I wanted to post this and give you a look at what the blog was like at day 0. It is incredible to look back this far.
The world needs better men.
I sit here mashing at the keys as I realize I am, in no way, a perfect man. In fact, I believe that if you think you are the perfect man…well, there’s one problem right there. This blog is not intended to be an instruction manual on how to be a better person; rather it is a peek inside my own journey towards becoming the man who I have always wanted to be. I have had my excuses, my failures, my successes, and my shortcomings, all of which have led me to this point: sitting in front of you, listening to the patter of my fingers on the keys. I have always loved writing. Even though I will be blogging, I will still use my Moleskin – the overpriced lined diary that I immediately fell in love with, not because of the quality of the book, but rather because it is the legendary notebook of Hemingway. Anyone who has ever seen a Moleskin would understand. The thought of writing in the same type of notebook as Hemingway or Fitzgerald is enticing…it almost drives you to the bar and nudges you to have three or four and see what you could come up with while intoxicated.
But I digress. This blog is my 30-day attempt to break all the bad habits I have ever had. Each day, I will go through one thing that I believe is crucial to my development as a man; hopefully along the way you will get something out of it too. I have always wanted to write down the things that matter to me most. Trust me, I’ve been through hell. I can show you the parking vouchers. But there is something very calming about being able to look back on the times when you thought you weren’t going to make it out alive and realize that you did. When I was going through the worst of it, I remember someone telling me, “God only gives you as much as you can handle.” This one phrase kept me fighting no matter how tough it was, because I knew that this was my test and that somehow I had to get through it.
This leads me to my first post of this blog.
Standing for Something
I was asked a very interesting question a few months ago. “Evan, what do you stand for as a person?” To be honest, I stared blankly back at them – not because I was confused, but because I really had no idea. So I did the one thing that I have been doing since 2nd grade…I made a brainstorming cloud. Trust, loyalty, determination, perseverance…you know, words that sound good on a résumé. Overcoming setbacks…staring down fear…eventually I realized that I was about more than just a series of random yet inspiring words. I needed complete thoughts and ideas to describe how I viewed myself and the life I wanted. This led me to look back on a few of my favorite quotes of all time. The first is from Rocky Balboa. Despite the hard-to-get-past lingo, he is quite an impressive actor, director, and writer. Here’s the first thing I live by…and if this doesn’t tug at your heartstrings a little bit, well, we will work on that in a later post.
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!” – Rocky Balboa
For me, when I am going through the roughest of times, that quote keeps me going. It keeps me scratching and clawing no matter what because in the end, much like Rocky, I know I will be okay. The second quote that my little brainstorming activity called to mind is a simple phrase that is posted on the wall in my room, and I feel like it’s tattooed on my brain as well.
“You have a dream, you have to protect it…You want something, go get it, period.” – The Pursuit of Happyness.
So what do I stand for? Well, I think I need to look at it more in terms of what I want to stand for from now on. After thinking about it long and hard, I think I have finally found it: Never Quitting. This stands for everything. Never quitting on: relationships, tests, myself, classes, workouts, books, friends, promises…the list goes on. For me, this is a very measurable aspect of my life. I can tell whether I quit on something or not; whether I gave up or kept going. There have been events in my life where I have given up and quit, and even thinking about them now I get nauseous. But now, knowing what I stand for and knowing that I want perseverance to be at the heart of my character, I will try my best to never stray from that value. Challenge yourself to never quit on anything during the day. Find what you stand for and let it drive your life.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
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