs that jolt you awake and fill you with energy.
That doesn’t mean that you have to march in and quit your job tomorrow and move to a new country. It doesn’t mean you have to book a vacation and go explore the rainforest.
It doesn’t mean that you need to flip your life upside down and create a new one. It simply means that your life needs a few helpful tweaks to bring you contentment.
- Start small by adding a new album to your playlist, book tickets to see a band you only kind of like.
- Find a recipe for your favourite meal and cook it from scratch.
- Meet your friends at a new lunch spot, invite your friends to go rock climbing, go wine tasting, go hiking, do something.
- You don’t need to share old memories with your friends when you can make new memories with them instead.
- Go out of your way to find out what’s happening locally and attend them.
- Invite your friends over for drinks and a game night, have a dinner party, find a hobby that excites you, volunteer to contribute to your community.
When you are forced to drag yourself out of bed every morning what you don’t realize is that you’re still asleep and you have been for who knows how long.
You’re just doing the bare minimum to exist and get by… your entire day revolves around getting back to bed. You can be thankful for the evening and that the day is over. But only if you’re equally as thankful in the morning for what your day may hold in store.
Just Imagine What It Would Be Like To Wake Up Excited About Each Day?
Imagine what it would feel like to be in a state of calm and serenity despite the chaos around you. Imagine what it would feel like to finally understand your thoughts, feelings, beliefs and patterns. What if that awareness, that deep knowing, brought about joy, compassion and purpose?
Start watching your life as an outside observer with a clear eye. Pay attention to how you feel at work and at home. Don’t be afraid to let yourself feel the emotions. By consciously bringing awareness to your negative emotions, thoughts and patterns, you are able to understand and release them — and create new positive emotions, thoughts and patterns that support your true self.