To sleep is to tell a story about reality, to interpret it, and give reality to the interpretation. It's like watching a movie and taking it as real until the movie ends.
To awaken is to remove that interpretation and withdraw your attention from the story, and resume unfiltered interaction with the present.
Of course, it isn't that simple, and yet it is.
Once you have enough power to "see through" an interpretation it is impossible to mistake it for reality. Can you imagine trying to believe again in the tooth fairy or Santa? To gain personal power requires a steady determination in removing the ties that bind your attention.
Any attention you "spend" on a belief, memory or hope, reduces the attention available for seeing and knowing the present. No amount of mental understanding can accomplish power. Mind consumes it. You can gain power through intent, and by slowly and methodically removing outdated definitions from your being.
If, for example, you uphold "I am not safe" as a way of being then you must constantly spend energy on matters of safety and protection, living at war. You must "remind your self" of danger at each moment - an expensive "program" to run. If you are, in fact, in danger - a war going on here and now, then it may be worth the expense. If, however, you are reading this article, chances are you are far away from war... More likely you are replaying a memory of war, that though had validity in your past, is outdated for your present.
A child has nothing to uphold. They simply are, each moment. They learn quickly and experience fully because their attention is free. As they adopt a name, gender or affiliation they build a personality. They have something to be, something to uphold, which requires them to "talk to themselves" and "remind themselves" who they should be.
Waking up is the reverse of this process, burning beliefs about your being with the question "Who am I?". Each belief about the world you dismantle removes an "always on" voice from talking in your head, returning to internal quiet as your natural state of being.
Begin when you would rather know than pretend...