February 9th…years ago, I woke up.

A moment of simple pure clarity. No longer would I meander through life, but instead, I would improve upon something every day and see where I ended up. It is crazy for me to think that only a couple of years have yielded results so drastically different from anything that I ever believed possible. Today, I want to tell you a story…well about that concept exactly…your story.

About a year and a half ago, I stood up in front of 120 people and I read aloud, no details omitted, the story of my life. I remember walking up to the mic, hand was trembling slightly, took a deep breath and let it all out. Things that had happened to me, things that I was holding onto, stuff from years and years and years ago came out. I stood up there, in front of all those people, eyes that I didn’t know, and spilled my guts. I had this funny sensation, one that I would only figure out till later, that it wasn’t the people I was afraid of…but it was standing up there and telling this story that I thought had so much power. Like it defined me in some way. I thought that because of the past…that makes you who you are today.

Well, I think a lot of people think like this. For multiple reasons really. Everything that I have said and done up until this point has made you into who you are. However…and this is a big however, you can turn it all around in a heartbeat. Yes, the people around you will not be so quick to change, but if you deep inside really want it, it is there for the taking. There are going to be massive speed bumps I promise you. But the world is there for you to make whatever you want out of it. You can change the way you show up for other people, you can change your daily life…I mean, change sounds small in comparison to transformation…yeah, I think it’s more like that.

If you get out of your own way…if you refuse to let your past define you and stop trying to live in tomorrowland…the amount of possibility that surrounds you is incredible. You have the ability to really go after what you want. The problem is, that many of us think that we can time travel. Yep. Time travel. Sounds ridiculous but it is so true. Those who harp on things that happened in the past love to either complain or they wish things were different. Well, hate to say it, but you can’t go back. Why even bother thinking about it if you can’t go back. Learn from it yes, but harp on it…yikes. By the way, I used to love complaining about things. I mean, it could have been one of my favorite things. But it takes a lot more guts to confront your current reality and accept your condition. Then you can go to work on making a happy life. But you have to take out the trash first. Ditch the garbage. Stop letting your past be baggage.

You can’t travel to the future either. Why would you even want to? My friend today told me that there is this statement in Buddhism that if you ever see Buddha, kill him, because he will share with you the secret to enlightenment. Then your whole life is ruined. But we can also get stuck in a constant cycle of putting things off till tomorrow. Horrible idea. Then you never get anything done. When I am feeling my worst, it is because I am delaying what I really want to do in my life. When I am busy and kicking butt, I am at my happiest. That is because I am living my life as if this day was the only one that mattered.

Ditch the past. Pass on the future. Embrace today.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project