The Better Man Project

Day (366) – Smiles

%inspirational quotes

Our true happiness doesn’t come from grades, from winning, from beating someone at something, from playing a game better, or any of those other things the world claims brings satisfaction. Our happiness comes from staying true to ourselves.

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”

 - E.E. Cummings.

Cummings has it right, this world tries to change us into something mediocre the best it can. It brings temptation, the things we know we don’t want in life, and makes us think twice about the things we have. It causes us to speculate about what will happen, and what’s out of our control. It tries to mold us into a plain version of everybody else. But if we really want to be ourselves, we have to fight for it every day. This fight can never end. We are constantly tested. We get advice from people, we hear things that make us question ourselves, and we try to find answers to situations that sometimes, we shouldn’t have the answers to at all.

One of the hardest things for me to do is admit that sometimes, we can’t have the answers to everything. I am a problem solver by nature, and if there’s a certain problem that plagues me, I write it down. Then, I come up with a bunch of different possibilities, find the most logical answer, implement it, and then I stick strong to my solution. But life is full of events that don’t have logical answers. You can’t run through life treating it like a math problem. There are just too many factors to take into consideration. People’s feelings are vital, and your feelings are inevitable. The list goes on and on. Sometimes, you just have to go off of what you know, and have a little faith that you’re moving in the right direction.

Without a doubt, faith is one of the hardest things to possess. You are basically telling yourself that despite what your senses tell you about everything else in life, you must shut all of them down and just blindly “hold” onto something that isn’t there to hold. I am getting to why I am happy, I promise, it’s just that there are so many opportunities to lose ourselves and really stray from our path. There are endless ways to change ourselves for the worse, and become manipulated by things that aren’t worth the fight. I have done these things in the past, but I have learned from them, and that’s why I am the person I am today. I know these things will continue to happen, and it’s just a part of life, but my compass is pretty strong right now and I clearly see what’s worth it and what isn’t…well, most of the time.

I have had many opportunities to destroy things, tear them to pieces and burn the remnants, but I didn’t take them. The realization to not do that didn’t come so easily. The easiest thing to do is to protect ourselves. It’s instinctive to want to light a fire around ourselves when the world threatens, but most of the time, those first reactions are the most dangerous thing we can do. Sometimes, it’s good to be vulnerable. I truly believe that beyond public speaking, being vulnerable is one of the things that scares people the most all over the world.

I was sitting outside the other day, and I was just playing with a box of “strike anywhere” matches. I have always struck the match, watched it burn, and then flicked it onto the blacktop. But as I was watching those matches burn, I realized something. When we hold a match sideways, it burns so fast it almost singes our fingers. However, when we hold the match upright, it takes forever for the flame to burn down the wood, and a lot of the time, it just puts itself out entirely. I sat there for a second, and this is what I came up with.

If we lay down to die when things get hard, we almost always turn to ash. But if we let ourselves stand, no matter how much fire is around us…that flame will almost always burn out. We need more people to stand in their flames.

Here’s why I’m smiling today. I am sitting here smiling, because I am thinking clearly. Sometimes when things happen to us, we are all muddled up in the confusion and the emotion, and it clouds our heads. We are so concerned with how we are doing, that we can’t see the big picture. So, here’s the big picture. The greatest opportunity I was ever given in my life was the opportunity to change everything I had ever hated about myself. This opportunity came at a great cost. It came at the cost of unexplainable suffering. While it took a year, I came out a better person because of it, and developed that hard inner core I was talking about earlier. I like to refer to it as the iron will in my heart. What I have learned is that while the process was excruciating and lengthy, it was worth it in the end. It made me proud, it allowed me to keep my head up, and most of all, it helped me create these positive massive buildings from a previous ground zero construction site. Best of all, I never had to rebuild those that I didn’t want to see anymore. I learned about myself, and got to know the man within.

My job is never going to be done, but I know that with a little iron in my heart, I can withstand the unthinkable. Beyond that, the most important thing I have learned, is that I have what it takes to make myself feel alive.

 

“The amount of time it takes you to get where you are to where you want to be is the amount of time it takes to change the vibrations within you.”

– Unknown 

0 Comments

  1. January 30, 2013

    [...] Day (366) – Smiles [...]

  2. December 23, 2012

    I enjoyed reading your post a lot! You are right in so many ways and I recognize myself in your story :) Keep up that smile of yours!

