Last night was my best friends birthday party in the city. Needless to say, we were all in good form. Everyone was leaving to their respective significant others houses, I was handed the keys to his apartment, sat talking to someone for another half an hour, looked at my phone…oh boy 2:30 it is time to get out of here. I had no cash for a cab…so I looked at my phone…typed in the address…2 miles uphill…meh, why not? I started hiking.

But something really interesting happened on my way home. When I am walking alone, I usually am thinking about things and hatching new ideas etc. I actually love these moments because I have a chance to really check in with myself and see what is going on inside. While walking on this particular street that was full of packed together apartments, every time I would pass one of the garages a motion light would come on. I continued walking up this street, passing by one of these lights every 7 or 8 steps, and these lights would pop on. When I got to the top of the hill, I watched the lights turn off one by one. It was a pretty cool effect and made a large impression on me. I couldn’t quite figure it out until this morning. Here’s what I learned last night.

Every step we take, we have the opportunity to be a shining light for those around us, or continue walking a path in darkness. If you act as a light for those who are surrounded by darkness, you give them, for that short amount of time, an opportunity to see what it is really like to see things in full color. Often of times, when you give them the courage to dream, their keep those internal lights on and move forward on their own, shining away. Some of those lights begin to burn brighter and brighter. Someone lit that flame for me a long time ago.

I was asked last night “Well isn’t there a point where you can’t get better?” I know what he meant, but it was pretty interesting to think about. What is great about this project is that there is an endless supply of things I can work on. In fact, what better teacher is there out there than life? So, I never intend to stop writing. I will be here, every single day, writing away about big questions or little lessons that I learned from the day. The important thing is that you don’t have to have something monumental happen to you in order to learn. Last night I learned something from lights turning on and off. That is simplicity at its finest.

I do think though that every single day you have to dig deep down and ask yourself “Why am I doing what I am doing?” And piggybacking off of that question, “Who do I want to be?” It blows my mind to look back on the beginning of the whole project and see what I was focusing on during that time, and look at myself now, and say “Wow, that is actually part of me now…not just something I hope to be.” It may take time. It may take a lot longer than you think, but eventually if you focus your efforts on something, you will become what you know you are.

Don’t make it complicated. Keep it simple. Chip away. Your persistence will always beat the person who tries to change everything at once and burns out. I focus on one little thing a day, and not only judge my success on how well I did that day, but with how well I connected to the people around me.

 

Love. Passion. Never Quit.

 

Evan Sanders

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