Last night before I went out I had a bit of a…quarter life crisis. It sounds ridiculous…and parts of it were, but nonetheless the crisis ensued and I began to rattle off some pretty serious questions.

“Am I really supposed to be doing what I am doing?”

“Am I even supposed to be here in LA?”

“What is the purpose of all of this?”

There were more I promise you, about 20+ of them…and if we are gauging by quarter life crisis statistics and common behavioral characteristics of your mid twenties youngin struggling with some big questions…it comes out to be a fair number. But it really all came down to one thing: doubt. And there’s been a lot of that around lately. Trying to start my own business. My health and fitness. Housing. The Better Man Project. There’s just been a lot of “what ifs” lately and it hasn’t really rendered me paralyzed, but more self-destructive. I’ve started and stopped doing this more times than I can imagine in regards to specific goals. And to use the finest language I can possibly muster up: it sucks.

But here’s the thing. When you have a resilient soul, or you just decide that resilience is a characteristic you would like to build for yourself, you continue to get up after you have fallen – despite the fact that is has happened hundreds to thousands of times. And if you think about things a little bit differently than you did when you started, well you are going to offer up some different actions that may just be what you need to finally make something stick. And that’s why I put the picture above.

Once in a while you might have to paint the wall instead of painting the canvas.

And this thought brought me back to one of my favorite stories of all.

In the 1500′s Hernando Cortez was the captain of eleven ships with more than 500 soldiers headed for Mexico to conquer the Aztecs and bring back gold and treasures. As you can well imagine, after his ships arrived in Mexico, the sailors and soldiers were not in the best of shape. Some of them fell ill on the journey, some had lost their motivation, and their quarters were not exactly shipshape. Several of Cortez’s crewmates wondered what would happen to them in this strange new land. If they faced challenges or resistance, how would the crew return home? The crew asked Cortez what the plan would be to get back home. The captain had the perfect response: He burned the ships

There was no going back

The only direction to go was forward

The old way of doing things were about to be rethought.

In fact, there were no more “old way of doing things”; a new way had to be defined.

So I burned the ships – metaphorically that is. I am defining new ways of doing things and trying some stuff out that I have never done before. Out of this quarter life crisis came something that hasn’t been prevalent in the past few months: certainty. With the help of some friends, I realized that what I am doing right now is precisely what I am supposed to be doing. I am supposed to be writing every day. I am supposed to be inspiring others with my words. I am supposed to constantly strive to elevate myself to do greater things, not only because it’s what I want, but because I am giving others to do the same as well.

So I drew a ship on the inside of my wrist with a pen and plan on redrawing that little guy every day. Life can be a massive struggle sometimes. I know this to be a fundamental truth. However, it doesn’t have to be that way all the time. You’d be surprised by how much stress you are creating for yourself because you’re not in alignment. When the mind, the body, and the soul are all out of wack, you become this gigantic confused mess. And I’ve been there a lot. But out of these times always comes a clear vision…so I am thankful for the balance that life delivers. There’s no doubt in my mind that I am constantly being taught lessons.

Burn the ships

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project