Are You Sleepwalking through Life?

As you stop in the moment to understand what’s happening around you, you realize that you’ve ended somewhere unplanned. You’ve found yourself in a place you’ve not imagined for yourself.

You ask yourself, “How did I get here?*”

The answer to the question is less important than why.

Are you where you are in life because you were mostly awake? Experiencing the joys. The “first-time-evers.” The let downs. The anger, The giving. The taking.

Or did sleepwalking through life claim your memories casting a formless shadow leaving doubt, concern, regret?

You have one shot to capture in your life’s story the opportunity to make this world better than the way you see it.

Fortunately that shot is available throughout your life. Don’t let it pass you by.

*Thank you Talking Heads for the rhetorical question.


Graphic by Shawn Murphy

Change Leader | Speaker | Writer Co-founder and CEO of ExchangeGain. Passionately explores the space where business & humanity intersect. Promoter of workplace optimism. Believes work can be a source of joy. Top ranked leadership blogger by Huffington Post. The Optimistic Workplace (AMACOM) out 2015

  • Jason Kiesau

    I LOVE the analogy of Sleepwalking!

    I think we’re all taught to “Sleepwalk”. We’re not taught to be AWAKE… probably because so few people are awake!

    The dangerous part is where is a person in their life when they do wake up? What responsibilities will they have? What commitments have they made? Who in their lives might their awakening impact? If and when they wake up… will they have the courage and confidence to stay awake? Will the life they have created thus far allow them to “get out of bed”?

    Great post! Great thoughts!

  • Jon Mertz


    Like that song and the Talking Heads. Creative people who may only ask that question after they created something odd and wonderful… Something David Byrne does often!

    I agree that we should not sleepwalk through life, but we should live in a zone where life is lived fully. Sometimes this creates a “runners high” where the results seem magical, although much effort put into them. Live in the zone, don’t sleepwalk aimlessly…



  • Susan Mazza

    I love this question Shawn. Sometimes there is joy in being awake and sometimes there is pain and struggle – but the alternative is to be numb. I live by the philosophy “I want to be used up when I die”. That doesn’t mean i always end up where I planned though. And at times i am sure I was sleepwalking a bit. Being awake doesn’t ensure predictable success, but it is incredibly empowering to know wherever you are, it was your choices that got you here.

    Perhaps that sense of personal responsibility is the difference between experiencing a midlife crisis and a mid life awakening. You cannot change where you are now, but you always have the power to make choices regarding what is next. .

  • Shawn Murphy

    Interesting point about where a person is in life when they do wake up. Indeed relationship could be impacted. It’s a struggle worth working through to live a life as a contribution, or awake.

    Be well,

  • Shawn Murphy

    I always enjoy your messages on your blog. Your support is valuable to us. Thank you.

  • Shawn Murphy

    Excellent point, Susan, about being awake doesn’t meen success. But imagine how much more powerful and insightful lack of success brings when fully awake!

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