Personal Growth
Published in

Personal Growth

by Benjamin Foley founder of Fully Rich Life

Why I Think We All Need to Wake the F*ck Up

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes

Every morning, when you wake up, you are given twenty-four brand new hours to live. How amazing is that? You did nothing to create a new day. All you had to do was wake up.

Some people have asked me why I chose to name my 21 Day Mindfulness Challenge the Waking the F*ck Up Challenge. They thought it would offend people. They thought I was not being considerate. They thought I was being irrational.

My response (I’ve never Metaphor I didn’t like…)

Scenario 1: Imagine yourself lying in bed fast asleep. Got it? Okay, now imagine me gently rubbing your shoulder and telling you to wake up. Your eyes flutter open to the sweet song of birds chirping outside the window as you float to the shower and the rest of your day.

Scenario 2: Imagine yourself in the same bed, but instead of rubbing your shoulder, I am pouring ice cold water on your face.

Which one do you think would be most effective at getting you to wake up electrified?

The Cold Water!

Why? Because it shocks you. It takes you by surprise. It does not care if it is being considerate. The only goal is to wake you up. And it does that with breathtaking effectiveness.

It is time to up the ante.

To urge people to wake the FUCK up to the life they have and to stop going through life on autopilot.

We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at doing the living. We know how to sacrifice four years to get a diploma and we are willing to work our tail off to get that promotion, or that car, or that house.

But we often fail to remember that this moment, right here, is the only moment we ever have. The past is just a memory. The future will never come. The present is all we have. It is in the present moments that our life happens.

But we continue to live mindlessly, longing for things in the future to bring us happiness and fulfillment. Why? Because we are asleep to the contentment that is found in the present.

The only time is NOW. Now is where peace, fulfillment, and happiness can be grasped. Not tomorrow. Now.

A Wake Up Call

The 21-day challenge is a reminder that sustainable happiness is only possible when you are awake and fully immersed in the present moment.

Of course, you need to plan and prepare for the future, but even these tasks can only be done in the present.

“Peace and happiness are available in every moment. Peace is every step.” — Thich Nhat Hanh

The challenge is a wake up call to come back to the now.

It is no use fighting our situations and thoughts. Whether you are happy or sad. Rich or poor. Young or old. This moment is all you have to work with.

If you are anything like me, you often forget this fact. That we are already here and dealing with whatever shit is on our plate. You may not like it, but there is no sense in fighting what already is.

What mindfulness teaches is the ability to work with our present state, good or bad, and accept what is so that we can move through it and beyond it. In every moment, we have a choice. To be here and present. Or to be there and asleep.

In the present lies our greatest opportunities for creativity, learning, and growing. We must allow ourselves the space to accept where we are, wherever that may be, in order to tap into this reserve within us.

However, it may feel easier or better to go there, and hide from our stress and worries. But the more we suppress them the stronger they will become. When we start operating in a robotlike fashion, our moments become clouded, which in turn can create a certain mindlessness to our days that is infectious. If we are not careful, our cloudy days may stretch out and become cloudy weeks, months, or years.

Let me ask you this, have you ever been able to successful outrun your problems?

If you are anything like me, the answer is no. Although I like to lie to myself and think I can, my problems always show up in one way or another, especially if they are old patterns and fears that I have held on to for a long time.

But…I tell myself…maybe the next job will be better. Or the next city. Or more money in my bank account.

The underlying lie I tell myself is that my problems come from outside of me — in a job, a location, or a higher salary. I tell myself if I can change my job, my location, or my salary, then all will be good.

The reality is that my problems do not come from outside of me. They are me. I cannot escape them no matter how fast I run.

It doesn’t matter what my job is, where I live, or how much I make, there can be no transformation leading to growth until I accept my present situation. Or in other words, I can not get away from my problems until I look at them directly in the face and accept my situation for exactly what it is. And stop wishing that something outside of me will make it better.

This is the path of being wherever you are. Understanding that this, this moment right here, is IT. The challenge of mindfulness is to work with your current situation, no matter how shitty, painful, or joyous, and to make sure you do everything in your power to accept what is.

It is so easy to place the blame on something or someone else. Be willing to realize that you are detracting from your own happiness when you are constantly seeking external things to fulfill you and take your pain away. Cars. Relationships. Money. These are all great byproducts of a life well live, but they will not bring you happiness.

Happiness is found by looking at yourself and accepting that wherever you go, there you are.

Get Woke

Before you go on to your next email or task, take 60 seconds to just notice your breath coming in and out of your body. With each in-breath, say to your self ‘in’. And with each out breath, say to your self ‘out.’

Try to follow your in-breath until it stops. Then try to follow you out-breath until you no longer have air to push out.

Do not change your breath or force it to do anything. Just simply observe it coming in and out of your body.

After a couple of seconds you will be distracted. This is fine. Once you become aware that you are no longer focused on your breath (by saying in and out to yourself), come back to it.

You will have a million thoughts. You will be distracted. You will think to yourself that this is pointless. GREAT. You are human. Note these as thoughts and come back to your breath.

Do this for 60 full seconds before moving on to do anything else with you day. I promise you that spending 0.000694444% of your day focusing on your breath will not detract you from completing your most important tasks!

Go Deeper

Are you ready to wake up and find more happiness in your life?

If so, sign up for my free 21-day Mindfulness Email Course. I’ll be sending you an email everyday that will help you reduce stress, increase focus, and find more presence!

If you are ready to take back control of your life and start living above stress and overwhelm click the image below!

One last thing…

If you liked this article, click the💚 below so other people will see it here on Medium.

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