Not What, But Who?
Posted on November 11, 2012
Abraham Lincoln once said “Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
Lincoln was a master of passionate words. Talking about him as one of my heroes is reserved for another post. But there is a massive amount of truth in the quote above. We often spend so much time worrying about what other people think, we forget that it is the tree of character that is important. Your reflection on the world will be shown in time, so spend your time thinking about creating a tree that will branch wide, and cast the largest reach possible once it is grown. I think that this quote truly sums up everything I have been doing over the past three years. Way back when, I cared far too much of what people would say about me. I let that run my life. What dictated my actions were the impressions others had of me. I lived my life in avoidance of judgement. And as they say…the bridge came crashing down.
If we all took a little bit of time to work more on the tree we would be a lot happier with ourselves. I think we put so much value on others people’s opinions as it some how has any meaning on what dictates our lives. I do believe that we should listen to those who give us advice…but it is your job to interpret that advice and take from it what you can in order to make you better.
I stopped trying to be a man of material goods and started to work on being a person of value. The things you own end up owning you. I think that is from Fight Club actually. But it really is true. The clothes you have, your material possessions…they are just things. It is what is deep down inside of you that will make you or break you. Some of the most famous men in our history who had a dream and succeeded in realizing that dream came from nothing. Most of all…they came from failure. If you refuse to learn from your failures and other people, then you will be a failure. But if you learn…no matter how much you fail…you aren’t a failure…you are just failing currently. There is a massive difference, and once I learned what that difference was, I was given all the power in the world.
Don’t be afraid to take care of yourself. Don’t be afraid to be yourself.
The Better Man Project
Reblogged this on and commented:
Don’t be a shadow, be the tree.
Congrats on being selected by Diana for her “Friday pick.” I was chosen last week and suddenly connected with so many more bloggers!
So glad Diana sent me here!
“I do believe that we should listen to those who give us advice…but it is your job to interpret that advice and take from it what you can in order to make you better.”
I’ve had 80 years to come to realize this truth. Too many people are looking for others to tell them what to do and think. Whether from fear, lack of knowledge, or a combination of so many other influences, people often ask for advice and don’t know what to do with it. Worse, they don’t ask the right questions for the right advice.
There’s always room for growth. As the tree grows though, so does it’s shadow. Depending on the angle of light, that is.
Reblogged this on Ry24's Weblog and commented:
be the tree not the shadows
“But if you learn…no matter how much you fail…you aren’t a failure…you are just failing currently.”
Love this!! What a great way of putting it.
Wonderful post. I’m enjoying your blog – very inspirational! Love the sentence, “I stopped trying to be a man of material goods and started to work on being a person of value.” Words to live by.
Very inspirational Evan.
Every failure we face encourages us to do better.
Very good advice, thank you for sharing 🙂
Thanks so much for stopping by my blog which led to me discovering yours…great project!
I’m glad I got to read this today. It’s exactly what I need to help me through my current challenges. Thank you Evan, you made my day! 🙂
“If we all took a little bit of time to work more on the tree we would be a lot happier with ourselves. I think we put so much value on others people’s opinions as it some how has any meaning on what dictates our lives.”
I struggle with this; thanks for sharing.
I really love this quote because it’s so simple in explaining your point. I want to focus on the tree and not the shadow! Thank you for this brilliant post!
I stopped by to say thank you for following our blog and found a treat! I pray you have a successful journey to becoming a better man. The quote from Lincoln immediately brought to mind the scripture that says, “Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit…Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” Matthew 7:17-20
Whether it’s a shadow or the fruit we bear, our lives speak for who we are.
Be blessed, be strong and my you prosper even as your soul prospers.
Hey Evan! Thanks for following my blog. The theme of your project is awesome… Better man! May untold numbers of mankind follow suit.
Thanks the encouragement today! V. true.
Love it, Evan!
This post reminded me of a great Michael Jordan quote:
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career.
I’ve lost almost 300 games.
26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot, and missed.
I’ve failed over, and over, and over again in my life.
And that is why I succeed.”
Love your whole project too!
What could be more worthwhile than this venture to become a better man?!
Thanks for following my blog too! 🙂
Love the Abraham Lincoln quote ! Always love your encouragements and personal stories of development. Makes the whole concept seem accessible (:
Growth stems so much off of our failures in life. Couldn’t agree more!