I am 21 years old, almost 22.

A lot of people call me a young adult. I am still a kid.

Prove it?

Most of the time when I see a puddle I jump in it. Sometimes you never know how deep that puddle is. Best puddle I ever jumped into in my entire life ended up being a knee high divot in the ground. I was absolutely soaked after jumping into that one. Puddles can be your worst enemy, or they can be your best friend. What type of driver are you? Are you the one that drives around the puddle because you are afraid of hydroplaning, or are you the driver whose eyes light up when you see the puddle of a lifetime….nail it going 65, and create a wall of water that would have even impressed Moses. I drill those puddles going full tilt with no mercy. The seasons change, and theres no more rain, but you can be damn sure that when I drive up to the mountains in the Spring I will be looking for those puddles near the river. Life is a lot like a puddle. Never can you fully see how deep that divot in the ground is until you jump into it. Sometimes its barely anything, but sometimes like I said before you end up knee deep in something. Now that you are soaking wet, are you going to be and Eeyore or a tigger? Tigger would bounce happily away, Eeyore would just slowly mope around and walk away. I have definitely had my Eeyore moments, but my god I have been a Tigger lately. Its funny actually how the last week I feel like I have bloomed. Maybe its just like the flowers outside. They all died during the winter, and now they are coming out to show something beautiful is coming. 

I have been keeping to my Four Agreements (being impeccable with my word, not taking things personally, not making assumptions, and always doing my best). I ran into an interesting situation the other night and I could have broken all four of those agreements. Instead, I just waited till I could talk calmly about what had happened, explained how I felt and was sincere, and everything worked out perfectly. That situation could have gone really south really fast. This past week was unreal with the amount of work I was putting into trying to do well on my mid terms. Also, everything with my new job was really testing my abilities to stay calm and collected. I spent a lot of time this week writing in my journal because of the things I was going through. But I made a goal for myself last Sunday. Eat as healthy as I can, work out twice a day, drink lots of water and work as hard as I can for as long as it takes on my school work, and see where that puts me at the end of the week. Well, 9 lbs down and I smashed both of my mid terms. I let myself get a little bit out of shape the past few months for a few understandable reasons. But my goal by May 15 is to be back down to 180. 12 more lbs…I can do it!

Own your bad news. Rather than making excuses for how you have screwed up, own it. With everything in my new job and especially with how new everything is…I am basically treading into waters that were not seen by anyone. Trust me, managing 10 stores, the managers and all of the employees at every store is not a walk in the park. I have been doing a great job this past month of laying down the framework for how we are going to go do this in the month of May, but it definitely wasn’t easy. Instead of crying for help all the time, I learned from my mistakes and owned them. I made it a priority to be responding to phone calls and emails within the same day or in 24 hours. Everything was going great till I realized that I missed one persons email and they weren’t too happy about it. Instead of making excuses for myself and for what happened…I just apologized, owned up to my mistake, and most importantly just fixed the problem. Now, my reliability in that sector is high and I also gained some respect for doing what I did. Being vulnerable and being willing to make mistakes is important. Fixing your mistakes is even more important. 

Make tiny decisions. They will add up into big changes. Big decisions are really hard to make and really hard to change. Everyone has made a huge decision about something, sometimes not fully thinking things through, and the repercussions ripple much farther than we thought they would. Instead of trying to change everything about yourself, start with little things. I was given advice that when you make big decisions about things, you continue to believe it was the right decision even when it wasn’t. “Once ego and pride are on the line, you can’t change your mind without looking bad. The desire to save face trumps the desire to make the right call. And then there’s inertia too: The more steam you put into going in one direction, the harder it is to change course.” When you make little decisions, they are easy to fix an you can afford to change them. Take Ben Saunders, the famous polar explorer for example. Ben had to do thirty one marathons 72 days straight alone. When asked about how he did it, how he survived the unthinkable, he said that he just thought about “getting to that bit of ice a few yards in front of me.” Thats what this journey is about. Don’t try to get to the end of your life because you think it will be so much easier. Never make the future an excuse for how you are acting now. Most of all though, dont make huge decisions when you dont have to. Sometimes there are moments in life where you really do have to make a big decision about something, but break it down into smaller pieces….I think you will be pleasantly surprised with how things turn out. 

There are these puddles in life. Jump into them. See how big of a splash you can make. You’re going to get wet, your clothes are going to be soggy and soaked, but don’t be afraid to jump in fully committed. I used to be gun shy a while ago. Now, in my head, I am jumping, diving, launching myself into any size puddle I can find. I am walking around soaking wet, but I have the biggest smile on my face.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project