In this fantastic book I read a long time ago, one of the biggest lessons was to not take anything personally. The argument was, that people’s opinions, interpretations, and thoughts are purely of their own creation, and they really have nothing to do with you at all. He wasn’t arguing for stubbornness, but rather giving what comes out of other people’s mouths a pinch of concern, and then deciding what you are for yourself. If you spend your life listening to what other people think of you, then you will never ask yourself “What do I want to be?”

Now, I fully agree with his argument, but I do have a small side note that I would like to present. When you are attempting to be something, your community is one of the best mirrors you can possibly have. By community, I mean the people you come into contact with. If you trying to be a motivating, inspirational person who pushes love instead of hate, but everyone around you thinks you’re a jerk, there is a massive disconnect. So you have to pay attention to what people say about you to some degree, because it is your greatest learning opportunity. However, don’t take it personally…as in you are an awful person. Rather, take it as constructive criticism. We all have things we need to work on, and I truly believe that if you keep your ears open, you will be presented with a lot of learning opportunities.

Remember, listen to a degree. It is like a little bit of a gut check to see if you are on the right path. Once you have reached that checkpoint, go right back on your way. But always make sure to check in. The worst possible thing to happen is think you are doing all this great stuff and then wake up one day completely miserable. Your friends and your family are there for a reason. Use them up. They love you to death.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project