“The first sign of waking up is the insight that we are not doomed to retrace our steps forever.” – Mingyur Rinpoche
Upon getting up in the morning, what’s the first thought that pops into your head? Is it the mountain of things on your to-do list? Is it disappointment that you can’t sneak in a few more winks? Do you eagerly anticipate some activity you plan to do today? Sometimes it may seem like we can’t make any headway, that there’s too much on our plate, and we’re probably going to fail anyway. Sometimes, however, just the opposite is true and we can’t wait to get started on what we want to do.
Here’s a slightly different way to look at waking up: Consider that our first clue that we’re waking up to life and its possibilities is the insight that we can make significant changes – we’re not destined to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Insight, in this regard, is highly prized and we should be willing and ready to seize upon it and act accordingly. Insight leads to action, as it is both motivating and energizing. When we see the possibilities inherent in our choices, the path ahead appears less constricting and more fluid. Barriers may exist, but these can be overcome with determination, persistence and action.
Granted, insight is something that takes time to cultivate. First it’s necessary to acknowledge that it exists and to actively look for it. Take time to see beneath and beyond the external and find the meaning that may lurk hidden beneath. In other words, look beneath the surface to find what really matters.
For example, if the boss suddenly hands you a big project, instead of throwing out all sorts of reasons why you can’t possibly get this done in the timeframe given you, find ways to start tackling a small piece of it right away. Look at the project as a gift, not a sentence or something to be avoided at all costs. Consider that you wouldn’t have been given the task if your boss didn’t hold you in high regard and believe you’d bring value to the company as a result of your efforts to complete it. This is especially true if you failed in the past or flubbed an important assignment before. Take this as a sign of increased confidence in your abilities and get to work. Recognizing that you have value can contribute to the insight that you are waking up – and doing something highly beneficial for your continued development.
Over time, cultivating the kind of inner vision – the ability to see potential where others see only hurdles – will become more natural and a lot easier. For some, changing a mindset takes a great deal of practice, but once attained is eagerly attested to as a harbinger of success. We see that we can do – and we act to ensure it does. What a great way to wake up – to life.