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, theres one problem with you right there. This blog is not intended to be an instruction manual on how to be a better man, but rather my own journey towards becoming the man that I have always wanted to be.

I have had my excuses, my failures, my successes and shortcomings, which have all 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 this, I will still have my Moleskin, the overpriced lined diary which I immediately fell in love with not because of the quality of the book, but rather because of one statement. “The legendary notebook of Hemingway.”

Anyone who has ever seen a moleskin would understand. The thought of writing in the same type of notebook as Hemingway or Fitzgerald is enticing…it almost drives you to the bar and nudges you to have three or four and see what you could come up with while intoxicated.

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 that is crucial to my development as a man, and 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 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, someone once told me “God only gives you as much as you can handle.” This one phrase kept me fighting for the duration no matter how tough it was…because I knew, that this was my test, my challenge, and I had to get through it.

This leads me to my first post of this blog.

Day 1 – 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 by the question, but because I really had no idea. “What the hell do I stand for?” I thought to myself. 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 resume or entries in the thesaurus.

Overcoming setbacks…staring down fear…no, no, no, no…..And it came down to me looking back on a few of my favorite quotes of all time. The first is from Rocky Balboa. Yeah, I know, Rocky right? Despite the lisp and the hard to get past lingo, he is quite an impressive director/writer/ Heres the first thing I live by…and if this doesn’t tug at your heart strings a little bit, well, we will work on that in a later post.

This video means the world to me. It was my part of my senior quote in high school. “Life’s not about how hard you can hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” For me, going through the roughest of times, that keeps me up and going. Keeps me scratching and clawing no matter what. Because in the end, I know I will be okay.

The second quote is posted on my wall in my room, in my binder cover, and I feel like its tattooed on my brain. Will Smith – The Pursuit of Happyness. My best friend always rags on Will Smith…and while I know that he didn’t write these lines…he delivered them perfectly. “You have a dream, you have to protect it…You want something, go get it, period.”

“You have a dream, you have to protect it…You want something, go get it, period.”

So what do I stand for? Well, this is more of what do I want to stand for from now on. After thinking about it long and hard, I finally found it.

Never Quitting.

This stands for everything. Never quitting on: relationships, tests, myself, classes, workouts, books, working on myself, 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 now I get nauseous. But now, knowing what I stand for and it being at the heart of my character, I will try my best to never stray from that value.

Challenge yourself to never quit on anything during that 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

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project