“Man is a mystery. It needs to be unravelled, and if you spend your whole life unravelling it, don’t say that you’ve wasted time. I am studying that mystery because I want to be a human being.”
It’s scary how easy it can be to fall down that hole of auto-pilot living. Deciding that we are comfortable as things are and not wanting to do something that scares us. Not wanting to attain transcendence or challenge ourselves.
In a way it’s kind of nice ignoring bad habits, doing mindless activities like watching tv, and living day to day life without seeking more. When living on auto-pilot we often still check all of the boxes that indicate we are ‘living life’ and even ‘succeeding’… but that kind of living begs the question: isn’t there more to life?
I guess that way of living is what some people call being stuck in a rut. It’s a shame that so many people end up in these ruts for much of their lives without ever really noticing it. Although the difference of being awake and on auto-pilot is incredibly different, falling into that rut of being on auto-pilot can be hard to detect.
We still check all the boxes that make us ‘active’ or ‘successful’ members of society.
✓ We still have a job that earns us money
✓ Nurture our interpersonal relationships (time with friends and family)
✓ Holding down a relationship with significant other
✓ Still go out and support the ever booming consumerist economy
✓ Active member of community (hobbies, groups, classes, etc.)
From a practical (and rather disenchanted) view of success, we’re hitting most of the marks. So what could be wrong? What could be missing?
I notice that during these times that I’m living on auto-pilot, regardless of how ‘well’ I’m doing by the standard placed on me by society, there lacks severe depth.
That depth is what fuels me. It’s what gives me energy. It’s what makes me happy to be alive. It cannot be ignored. When it is lacking – I feel it. I feel it in the core of my being… something doesn’t feel right.
So I spend my life chasing it and trying to get to that place. And in the past year I have done it over and over and over again. I have fallen out of sync, I have lost my footing, but I have picked myself back up and started running on that path yet again.
“Push yourself to the edge until you discover that there is no edge, only new levels of consciousness swimming into one another.” – Liam Tinker
It’s like I’ve been running this marathon but I don’t think I’ll ever cross the finish line. Sometimes I reach beautiful parts of the race where the views are breathtaking and inspire me to keep going. There are legs of the race where I reach water stations that I spend time at to replenish and catch my breath.
At times I lose my footing, hit my toe on that uneven part of the sidewalk, or even wipeout on unassuming wet grass. Sometimes I stop running completely when I see a giant neon sign saying ‘Free Beer’ or ‘New Star Wars Movie’ and I stop to see what I’m missing out on (often to my immediate regret). But regardless of what deters me or what leads me astray, I always have to keep running.
I’m never going to stop running.
It can be so easy to step into a comfortable life. So many of us think we have things all figured out, that we’re making the right choices by following what is expected of us by someone else, or that we’re doing ‘better’ than our peers – but these are all huge mistakes.
When we aren’t questioning and seeking what truly drives us. When we aren’t expanding ourselves and growing as individuals. When we fall into ruts. When we live life on auto-pilot because we’re too lazy to work on ourselves. When we decide we want to stop running… we are giving up on ourselves. We are accepting a fate that we have not chosen.
In Western society the idea of death scares most of us. We don’t talk about it very often and we tend to latch on to beliefs that make the concept less frightening. But what we fail to notice is that when we comfortably dig ourselves into ruts of daily living, we are choosing to lay down and die.
Let’s run instead.
Quick Tips for Staying Awake
✫ Positive affirmations & positive thinking
✫ Focus on connection with self and others
✫ Let go of trying to control people & events
✫ Eat to nourish – not to make you full
✫ Be mindful
✫ Find what makes you happy and keep doing it
✫ Love yourself – flaws and all
✫ Be open to new experiences and people
✫ Spend time with positive people
✫ Do what you love (regardless of if it makes you money!)