This post is based on the WAKE UP! Podcast July 30th, 2013. (Scroll down to listen.)
To me, a “wake up call” is something that keeps coming back to you until you confirm you’ve got the message…
When I think about the big lessons in life that I’ve learned over the last 10 years especially as an entrepreneur, most of the wake up calls have come out of left field, or so it seems.
Unlike the prearranged, expected wake up call at your hotel when traveling, the wake up calls in real life tend to be more like cold water to the face; unexpected and unwanted.
So what about these “wake up calls” that arrive unexpectedly? The unpleasant ones… the one that piss us off at the time their occurrence…
Life has an incredibly reliable way of bringing up the same wake up calls over and over and over again until we pick up the phone and say, “I’m up, thank you!”
Everything happens for a reason. There is nothing arbitrary.
Every wake call we get is something we’ve asked for subconsciously and/or indirectly.
We ask for them by nature of our actions without really realizing what the consequences will be.Whether we recognize it or not, everyone and everything we attract into our life is for a reason.
The universe seems to have a very reliable way of giving us exactly what we ask for; whether we acknowledge it or not when it shows up.
Everything has it’s lesson. Maybe we don’t remember but over time, if we clue in, we start to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Until then the wake up calls will keep coming…
When you burn your hand it’s an immediate response. Lesson learned; quick, sharp and to the point!
The bigger lessons in life, those that don’t result in such an immediate “pain” or impact, are the toughest to learn. These are the ones where there’s a gap between the time of the cause and the realization of the effect; a time lag so to speak.
The outcome, the result, is so far removed from the day to day decisions that caused them. A good example would be our health. It is one of those life investments that you make on a daily basis yet the result, the outcome is something we will all experience 10, 20, 30, 50 years from now… hmmm… that’s something to think about.
Wake up calls happen for our survival.
When something comes along in life that “threatens our survival”, we take notice and get prepared, having gone through previous lessons we “get the message” and WAKE UP! This results in us adapting and changing our course.
Whatever we say we want, be it financial independence, a fitness goal, a career change or advancement, we say we want it, but on a moment to moment, hourly or daily basis, if our thoughts and actions are not in alignment with the stated “outcome”, we are going to start triggering wake up calls. They start subtly as little tugs on the sleeve almost as road signs… Speed limit 35, Route 70, M3, Hwy 401, etc… subtle confirmations of our locations.
If we fail to notice that we are on the wrong road, the signals get progressively stronger. Almost like the autopilot on a jet liner, at some point if the pilot doesn’t acknowledge and make a change in direction, the warning beeps turn into red lights flashing, and screeching alarms.
They’re reminders letting us know whether we’re on the right path or not. The louder, more intrusive, the more urgent and important the alarm.
A lesson is only a tough lesson if we fail to see that it’s the lesson (wake up call) that we’ve asked for…
Sometimes the lessons we get, are not expected, and that’s because we have unconsciously asked for them. When I’m dealing with something that I feel like “I don’t deserve”, something that feels unjust, it is easy to deflect the responsibility for the experience and point the finger at somebody else. Of course, this is the path of least resistance, but, is this the path of most existence? In other words, if we are to see the lesson as something good versus an infliction of pain would we be further ahead in life…?
I highly doubt I’m much unlike anyone else in this… I doubt that I feel much different than most people who share at least a basic similarity to this experience.
We want to avoid conflict and pain… don’t we?
What about the fact that every lesson we’re learning (aka teaching to ourselves) is a lesson that we consciously and/or unconsciously request. The fact that, we’re going to keep getting that same exact wake up call until we get ourselves back on the right path.
Imagine this: You’re driving down the road and your navigation is set to Topeka… Your navigation begins chirping at you when you get on the wrong road or make an erroneous turn…. Your navigation attempts to reroute you but you fail to notice it… All along the way there are road signs that’ll give you some subtle pointers to let you know you’re on the wrong road.
However, if you miss the clues, you’ll find yourself in a destination that you didn’t expect and you have to reset and begin your journey all over again.
Don’t blame the messenger.
What about the wake up calls that are less obvious; where there’s no clear cut immediate impact? Those cause and effect type lessons where by the time you learn the lesson, life could be over… or, too late.
How do we adjust when road signs show up telling us that “shit has already hit the fan”?
Unfortunately, there are certain warnings we refuse to listen to until we learn the lesson the hard way. Myself included.
Keep an eye on the signs and remember: no wake up call is uncalled for.
All my best,
What about you? I’d love to hear what your take is on life’s wake up calls.
Listen to the WAKE UP podcast below.
Please comment and share further!