The universe is not short on wake-up calls. We’re just quick to hit the snooze button. – Brené Brown
What does that mean?
If you are the type of person who wakes before their alarm, and never goes back to bed, I envy you. Hopefully you can relate to this quote through the behavior of a friend or family member.
I believe the quote, in that the universe is full of warnings to us. Even on our tiny little planet, each of us get warnings all the time. I consider every close call to be a wake-up call.
The only question is whether we will heed it, or hit the snooze button and go on as we were before? Yes, sometimes we get a second chance. But sometimes we do not.
To me, the point of this quote is to raise our awareness of what is going on around us, and to notice those wake-up calls before it’s too late.
Why is paying attention important?
No one is too poor to pay attention. But all joking aside, so many of us are too wrapped up in what we are doing to notice when the universe drops a hint. I know that for me, it’s how I am wired, so I have to put extra attention into noticing the wake-up calls.
I know too many people who had symptoms of coronary, but brushed them off, only to end up in the hospital after a major heart attack. They had a couple of wake-up calls, but they hit the snooze button instead of getting up and doing something about it. And, honestly, one is too many, right?
However, not all wake-up calls are as serious as a heart attack. Some can be far more subtle. Even things as subtle as a near miss on the roadway can be a clue that you aren’t paying enough attention, or that you aren’t doing as good a job at driving as you could. The habit of inattentiveness could be a real problem.
Again, sometimes hitting the snooze button doesn’t cost us much. Other times it can lead to serious, even life-changing events. To me, the whole point of the quote is that there are things which are preventable, if we only pay attention to what is going on around us. It’s time to wake up.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Not everything is predictable. Not everything is preventable. But far too many things are, but we fail to pay attention. And that is the point of the quote. We need to try to notice what can be noticed, and prevent or avoid what we can. Hitting the snooze button does us no good, and could do immeasurable harm.
Recently, there was a partial collapse of a roof in a theater in London. Huge chunks of plaster came down, along with beams and other debris. Last I heard, none had died, but nearly 100 were injured. Some noticed small debris falling, and fled just as things started to get ugly.
They were paying attention, they heard the wake-up call, and they didn’t hit the snooze button. They fled, and escaped relatively unharmed. Those who weren’t paying attention, or who hit the snooze button, were the most vulnerable. Especially if they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
While we aren’t all going to be in a collapsing building any time soon (at least I hope not), there are still hints being dropped all around you. The question is “How attentive have you been?” Have you had close calls, or things which almost happened, but didn’t? Did you pay any attention?
I tend to be kind of clumsy, so I try to keep track of where my elbows and knees are at all times. Yet I still bang into things, and occasionally destroy things. But my warnings tend to be subtle, brushing against things, or small bumps into things. When I notice them, these clues help me from doing anything spectacularly stupid or expensive.
Take a moment and consider what kind of close calls you have had this past week, or even this past month? How often did you just quit surfing the web and get back to work, just as the boss walked up? Might that be a wake-up call that you probably should be spending more time working and less time surfing?
How many times have you almost had an accident on the road because you weren’t paying attention, or hadn’t anticipated the level of ineptness of the other driver? If you weren’t sufficiently aware or safe, then you need to notice the wake-up call. If they weren’t paying attention, you need to take greater precautions, right?
There are things beyond our ability to predict or know. That’s a given. But there are still plenty of things which we could prevent or at least minimize, if only we were paying attention, and noticed the wake-up calls. And please, don’t hit the snooze button, it isn’t worth the risk.
- Wake Up Your Authentic Self. ~ Meg Witt (elephantjournal.com)
- The Trouble With Snooze Buttons (And With Modern Sleep) (wonderfultips.wordpress.com)
- A Life Without a Snooze Button Isn’t a Life Worth Living (thewire.com)
- Why the snooze button could be affecting your health (time4sleep.co.uk)