My music speaks to me every single day. I put my headphones in, move the switch on my shuffle to on and get a chance to turn my brain off. My music teaches me lessons. It takes me through times of pain, love, happiness and sadness. It teaches me how to overcome, how to strive for more, and how to be gentle in a world that can be so rough. It pushes me, it soothes a tired mind and brings the best out of me. Before there was writing…there was music. Just as it has always been – headphones…bobbing my head to the beat or singing the lyrics.

Your life is a brilliant canvas in which you can paint your story. When you add music into the equation, you can feel and understand things about yourself and the emotions that run through you that you could never put down in words. That is why I put music in my blogs. There are times when I simply cannot say it better or illustrate it better than the song I choose. And that is perfectly fine. This is not an ego battle. The purpose of this is to put forth the best possible product that accurately describes how I am feeling and what is going on in my life.

“Draw a line. Live above it.” – Unknown

There comes a point when you have to say to yourself “I am better than this. This effort I am giving is not enough. It isn’t producing the results I want. It’s time to draw a line and live above it.” A long time ago, I realized that the standards I set for myself were only meant to be for me. They weren’t meant for anyone else to live up to. Every day I would go to work competing with myself. Not just the current version of myself, but what I could truly be. That keeps me striving for more and pushing towards my potential. Many will argue with this statement by saying “You should just be happy with what you have etc.” I have my qualms with this. While I do appreciate what I have currently, both spiritually, mentally, and physically – I also know in my heart that I have more in the tank. I have more to give, more to express, more incredible things to gain in this life. It isn’t an obsession with the material. No, it is a desire to reach for more…because I was meant for more. I dream of being amongst one of the greats one day.

Your dreams will take you so far – then comes the work.

The difference between the talented and the skilled is the amount of work they put into the game. Talent will only take you so far…but it is the individual who persists and masters his craft who ultimately becomes successful in his endeavors. If you take this concept and extend it past your craft and focus its energy into your personal life as well, you will make leaps and bounds beyond your wildest dreams. With this focus comes more challenges, and more challenges…and more challenges. But you have to remind yourself why you are doing it. Why you are putting yourself through a struggle. Why you are sacrificing.

When you feel like giving up, remember why you started in the first place. In that moment, when you consider the beginning, you will prevent yourself from quitting entirely.

So take a moment to consider what you have in life right now and ask yourself the question “Am I meant for more than this?” If the answer is yes, write down your path, your goals, your dreams, and then work backwards from there. It is surprising how easy it is to create a concrete plan on how to achieve what you wish to. Of course there will be curveballs along the way, but if you practice hitting them and plan on them being thrown to you, your chances of making solid contact go way up.

And remember…

Draw a line. Live above it

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project