I sat down with an old friend of mine yesterday in the gardens around campus, and had one of the most compelling talks I have really ever had with anyone. The conversation brought up a couple of stories I don’t think I have told yet…so I really wanted to get these out on here.

Imagine that your riding a unicycle. In fact, everyone is riding one. The important part is not the fact that you are riding a unicycle…the important part is that you have this wheel that you are on…and the spokes represent the different values of your life…and are completely supported by integrity. Let’s then say that you are riding around on your little bike…but deep inside you, you are acting completely out of line with someone you believe in, you are compromising your values, or you are simply not living up to your word. Now you can ride your bike around on a couple broken spokes pretty slow…so you really think everything is okay. You think that you are fine because the bike is fine. You couldn’t be more wrong. Things are about to get messy.

Life then “speeds up on you” and a million things start coming at you. You have family, friends, work, health, all sorts of conflicts, disappointment, obstacles…the works all come at you at once. You need to start biking faster. You are going 50mph on that unicycle. You are all wound up and have to keep pushing hard because life just got hard! You wipeout hard. You wonder why? I was doing so well…why did I fall? More importantly…why is everyone either upset with me or gone? That bike you were on…you forget, that wheel was supported by your word, by Β your deepest integrity. And you were fine when life was average…but when life really got into that 10% of times where it’s really really rough…you didn’t have the fortitude or ability to deal with adversity in a positive way. You couldn’t welcome the obstacles because in life you were already compromising. Your poor unicycle…and poor you…because things never just burn halfway in life, they burn you really hard until the job is done. It is life’s best way of taking all the momentum you have gained, and tearing you down to the last piece. And this is all based off of your word.

But the best part of being torn down…is that you get to decide how to rebuild things. Can you bring yourself back stronger? Yes, and you can decide which buildings you want to bring back…and which ones that you would rather not see their architecture again. But it starts with your word…because harmony is based on of what your mind thinks, what it says, and what it does. When all three of those are in play and working well, and life speeds up on you, you are ready. Because life will “life” you at many points. There are things that you cannot even contemplate happening. But if you know what you stand for, and represent what you stand for through action, then you will be ready. You will be able to go 100 on that bike…because it is as solid as you are…because you and the spokes of that wheel are one.

Look deep within. Let your light shine deep down into yourself, and understand that finding things that are broken in your wheel of integrity isn’t necessarily a bad thing…because you can do something about it. It is when we decide to not cave dive into the depths of our soul that we get into trouble. There is no covering it up…you are who you are…and everything inside of you comes out in one way or another. If you want to be able to face the greatest adversities and challenges with passion and purpose, you have to make sure that everything within…your hearts armor is iron clad…and not rusting out.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project