I’ve been stuck in a rut lately. I’m not exactly sure if the rut was extended or simply a short divot in the ground, but needless to say, it certainly was a thought provoker.

I’ve never been obsessed with the idea of “making it.” I guess I never really dreamed of the day where others would decide or say “Evan has made it.” When I think of this concept, I often get that looming feeling of settling. Perhaps it correlates with the similar thought that if you have made it, there is no more room to grow. I don’t think I ever want to get to the point where I have mentally achieved the time-to-stop-growing mentality.

I know that others will always have their  opinions of what is going on in my life and what I have failed at or achieved. This is an absolute in life and I am sure that it is entirely unavoidable. Opinions of others will always be present and the sea of advice will always wash up onto the shores of your mind. This leads me to believe that it becomes even more important to listen to the guiding voice in your head for directions to take on the proper path.

I find myself in ruts not when that voice isn’t present, but when there is a separate louder voice bellowing in the deep of my gut overriding the soft but certain mini-motivational speaker in my head that often tells me to go after my dreams. This combative voice demands my attention and takes me away from simply being able to go with the flow of life. It also paralyzes me because of its booming tone of uncertainty and doubt.

But as I sit here outside staring at the fire I just made, I realize that life must always have fuel. The logs you put on 20 minutes ago are burning through and the starters are now gone. The fire starts to burn down because the once easily accessible dry flammable wood has burned away. And to my right I see the larger log ready to be ignited as soon as I get off my butt and throw it into the pit. And life works similarly to this fireplace. What  you once used to light your flame is now gone and you must put new wood into the pit in order to get yourself going again. You might be burning a bit less hot right now, but when you overcome that moment holding you back from doing more work you can create a flame that was even grander than the last.

The wood of old will never light the new – but feed the spark with something fresh – and the flame will always remain.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project