Found what I was looking for.
Not a place, not a person, but an idea.
An idea that has been growing in my mind since this morning the moment I discovered it. But I have to take you back to a time and place I don’t really like going. I have to take you back to when I lost my first true love – baseball.
Ever since I was little, that’s all I ever wanted to be. But I didn’t have small ambitions. I wanted to be the greatest pitcher that ever lived. I wanted to be what they call a “G.O.A.T” – Greatest Of All Time. I’ll just be honest with you about that. These were my goals. I used to stay up late at night reading baseball books with my favorite heroes. I would collect baseball cards. I would play every single day with my dog in the yard and when I started actually getting into competitive sports, I would turn into this relentless young man standing on the mound.
Was my stuff better than everyone elses?
But I don’t think anyone was as competitive as I was.
I loved winning. I hated losing. I also never forgot the players who made me look bad…because while they had their moment, I was coming back for them.
There was this inner drive and focus that only existed when I stood up on the mound, ready to do battle, commanding the field, and looking to lead my team to victory.
It all mattered to me.
It mattered more than anything else.
Throughout my Junior and Senior year of high school I loved the feeling of knowing big games were coming up and I was “the go to guy” to close games out (Junior) and the main starter (Senior) year. I put in the work every single day to be the best I could be. I worked my butt off actually because I had the seeds of belief in my mind that if I continued to work hard – and I was told this as well – I would have a long career in the Pro’s if the heavens would have it.
I’ll never forget facing my old roommate the day when my arm popped.
Instinctively I knew this was the end. I just knew. While no one could really find anything wrong with my arm besides stress fractures – which healed – and a possible bone spur – which wasn’t the problem I just knew that my days as a baseball player had peaked and were headed in a downward trend.
While I did go to college to play, I wasn’t ever the same.
But that drive never left me. That desire to get better and to push myself carried me throughout a couple of seasons. I was thirsty to compete with the best and wanted to mow them down as us pitchers like to say.
But I couldn’t.
I couldn’t because every single day I felt more and more pain in my arm…
And eventually I had to have the hardest conversation I would ever have about sports with my head coach and hang up the cleats.
Fast forward to where I am now.
Lately, I’ve been listening to a book called “Relentless: From Good, To Great, To Unstoppable” by Tim Grover who was Michael Jordan’s trainer for over 15 years.
Sure some of it is about sports, but most of it is actually about the mentality of the three different types of people in this world: Coolers, Closers, and Cleaners.
If you have any competitive drive, you need to pick up this book. But let me tell you what it did for me. It allowed me to re-identify with that side of me that was misplaced the day my arm popped back into high school. I couldn’t trust my body anymore, and the make it even worse, my gut knew that it was the end.
But that competitive drive to be the best at something has still remained. Lately, it has been speaking to me more and more as I am starting to make changes in my life regarding all of the things I want to do with myself. I’ve heard this voice of competition – my greatest outlet for this massive amount of focus and inner drive – ringing in my ears and I haven’t been able to ignore it.
And this morning, I discovered the problem.
I don’t know what I’m doing this all for.
You see, when I started all of this, I had a 30 day goal to write the daily lessons I was learning in becoming a better man.
Bang, knocked that out of the park.
But what came next was more chaos than anything. In fact, there were sometimes long long periods of time where I didn’t write at all because I really didn’t have as much of a reason to. As I have grown this project to a few hundred thousand people, I have an audience and I am creating content, but at the end of the day I really didn’t know what for.
I know that it is helping people. I know that I am learning as well an that I am appreciative for all of the lessons I have come by. But I still didn’t know why.
Pretty big moment I would have to say.
I want to become the greatest encourager of all time.
I want to inspire people to act. I want to move their spirit. I want to get those who are in the worst of times out of the darkness and into the light.
But I don’t want to do it in a self help type of way.
I want to do it from the heart. I want to do it by telling stories. I want to do it by putting myself in front of a camera and speaking to everyone out there who is searching for a helping hand. And eventually, I want to do it standing in front of thousands and thousands of people and get a crowd to roar.
I don’t want to do it for the fame. I want to do it because I want to see just how big of a ripple I can create in this world time after time when I put the messages of love and light out there.
And for me to be myself, I have to unearth this inner drive once again to help me go to that place.
I’ve made contact with it again…and damn it feels good.
-Evan Sanders, The Better Man Project