February 9, 2011
The world needs better men.
I sit here mashing at the keys, 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. Anyone who has ever used one would understand. But it isn’t its quality that drives me to the brand, but rather the enticing thought of writing in the same type of notebook as Hemingway and Fitzgerald. It almost drives you to the bar and nudges you to have three or four to see what you could come up with.
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 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. I looked up at my wall and saw my favorite quote from Rocky Balboa telling me that life is not about how hard you can hit, but what you do after you have been knocked down repeatedly. For me, when I am going through the roughest of times, that idea 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.
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 finally found it: ever 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 makes me nauseous. But now, knowing what I stand for and realizing that I want perseverance to be at the heart of my character, I can no longer accept quitting as an option. 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