  3. December 23, 2012

    Best thing I’ve read in a while, except the bible of course…

  4. Bismaahmad
    December 22, 2012

    True

  5. December 21, 2012

    Absolutely phenomenal, wanting to get up and get back into the gym asap as I knock down this bronchitis and head back into my body building routine. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to get back into the positive vibes. And I LOVE the statements about faith, being vulnerable, and not having to have an answer for everything. It really takes the self-perfectionism out of it, and places the self-persistence into it instead. Thank you.

  6. December 20, 2012

    Reblogged this on itsxyenttirb.

  7. December 19, 2012

    You’re so full of good information… You make it seem so easy too, it’s not though is it? Keep blogging, I enjoy reading it .Hoping I can learn something one of these days!

  8. December 18, 2012

    Your line “But if we really want to be ourselves, we have to fight for it every day. This fight can never end. We are constantly tested. We get advice from people, we hear things that make us question ourselves, and we try to find answers to situations that sometimes, we shouldn’t have the answers to at all.” Absolutely fascinated me. I think I’m actually going to quote you in my blog; I absolutely loved it.

  9. December 18, 2012

    Quoting Gothe
    Goethe: HOPE enough to remove all anxious fears concerning the future

    BG: The Bhagavad Gita is very careful on the aspect of hope. Hope has a connotation to the future. The Gita says we spend most part of our lives thinking of the past and hoping about the future. In the process, we land up missing the present completely, which is there right in front of you to experience. Gita says the past is filled with attachments and emanating from the attachments is the fear of losing while on the other hand the future is filled with desire, and the fruits of the desire, and emanating from the desires/fruits of desire are anxiety and mental agitation. It clarifies that being human we are bound to act and all action is borne out of desire and so the key is manage the desires, working on positive desires, and not depend on the fruits of the desire.

    Read ‘Contented Living’ – https://bgft.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/contented-living/

  10. December 18, 2012

    Reblogged this on noordinaryjoy61 and commented:
    This blog was worth reposting. Great thoughts here…

  11. December 18, 2012

    Loved the match analogy and your experience of walking through the fire. I’m walking through the fire myself right now (and for the past few months) and it’s been very painful, costly (personal & otherwise), and overwhelming. There have been many days I haven’t known if I’m going to make it through. But I have faith that God is going to bring me out the other side a better woman. I know I’m already changed and, as much as I wish the process wasn’t necessary, I know the result is worth the journey.

  12. December 18, 2012

    This is something I am going through right this minute. Reading this lets me know I’m not the only one. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  13. December 18, 2012

    The match analogy is really good!

  14. December 18, 2012

    Thank you….so apropos for me

  15. December 17, 2012

    Simply awesome and nicely written. Especially what you gave example of match box and flame. Believe me I have jot down few lines in my diary. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article.

  16. December 17, 2012

    Reblogged this on hamizaahmed.

  17. December 17, 2012

    Bravo! That is soooo true!

  18. December 17, 2012

    I was recently “awarded” one of those blogging kudos from a fellow blogger and I’m passing it on to you. Your words never fail to speak to the depths of my soul. Thank you for inspiring me.
    http://amusingspirit.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/inspiring-blogger-award-a-quick-note-to-wyatt/

  19. December 17, 2012

    Happiness and staying true to who you are goes hand in hand! Thanks for writing this! A

  20. Carlos Williams
    December 17, 2012

    Great introspection and open sharing through your process. I appreciate you showing up in my life and the information definitely resonates strongly with me. Thank you.

  21. December 17, 2012

    The match story is a good one. Iron will is good. Be sure to keep your heart open and not allow the iron will to harden your love-ly heart. You are wise beyond your years. Our world needs your wisdom, especially for your generation. Smile, be open, keep on keeping on. ;)

  22. mkesling63
    December 17, 2012

    “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”

    – E.E. Cummings.

    Really the only effective battle necessary to gain and retain world Peace.

  23. December 17, 2012

    I really enjoyed your match analogy…very clever!

  24. songtothesirens
    December 17, 2012
  25. December 17, 2012

    I love the match analogy it’s a great visual.

  26. December 17, 2012

    Thank you for this post. It’s exactly what my soul needed today.

  27. December 17, 2012

    Hi dear I have awarded you the blog of the year 2012 award please check it out http://ardentpt.com/2012/12/17/blog-of-the-year-2012-award-2/

  28. December 17, 2012

    There’s so much that we don’t understand and because we can’t see it it’s hard for us to believe in it. Like faith. Being true to yourself is the best route. There’s always going to be distractions by way of opinions from your surroundings but if we follow our heart, we will always smile :)

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