Why Get Up Early? – Life’s Ultimate Question

Why Get Up Early? – Life’s Ultimate Question

I feel that “why get up early?” is the most important question one can ask him or herself aside from “what is my purpose in life?” The reason we choose to get up in the morning speaks volumes about our character and is the best way I’ve found to get the most out of life. Getting up early allows us to ponder what our purpose is and put purposeful plans into action before the day gets away from us. “Why” get up early is the gateway to “how” for pretty much everything.

My answer to the question “why get up early?” changed my life and is the driving force behind some very sudden and incredible success in areas of my life that are very surprising to me. I wish I had the wisdom to understand the power and necessity of early rising sooner, but I guess that’s life. We all learn at our own pace, but as long as you get to a better place, the pace doesn’t matter. 

why get up early?

It has come to my attention that many people who, like myself previously, want to take control of their lives, get up early, and say no to the condescending or lazy voices in their heads.

Many people are desperate to break free from the self-destructive inner monologue that encourages us to always take the easy way out. Things like: “Just sleep a few more minutes.” “You can do xyz later.” “There’s always tomorrow.”

More than a year ago, before I started getting up early, I wrote a post on Steemit.com that tells the story of the low point of my depression and how I got out of the pit. It was quite the spiritual experience.

If I didn’t have that experience, I’d probably still be in that pit.

What I understand now, looking back, is that I allowed myself to feel what I was feeling (hopelessness) so completely and without judgment that I disidentified with it. I truly believe that’s why the hopelessness left me. It no longer had a home in my heart.

I’m sharing my story here on this blog post because the mindset shift I experienced led me to start ignoring the corrupt thoughts in my head, replace those thoughts with better ones, and take initiative in my life for the first time ever. Good things have started to happen because I stopped getting in my own way.

One of the first things that happened after this mindset shift occurred was that I started getting up early. I didn’t specifically plan out that I would start getting up early; I just decided to do it. I stopped fighting with myself in the morning and just got up. It might be strange to say this, but getting depressed and fed up with myself was the best thing that ever happened to me.

life purpose get up early

The experience you’re about to read below highlights my journey from the abyss to the clouds. The outcome of the story is essentially why I get up early.

I am simply copying the Steemit article below in its entirety, but you can also read it at this link.

A large chunk of the article is a quote from a book that had a huge impact on me and which guided me out of the darkness I was facing about a year after I read it. I am including the Amazon link here in case you’d like to read it and discover a point of view that might be new to you.

Journey from the Abyss to the Clouds

Two nights ago, I literally Googled “what to do if you have no talent or skills” as I lay in bed with my laptop.  

Yeah, I know… Stop shaking your head and keep reading. 

We all Google dumb or silly things from time to time. In general, we all do dumb or silly things from time to time!

This was different though.  

It was like someone else was controlling my hands as I typed the words on my keyboard. The search results gave me some Reddit threads, a few similar Quora questions, threads from a social anxiety support forum… You get the idea. It was loads of pathetic people complaining about not being able to do anything well, feeling useless, etc etc etc. (Thank you, @jackmiller! After reading your #introduceyourself post, you have me saying “etc etc etc” now too!) 

I read through a few pages of this digital cancer in a zombie-like trance. Nothing I read made me feel any better. In fact, I felt worse – worse and worse by the second. And yet, I kept clicking the back arrow of the browser and reading the next link on Google. I couldn’t stop. Is this how drug addicts feel, not being able to stop, but wanting to?  

Negative energy breeds more negative energy and multiplies exponentially. What a vicious cycle we get stuck in, and sources that say they are trying to help only make it worse. How is anyone supposed to feel better with this at play? Sometimes, the Internet is more harmful than helpful. Sort of like when you develop a rash, Google the rash, and suddenly you’re convinced you have skin cancer. This was exactly how I felt in those moments; that is, useless and delirious. I was getting impatient and angry as well. 

These unconstructive repetitive thoughts are not only pointless, but also dangerous. They are what drive people over the edge, into a rapid downward spiral, to destitution, to suicide.  

Logically, I knew what I was doing was detrimental. I even knew that stating I have no talent or skills was completely untrue. Seriously, what a waste of my time, right? I’m a respectable woman with a son and a job that pays well enough for me to continue living in Los Angeles relatively comfortably.  

It doesn’t matter that I knew this, though, because although I was mentally abusing myself, I was also doing myself and everyone I know a favor. It threw me so deep into the abyss – quite literally into a place I hadn’t been before. I did not want to continue with my life. I despised myself on such a deep level. I felt I served no purpose in this world and was only taking up space. My son’s father can take care of my son, so he’ll be fine, I thought. He’s a teenager and hates me at least half the time anyway, I thought. I felt guilty and selfish, but also didn’t care.

I let go of all my thoughts and judgments because I didn’t need them anymore; I didn’t need anything anymore. Nothing mattered. All was quiet in my head.

At some point after that, I must have fallen asleep. Usually a bright laptop screen in my face stops me from falling asleep, but not two nights ago. I had no thoughts in my head, no desire for anything, and as a result fell into a peaceful sleep for the first time in a long time. It happened with no effort whatsoever.

When I woke up, my laptop was laying on its side. I looked to my left and my dog Ralph was staring at me. I smiled at him, got out of bed, and heard my son typing on his laptop in the other room…posting on Steemit probably. I felt content (not necessarily happy or sad, just present) and seemed to float as I walked around our apartment. I don’t remember feeling like that before, ever. The delirium faded into stillness. The uselessness faded into curiosity. The impatience faded into watchfulness. The anger faded into acceptance. There was a comment left by @tiandao on my article from yesterday. Is this what you were talking about? Your comment gave me what I needed to write this article and put into words what I was feeling.

