The Last Chapter Of 2014

On clean white sheets of paper, write your picture perfect ending to 2014. 

I remember January of this past year very well. In fact, because of some events that went down a few days after the new year, this year will be hard to forget. They say that life works in mysterious ways and often like a bow and arrow. You get pulled farther and farther back, and if you keep it together long enough and prevent yourself from snapping, you are going to get launched farther forward than you could possible imagine. This year that happened to me in many ways. This year has been one of growth, development, wisdom and dreaming. For me, 2014 has been by far the best year I have ever had even though it was full of the most challenging times of my life. 

Funny how that works eh?

I think Eleanor Roosevelt said it best…

“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 have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

In many ways this past year was an absolute disaster for me. There were times of vicious anxiety, feeling completely alone, troubles with my health and not being able to know who to trust except for a select few. Things went as far as they really ever have into the black, but at the same time, I could say the opposite was true. 

With the greatest of my defeats have come the biggest opportunities for victory, and in many cases, I seized those opportunities. 

Life is going to kick your butt quite often. There’s no bigger foot to the seat of the pants than the one life offers. You won’t see it.  You won’t expect it. You will just get completely booted and left on the ground. Honestly, there’s nothing you can really do except for roll over and get back up. Trying to figure out why some things happen that are completely out of our control is a prescription for insanity. Things are just going to happen and they are going to fall apart. That is the way of the world. But opportunities will also slam right into you and you just have to grab them. 

There are some things, I am totally convinced, that you are not supposed to know why they happened…they just did. 

2014-it's-a-new-year

“It’s a new year. It’s time to start again. Stop thinking about what you’re going to do and start doing it. It’s time to live your life and be who you are. Forget about whatever happened in 2013 and just move on. Take risks and be yourself, you only have on life , and it’s time to make the most of it. Make a new year’s resolution and this time achieve it no matter what the cost in.” 

I posted that quote above on my Instagram this past year and I think it couldn’t be more spot on. But we have to do this every day. We have to change those words to new day and yesterday. We have to stop thinking in terms of years worth of change. That is why a vast majority of resolutions fail – they are far too big and too bold to be taken as small bites throughout 365 days. 

But my favorite part is that last line. “Make a new year’s resolution and this time achieve it no matter what the cost is.” 

This year I learned about the costs of my dreams. Oh and trust me, there was a price to pay. The price was me giving up my ego thinking I could do it all by myself, many many hours, and developing an attitude of being a novice in what I thought I knew so I could give myself the opportunity to learn every day. I had to push myself as hard as I could to get to the 2.0 version of my own self…and then continued on the trek to 3.0. 

What happens when you achieve a goal or set out on a path to achieve one is you find that you have more in you and that your best can constantly be increased. You find out that you are capable of more than you can imagine. When this happens just trust it. It’s really easy to start wondering if what you are doing is the right thing or not. Get some opinions from outside eyes who are trained and have the results you want and then continue down the path. It’s really easy to lose faith in what you are doing when you are venturing out into the unknown. Whenever this happens I try to remember the great explorers of old and how they traversed thousands of miles and great unknowns only fueled by faith that it would turn out and they would find something incredible. 

That is where faith outperforms anything in this world. It trumps hope, determination, perseverance….and pretty much anything else. Love is right up there as well but it’s used typically for other things than faith based obstacles. 

Faith taught me how to stretch myself and work on becoming a better man day in and day out. Without that this year, who knows what type of shape I would be in. I would probably still be a wreck. 

We are given the greatest lessons exactly when we need them. We are driven to the point of breaking but never crack. We are hammered at and shaped to become the person we need to be – not the person who we think we should be. There is a whole lot of direction you can give this life but then there are hands which shape and mold you as you go. I guess from all of the things that have happened to me throughout my life, I just believe this to be true and far beyond simple consequence. 

You have a month left. On those fresh sheets of paper, write the story not only for the year, but for the rest of your life. 

– Evan Sanders 

 

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  • Lilka Raphael
    December 1, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Love this post, especially the first analogy with the bow and arrow. Thanks, cause I needed that! 🙂

  • justineejarvie
    December 1, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Reading through this, I couldn’t help but joyfully shout, “YES!”

    Thank you. You can’t imagine how well timed this post was for me to read. I now have some writing to do on my lunch break.

    Wishing you all the best in the year(s) to come.

    • thebettermanproject
      December 1, 2014 at 11:26 am

      Now that’s the type of reaction I want! So good. Thank you!

      Love for you to subscribe! http://btrman.me/1y5mSMs

      • justineejarvie
        December 2, 2014 at 8:03 am

        Absolutely! I’ve been getting the emails from your blog throughout the year, though I confess I want to sit down and read it completely. You’re a great writer!

        • thebettermanproject
          December 2, 2014 at 8:51 am

          Well how about I just send you my book for free?!

          E.

  • prospermind
    December 1, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Evan, wow! That was the most amazing, inspiring and motivating post I have read in quite a long time!! I’m really happy for you, that you pushed yourself to become the better 3.0 version of you! Wow! Who can say that from themselves? Not so many people!
    I’m glad, I took the time to read this post. It simply reassured me to hold on as strongly as possible to my faith, to my spiritual power, that motivates and fuels me day by day. Yes! Having faith really is a wonderful thing, if you simply believe in yourself, you can do anything! Just think of the lesson the bumblebee tought us (I hope you know what I mean, otherwise you’d be confused right about now).

    Just this morning I got up, looked at the date and thought to myself: Wow, only 30 more days left this month. Time to add one final great achievement to the year 2014!!

    So, thanks for posting.
    Cheers and have a wonderful day, prospermind! 😉

    • thebettermanproject
      December 1, 2014 at 11:26 am

      That is quite the compliment! Thank you! Im glad you took the time to read it as well. It’s interesting what motivates people. For some it’s spiritual (like you said) others it’s resistance…but we all need to find that thing. You have this month to really get after it! So go get it!

      Love for you to subscribe! http://btrman.me/1y5mSMs

  • Vinay Mulchandani
    December 1, 2014 at 10:09 am

    I’m going through the sane phase as you were going in 2013 & 2014. I can now stay strong a bit more longer with a hope of finally reaching that destination, that happiness. Beautiful post!

    • thebettermanproject
      December 1, 2014 at 11:24 am

      Yes! Please have faith. Honestly if you hammer away at it for long enough eventually you will build some amazing resistance and strength.

      Love for you to subscribe! http://btrman.me/1y5mSMs

  • lilaosborne
    December 1, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Appreciate this today Evan…was starting to loose hope, I needed the reminder that it’s only my ego <3

  • 9to9dancer
    December 3, 2014 at 7:12 am

    Awesome! I’ve felt the same this last year 🙂 Bring on 2015!

  • vsvevg
    December 3, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Hello Mr. Sanders. Do you have an about page? I would like to know what your title refers to, what is your project? I appreciate your following vsvevg, and I enjoyed your writing, I will visit again soon. paz, Abby

  • bpnurse
    December 6, 2014 at 1:04 am

    This is an excellent post. It was just what I needed to read tonight. Thank you for this, and for following me at bpnurse. 🙂

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