Truth #7: Waiting for an Epiphany = Being Lazy
Oprah is retiring and Morgan Freeman isn't coming. This one's on you.
Waiting for an epiphany is lazy.
Hearing these words may make you feel combative. And I get it. Anyone that grew-up with Oprah has built a lot of trust around the epiphany.
We’ve sat *metaphorically* (unless you’re from Finland, then fo’ real) atop mossy boulders inviting elves to blow magic into our ears.
We’ve summoned the Universe for unicorn trails to follow.
We’ve looked for signs on sidewalks, bathroom stalls, and in song lyrics.
We’ve called upon the father, the son, and holy spirit of our dead dogs for answers.
And epiphanies can burst through like shooting stars. Or more astutely, they can strike with the force of a lubed-up suppository that’s been inserted face-down after a premier bout of constipation in India.
An epiphany can *quite literally* launch itself across the room.
Here’s a snapshot of how an epiphany cuts through our hamster wheel of thoughts:
*Seaweed crisps taste like a fish tank*
*Is Jon Voight the one that’s Angelina Jolie’s Dad?*
*He has very enviable, feminine eyebrows—just like his daughter, Angie*
*Billy Bob is hot in a greasy way*
*Fuck, I need to get my oil changed*
[insert the musical scale of a xylophone]
*I must go to a cabin, set-up a time-lapse camera and spray paint neon leaves onto canvas for my 472 followers!*
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Epiphanies happen all the time, in all sizes and magnitudes. Environments ripe for an epiphany include: the car, the shower, nature, walking, meditation, new places, doing new things, water, and high-intensity cardio.
When a unique and powerful thought slices through, it’s energizing. And when it pops out of nowhere, it can carry a divine-like quality.
However, most of the time, our epiphanies or “slicing truths" (as I’m coining right here, right now) appear as small breadcrumbs. They are unique thoughts that point us in the right direction. For example, a “slicing truth” may be: a tagline for a joke, an urge to try water polo, or the perfect adjective for a passive aggressive email.
Everyday epiphanies invite action. And acting on our intuition is not lazy. In fact, it’s a requirement for fulfillment.
But too often, we ignore the smaller, trail-making breadcrumbs and do not act. We see them as tiny blimps on the radar while we wait for our submarine-sized epiphany to bulldoze across the screen.
But the truth is, writing-off the everyday epiphany in favour of the “sudden knowing”, fall-to-your-knees type is lazy. The Hollywood epiphany where Morgan Freeman reveals your life’s purpose after a near-death incident (involving apathy and a waterfall) is unlikely.
Waiting to just “know” is an excuse. And counterproductive.
While smaller, slicing truths may feel like the poor man’s epiphany, they accumulate.
The voice that throws out a “what about this?” is coming from the same coveted place as the elf whisper or Morgan Freeman’s narration.
So, while banking on an Eat, Pray, Love gap year in 2025 is fun, it’s lazy. Staying in a holding pattern until some divine intervention finds you is also lazy. Waiting for anything to happen on your behalf is lazy.
We can’t expect answers to come knocking at our door. Do we really think our big epiphany is gonna drive on over, look for parking, and traipse up our janky steps to deliver a message when we haven’t even left the couch?
We can’t expect an “in your face, bitch!” level of epiphany if we are ignoring the smaller revelations. If we’re poo-pooing the breadcrumbs that the Universe is a tossin’, we’re at the back of the line for big magic.
We have to show the Universe (and ourselves) that we are serious by following through on intuitive thoughts. This means asking the questions, going on the walk, signing up for the class, taking the risk, stepping into the unknown, and breaking old patterns.
We need to send the damn email and buy the neon spray paint.
Understandably, there are times when we aren’t in a place to forge ahead. We’re too busy, stressed, distracted, and closed-off for action. But making a micro-move based on an interest or a nagging thought is the respite. It’s our only means to get out of a funk and course correct. If we feel closed in, we have to start walking for things to open up.
Taking intuitive action also shows that we mean business. We have to prove ourselves before with the small, before we unlock the big. We have to get to the party first before getting poured some of the top-shelf, good shit.
At first, we may not understand why we're drawn to something, or what making balloon animals at a fire dancer’s birthday party has to do with anything. But things pull together. Everything we do, and the people we meet along the way, offer up nuggets that are ours to keep.
Action coughs up bits and bobs that go into your toolbox for later.
Note: If I hadn’t listened to the voice pushing me to do stand-up, I never would have met world-class predators—LOL! I also wouldn’t have learned skills that are integral to right now.
Stand-up means getting schooled in: public humiliation, tighter writing, liberal editing, vulnerability, and risk-taking. Without enduring years of bad dick jokes, I wouldn’t be as good at a lot of things today. I also doubt that I would have committed to writing this. I started and stopped writing for years, but only during the pandemic when comedy was on pause was I able to truly commit.
Why? Because compared to performing comedy in a basement for 3 rowdy bikers, most things feel infinitely more appealing. And easier. Filling the space I held for comedy with writing felt like a vacation. It felt like I was getting away with something. And without feeling the emptiness of this formerly-occupied, vibrant space, I wouldn’t have had the urge to fill it.
And while I am haunted by not currently performing (^ see above the excuse list, like “too busy” and “too distracted”), I get to take my former “yes” with me now. The skills that I sharpened aren’t lost, they’re just being used in a different way.
P.s. When I do stand-up again, please don’t come. It will be bad. And it will be my “back of the line” punishment for ignoring inkling in favour of safety.
To cultivate epiphanies, you need to listen, be active, then trot towards the future vibe you’re after.
10 Ways to Tell You’re Waiting on an Epiphany (and Being Lazy)
You’ve got a plan, but will start after one or more of the following: cleaning the house, buying a white board, drinking the rest of the fridge wine, finding a tech co-founder, researching if your idea already exists, dumping someone, trimming your dog’s toenails, or consulting with your business partner (dog).
You spent the entire summer watching Big Brother (and BB After Dark—*woof, sadness*) whilst eating Fudgsicle®s on a mattress you’ve pulled into the living room. You hate everyone on the show, but you tell yourself you’re watching as a “student of life”.
You remembered the “Law of Attraction” and spent 40 seconds in the shower willing a job offer…
Then, you wrote yourself a blank check for $10,000,000.
You bought glue sticks at Dollarama to make a vision board and inevitably, didn’t make one.
In order to “find yourself”, you’ve bought a 7-day all-inclusive trip to Tulum.
You’ve started consulting your weekly horoscope before leaving the house.
In the last calendar year, you’ve spent more than $70 on crystals (including gifts).
Your weekly screen time is up 64% and is largely spent monitoring the comings and goings of someone who owes you $100 (and an apology).
You’ve developed a rolodex of procrastination excuses that include one or more of the following: “My pants are too tight”, “It’s raining”, “It’s sunny”, “It’s my Birthday month”, “If I don’t make a gross stew tonight, the mush in my fridge will get mushier”, “It’s still a pandemic”, “I need a nap”, “I can feel my zit pulsating”, or “Everyone going is a loser”.
When we overcome something scary, uncomfortable, or deemed “not for us”, we leave safety (and lazy) behind. New experiences invite new thoughts. Flexing a new muscle leads us to the next thing. And this doesn't necessarily happen in real-time.
What we’re doing today borrows on the actions we took yesterday. Following today’s everyday epiphanies edges us closer to tomorrow’s fuller, fancier version of self. By this science, we’re closer to figuring it out than we’ve ever been.
Unlocking your level-up does not involve waiting for Morgan Freeman. He’s not coming. Plus, you’re here already.