I guess it’s a word that I think of a lot. There are so many questions I have surrounding impact. What is the impact of my actions? Am I really making the impact I have set out to make? What can I do to reach more people and make a greater impact? These questions are inspiring and at the same time frustrating. But I don’t want to talk about those questions today. I want to talk about something completely different than that.

Why do we do what we do?

The truth is, my project didn’t start with any intention to write towards anyone else. It started for one reason: me. I was a mess. I still can be a mess at times. How could you appreciate a clean room if you didn’t destroy your clothes every once in a while getting ready for a date? But as time went on and people started to read, I had to change what I was doing a little bit because I had grown and felt a sense of responsibility.

People were relating. Well, maybe that’s an unfair understatement. People were feeling what I was in profound ways. I learned that writing wasn’t really about what had happened but rather about how those events made you feel. That’s where the magic happens. That’s where people around the world could relate to what I was saying. Not in the event, no, in the emotional side of things.

So I expanded. I took the messages and dug deeper with them. I pulled the messages together and focused on one thing: spreading light. No I am not enlightened. In fact my world can be incredibly dark at times. But I do something very well which I have developed over time: I can see the light in all things.

But then I struggled with my people only came to me when they were having bad times. Why do you only stick around when you are in the mud and then leave when you are clean of it all? This took me out for a while and made me quite bitter actually about people. I felt used like a dish towel. I thought most people would have the respect to at least hang me up to dry on a nice clothes line when they were done. But that usually wasn’t the case. What ended up happening was that I was tossed aside all over the place in every direction without a deemed care in the world. I began to feel dirty – and well – that started to become reflected in what I was doing.

I would spend more and more time in the gym because that was the only place where I could cover myself up, put my hoodie on, throw in my music and tune out the rest of the world. I didn’t have to interact with people and I could just be with my thoughts for hours on end.

But that’s not why I am here

I am here to make an impact.

Someone close to me then gave me some interesting perspectives on this whole thing. They said, “Maybe that is exactly why you are here…to show people the light in times of darkness. Because you were the one person they trusted with their heart when they were at their most vulnerable. And for good reason – you helped them get out of it and see the stars.”

That’s where my jaw dropped. That’s where I began to see clearly.

But crap I was still stuck with this whole idea of  being left behind and tossed aside. So I just accepted it. I embraced it. I have some amazing people in my life who I am incredibly lucky to have stuck around, and for those who leave, I love you just as much. That’s the honest truth. Holding people with an open palm is not only a suggestion for me now – it’s a way of life. People travel in and out and the only way you can experience them coming back in is if you have the ability to let them perch right back on that open hand.

So that impact question?

Here’s my answer. I am here to make the greatest possible impact I can. To show people the light when it’s almost pitch black outside. To love the people around me as much as possible even when injustices are thrown my way. To stand for other peoples greatness – the power of the heart – and the impact one can make when they decide to go after their dreams and never give up. I am here to be 100% authentically myself – no one else. I am here to send a message. I am here because I am willing to die for what I believe in.

And let the chips fall where they may. The effort I give is a testament to just how much I believe in what I just said. Hopefully that effort will speak for itself. Day in and day out I throw my heart into what I do.

Prepare for impact.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project