To be honest, I completely forgot about what happened the night before and how I was feeling then. I didn’t even remember it happened until the next day, and only in the sense that it happened – not that it happened to me. It could have been anyone, a different person. It very well could have been a story someone told me. 

Since then, I’ve been trying to make sense of it, all the while feeling like I’m walking on clouds.  The only thing I can come up with is that I experienced the same thing that happened to Eckhart Tolle. It reminds me of what he described in the introduction of his book The Power of Now. I read the book about a year ago and thought it was good, but didn’t put any extra thought into it until now. 

everything is ok in the morning

Here’s the excerpt from The Power of Now that I’m referring to:

“Until my thirtieth year, I lived in a state of almost continuous anxiety interspersed with periods of suicidal depression. It feels now as if I am talking about some pastlife or somebody else’s life. 

One night not long after my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread. I had woken up with such a feeling many times before, but this time it was more intense than it had ever been. The silence of the night, the vague outlines of the furniture in the dark room, the distant noise of a passing train – everything felt so alien, so hostile, and so utterly meaningless that it created in me a deep loathing of the world. The most loathsome thing of all, however, was my own existence. What was the point in continuing to live with this burden of misery? Why carry on with this continuous struggle? I could feel that a deep longing for annihilation, for nonexistence, was now becoming much stronger than the instinctive desire to continue to live. 

“I cannot live with myself any longer.” This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was.”Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the ‘I’ and the ‘self’ that ‘I’ cannot live with.” “Maybe,” I thought, “only one of them is real.” 

I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped. I was fully conscious, but there were no more thoughts. Then I felt drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy. It was a slow movement at first and then accelerated. I was gripped by an intense fear, and my body started to shake. I heard the words “resist nothing,” as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. It felt as if the void was inside myself rather than outside. Suddenly, there was no more fear, and I let myself fall into that void. I have no recollection of what happened after that. 

I was awakened by the chirping of a bird outside the window. I had never heard such a sound before. My eyes were still closed, and I saw the image of a precious diamond. Yes, if a diamond could make a sound, this is what it would be like. I opened my eyes. The first light of dawn was filtering through the curtains. Without any thought, I felt, I knew, that there is infinitely more to light than we realize. That soft luminosity filtering through the curtains was love itself. Tears came into my eyes. I got up and walked around the room. I recognized the room, and yet I knew that I had never truly seen it before. Everything was fresh and pristine, as if it had just come into existence. I picked up things, a pencil, an empty bottle, marveling at the beauty and aliveness of it all. 

That day I walked around the city in utter amazement at the miracle of life on earth, as if I had just been born into this world. 

For the next five months, I lived in a state of uninterrupted deep peace and bliss. After that, it diminished somewhat in intensity, or perhaps it just seemed to because it became my natural state. I could still function in the world, although I realized that nothing I ever did could possibly add anything to what I already had. 

I knew, of course, that something profoundly significant had happened to me, but I didn’t understand it at all. It wasn’t until several years later, after I had read spiritual texts and spent time with spiritual teachers, that I realized that what everybody was looking for had already happened to me. I understood that the intense pressure of suffering that night must have forced my consciousness to withdraw from its identification with the unhappy and deeply fearful self, which is ultimately a fiction of the mind. This withdrawal must have been so complete that this false, suffering self immediately collapsed, just as if a plug had been pulled out of an inflatable toy. What was left then was my true nature as the ever-present I am: consciousness in its pure state prior to identification with form. Later I also learned to go into that inner timeless and deathless realm that I had originally perceived as a void and remain fully conscious. I dwelt in states of such indescribable bliss and sacredness that even the original experience I just described pales in comparison. A time came when, for a while, I was left with nothing on the physical plane. I had no relationships, no job, no home, no socially defined identity. I spent almost two years sitting on park benches in a state of the most intense joy. 

But even the most beautiful experiences come and go. More fundamental, perhaps, than any experience is the undercurrent of peace that has never left me since then. Sometimes it is very strong, almost palpable, and others can feel it too. At other times, it is somewhere in the background, like a distant melody. 

Later, people would occasionally come up to me and say. “I want what you have. Can you give it to me, or show me how to get it?” And I would say. “You have it already. You just can’t feel it because your mind is making too much noise.” That answer later grew into the book that you are holding in your hands. Before I knew it, I had an external identity again. I had become a spiritual teacher.”  

Eckhart Tolle, excerpt from The Power of Now – Introduction, The Origin of this Book

Maybe it’s required to be selfish in order to become selfless. We must know ‘what isn’t’ before we can know ‘what is’. 

Final Words… Why Get Up Early?

By the way, I am by no means declaring myself a spiritual teacher. You can read Eckhart’s book if you need a spiritual teacher. I just wanted to share my story and how my mindset came about.

The story I’ve just told you is the reason my blog is called Why Get Up Early.

Nothing ever happens arbitrarily or by accident – even something as superficially ordinary as getting up early. Your reason why you get up early should be your own.

My early rising has been a byproduct of change and deep understanding of what needs to get done in my life if I’m to live by my purpose. At its core, early rising is far from ordinary; it is the catalyst for everything in life – the spark that starts the fire within each morning and sets the tone for the rest of the day.

What will be your byproduct of change and deep understanding?

What is your answer to the question “why get up early?”

This blog post is completely different than the types of posts I usually write. With that said, I hope it has helped you in some way. It’s really difficult for me to share highly personal details about my life online to strangers, but if it helps just one person, it’s all worth it. 🙂

I'm the owner of WhyGetUpEarly.com and an enthusiastic early riser. Let's discuss why that is... and maybe I can make you a believer in magical mornings as well!

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