Based on how most Buddhists interpret the Dalai Lama's teaching, the steps of waking up include:
Meditating on the core of silence within the center of the mind.
Observing the shifting contents of the mind carefully, separating out anything that sustains suffering and illusion.
Unraveling the ego's version of reality and piercing through the ego's claim that it knows how to live properly.
Facing the truth that everything in nature is impermanent.
Letting go of materialism and things.
Becoming detached from the self and realizing that the individual self is an illusion.
Being mindful of one's being, overcoming the distraction of thoughts and sensations.
Abiding by a set of higher ethics whose basis is compassion for other people and reverence for all life.
Not doing too well at it, are we?
Well, we can all help each other through this. We need to share our methods and our discoveries. We need to post them on the Internet and tell them to our friends. There are ways OUT OF THE TRAP. It takes courage and it takes will. The Western mind has little time for a monastic life of Buddhist practice. But it must find time for a common-sense approach to living. Our present approach, as a species, is bombastic, destructive, violent, greedy, spiteful, and unsustainable.
Some of us will stumble onto things that'll help others. I have, recently, I think. I include them here. They may have no bearing on your life whatsoever.
Remove yourself from ANY relationship, business dealing, personal involvement or passing association that is inequitable and unfair to you in ANY way. If it diminishes you in ANY regard, be it in the area of respect, honor, dignity, awareness, reputation, self-esteem, financial worth, or ANY other area relating to the vital life-force that you possess and that is YOU, get out of there. Immediately.
Don't worry if you don't get that $20,000 job. If it has strings and asks that you barter your soul, your worth, your skill and your standard, and you take it, it will steal a little bit more of your already-damaged life-force. If you turn it down proudly, the money will come back to you in many unique ways, often in larger amounts than you ever dreamed.
If you are a musician think like a builder. If you are a cook think like a plumber. If you are a writer think like a painter. Remember that all things are open to you if you live without walls. Learn to cook, to build, to paint.
Do NOT litter. Do NOT spoil your nest. AND DO NOT SPOIL YOUR BODY. Do NOT trust your government to care enough about you to supply drinkable tap-water. This is not your father's world. Don't eat anything smarter than you are. Don't eat sentient beings. Don't supersize yourself at strip-mall eateries that specialize in the recycling of toxic non-foods disguised as chicken nuggets. These are not things you would feed your dog, not if you love and respect your dog. If your dog has been raised on good, healthy food, he or she will turn their nose away from this filth and refuse it. Likewise, a healthy dog will refuse to drink tap-water. Learn to trust your dog and other animals. They are here to teach us how to live.
Love is the only answer to any question, any dispute, any illness, any war. It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? Then, imagine Jesus prescribing a war to fix a dispute. Imagine the Dalai Lama screaming "death to the infidels!" The ridiculous answer is often the right answer.
If you are waking up up feeling bad, just generally bad, that means something is wrong. Work on it. Don't blame the person sleeping next to you, don't blame your neighbor, don't blame anyone. Don't blame yourself! The answer to the question you are asking is locked inside of you. When you start doing the right things in your life, you'll start to wake up feeling good. The world as you see it will change. You will get well.
Maybe none of this is true for you. It has been true for me. I wish you all the best!