“We can fight our way back into the light. We can climb out of hell. One inch, at a time.”
Our footsteps are the imprints we leave on this world. Do not be mistaken if you don’t leave a physical print behind…because there are far greater impressions we can leave than simply what we touch. We are capable of so much more. If you start to believe that your purpose makes an impact, that the things you say and do send ripples out into the universe, and that your presence to someone in need can create change, you have opened up a can of wisdom that will never stop producing.
I’ll tell you when it changed for me.
For the first couple of years writing I saw the stats of my total subscribers and daily views climbing. I watched as the world map filled up with people everywhere tuning into The Better Man Project to read what I had to say. Even through thousands and thousands of comments, I was unsure about the actual impact my writing was making on people’s lives. I wouldn’t hear the stories beyond a one or two sentence comment about it being great, so I was left in the dark. Maybe it was the fact that it’s hard to see the picture when you are in the frame…or if I’m going to drop another analogy…the rest of the storm when you are in the eye of it. Needless to say, I was unsure of myself and my mission.
That all changed from one letter.
About a year ago, I received a very deep and emotional letter from a cancer patient who had been reading my work for a long time and said that my writing helped keep her positive, even through the worst of times, and helped save her life. That letter is still saved in my inbox…and meant the world to me because it changed the way I saw my writing. For the first time, it became very clear to me that I am not a static force. I don’t have to be simply playing within myself, but rather I can literally touch the lives of people everywhere without actually being in front of them.
One of the greatest gifts of introspection I have ever come across is understanding that the world is incredibly fluid, full of moving parts and energy, and that your actions can literally create massive ripples in the universe.
When I came to understand that I opened so many doors for myself. I understood that if I threw everything I could into my writing that someone on the other end, whether I would see them or not, would feel that. They would understand that I am not trying to relate to them on a case by case basis…but rather through emotions. I found skip past their mind and go straight to their heart.
Because honestly, we all feel the same things. There are only so many emotions in the dictionary. But if we try to relate to each other on a situational field, we’ll never get anything done. You see that a lot in the world today. I think at times we forget that we are all people. Of course we have different types of struggles, but who hasn’t struggled? Of course each eye sees light and darkness times differently, but who hasn’t experienced those times? When you start to look at it that way, you can begin to relate to people on an entirely new level.
Back in the day, I was incredibly shy around groups of people who I didn’t know. I felt like they didn’t know me (which they didn’t) and that if we engaged we would just end up getting caught in the typical types of conversations. That’s the type of thinking of a boy who believes that the world is happening to him. I wouldn’t go out and create what I knew I could because I didn’t have the type of mind for it. I am still working furiously hard on this because I have to break these habits. Recently, in the gym during mornings, I have been forcing myself to talk to people I could usually just leave alone and engage with them. That fear of putting yourself out there creeps up once in a while…but the resiliency inside drives it right out and I go for it.
if you take the time to see the things that you are good at and the things you are bad at, you give yourself an opportunity to work on them. I don’t agree that we can change. I don’t agree with the fact that we are stuck in being a certain way because we have always been that way. I believe that we can change…mostly for ourselves…and create characteristics as long as we work on them incessantly. To break lifelong habits you must have an extraordinary amount of energy and focus. For me, to break my dependency on eating crappy food which would destroy my goals took an overwhelming amount of effort and discipline. But I did it…and now there’s no consideration of even turning back.
If it doesn’t happen right away then that’s fine. Your body won’t change overnight. Your hairs won’t change overnight. The way you approach guys or gals won’t change that quickly. But you can learn. You can learn learn learn…and then it comes time to practice your craft. You can start forcing yourself into situations that you wouldn’t put yourself in originally and that will change you. It takes the clay a little while to warm up, but when it does, it shapes beautifully.
Napoleon Hill many years ago came up with a list of characteristics that all incredibly successful people have and a way to rate yourself on how well equipped you are in each of them. I did this test years ago and still have it. Here are the traits.
- Definite chief aim
- Self confidence
- Habit of saving
- Initiative & leadership
- Self Control
- Doing more than paid for
- Pleasing personality
- Accurate thought
- Dealing with failure
- Golden rule
These characteristics for me were pivotal in my development because I was able to model myself after those who had been successful.
Tony Robbins will tell you that modeling yourself after someone else who is incredibly successful is one of the surefire ways to success (PS huge Robbins fan). Success leaves behind many clues and breadcrumbs so to speak. If you look for them you will be able to find them. But if you think that you can do it all on your own your wrong. Maybe you could, but it’s going to take a lot more time than if you received some help along the way. That’s the #1 reason why I hired a professional trainer who has results…because I know he has done it himself and he has done it for many others.
Thing is, in time, you grow no matter what. You can grow for the sky or you can grow back down into the ground. Roots are important – I call my roots my past. I’ve gone back there many times to make sure that there aren’t any fatal flaws that might cause issues if life decides to get a bit stormy. But I don’t live down there. I live reaching for the sky and trying to stretch myself.
That’s the only way to live amongst the treetops.
Get into the habit of burning paths.
– Evan Sanders