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.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project