What if peace of mind is earned, not given. What if enlightenment is not something you surrender into, it’s something you win, by doing the work every single day. What if enlightenment is the momentary bliss you earn by doing your best the rest of the time.
I was holding the bluetooth speaker in my hand as I walked towards the bathroom this morning, not wanting to be out of range of David Goggins’ voice, which boomed from the living room. I brought the speaker in with me to the bathroom, and listened over the sound of teeth brushing. I began to question why I didn’t meditate today as I do almost every day. It all stemmed from a conversation I was having with my friends the other night, which was New Year’s Eve.
Someone else and I shared the trait of waking up every single day feeling an insatiable desire to create meaning. Within the first minutes of waking up, we felt like we owed something, like there was some greater meaning we had to fulfill that day, starting right then. For me and possibly for her (we didn’t get into it that far), it goes even farther. From the moment my eyes are open, I have the feeling that I've already lost, and that I have to win the day back.
It all hit me in the bathroom. What if I don’t get to choose when I meditate. What if the clarity and peace of mind that results in the desire to sit down in mediation is earned. What if I don’t get to meditate today, because I don’t have the peace of mind for it. And what if the reason I don’t have the peace of mind for it is that I haven’t earned it, and I haven’t earned it because I haven’t put in the work I know I’m capable of doing. What if I had more to give. What if my well wasn’t completely empty and that’s why I’m not hungry for mediation, which is there to fill the well.
You won’t have an appetite if you’re not hungry. Just like you won’t have an appetite for clarity and peace of mind until you have burned enough spiritual calories to build up a deficit, i.e spiritual hunger.
Being spiritually hungry is what earns me the right to meditate. So I don’t get to mediate today. Because I haven’t earned peace of mind that is the prize. Why would I get a prize without having won something? When I’ve competed (really against myself) to the point where I know I had nothing left to give, then I’ll earn it. My goal is to wake up with that feeling more of the time. But at my current stage of development, I know that these feelings of lack, the waking up hungry are there as my teacher to push me towards what I am truly capable of. And I cherish them. I honor them. And I happy they are there. I consider the drive, motivation, and hunger that results from those feelings, to be my greatest gifts. One thing I will never lack, is knowing there is more for me. I will never lack the feeling that I'm making progress, which is the key to feeling fulfilled, which is the key to having self-confidence.
There was something more my spirit knew I needed to go through, that trumped mediation this morning.
And when I am ready for enlightenment, I’ll know, because I’ll look back at the work I put in, and be able to say, I earned it. Or at least I earned the opportunity to as Goggins says, “reset the tactical advantage and look to see where I’m at, and survey the field.” I’ll get my “one second out” to assess where I’m at, but for now I need to grind. I need to earn peace of mind.