There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results. – Kenneth Blanchard

You can’t always start out doing things to the best of your ability. You can try, but the fact of the matter is you need a little bit of a warmup period because of the learning curve. This past week for me has been huge. Not only have I officially accomplished my first week of training, but I succeeded in losing almost 5 lbs, staying entirely invested in my health and the foods I was putting in my body, and gearing up for week 2. Week 1 was deemed the “getting the ball rolling” week where I could focus on the most important thing on my mind, my health, and then letting some of the other things slide if I needed to. I have built the foundation for this 13 week commitment.

You need to surround yourself with winners, dreamers, strivers and seekers. You can’t expect yourself to stay happy and racing towards your dreams if the people around you are dragging you down. You need to surround yourself with people who are better than you so you can grow. You need to surround yourself with those who you can pull strength from when you need it. Yesterday specifically, in between an incredibly hard 10 minutes in the gym, I sat down on a bench and thought about my friend who is dancing away with her dream right now and got back up and worked for another hour and a half.

When you begin to make your pain part of your story, you will write an even greater adventure.

Pain can be fuel if you view it that way. For the longest time, my pain, heartbreak, regret and shame destroyed me from in the inside out. Instead of using all of this as a mechanism to fuel my tank, to show the world who I was, and to prove those who had hated on me wrong – I allowed it to sink in. Worst of all, I started to believe what they said about me.

What other people say about you can hurt. It can make you shut off. It can make you hang your head. It can make you avoid groups of people altogether. It can turn you into a recluse and retreat within yourself. In high school, I would avoid people altogether because I was tired of being made fun of. I felt like I had lots of things to say, but they all would get stuck in my gut because of fear. So I would just leave large social situations or not even go in the first place. Eating lunch by yourself isn’t really that fun.

But all things pass. The worst of the worst passes. Your fear begins to turn into courage if you begin searching within yourself for change. I found out that a lot of the things that were destroying me were allowed by me. I let them ruin me. I let them tear me apart as much as they did. Eventually, I stopped caring about the negative and started focusing on the positive. Once I started making that choice, I started looking for things that would reinforce my mindset. Music, specific people, books, tapes, writing, the gym. If it didn’t make me feel good, I would avoid it. I got stuck in a few things along the way, but that’s what I am fighting against right now. To release those last remnants of my past and to become a new man, free of chains and bonds of old, on my 25th birthday next month.

It’s hard to see what is controlling you without being honest with yourself. When you can finally say “I need some help with this” you open yourself up to a world of possibilities. The people around you magically say the right things to you, you start to bring things into your life that you didn’t have before, and your pain withers away as you are focusing on bringing light into your life.

You have a choice: light or dark. As we go throughout life, of course there is a sliding scale of what actually is occurring in our world. Sometimes its a bit darker than normal. Sometimes it’s a bit brighter that normal. But the fundamental question you have to ask yourself is “Do I live in a world full of light or a world full of darkness?”

I chose light a while ago.

And here’s the thing, no matter how dark it became, there was always a little flicker of light.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project