It’s only when you really start looking at it do you realize how much other peoples actions, attitudes, and the things they say take a toll on our own moods. At its worst, it can take a toll on your ambitions.

These past few months haven’t been the easiest for a few reasons. One of the first is that I really had to take a hard look at my life and realize who is incredibly important to me. Not that other people aren’t important, but I am talking about those that would be there I had to make a dream team of people around me. The people who would sit at the table with me after everyone else has exited the room and give me their counsel and best advice. My most trusted crew. Because of this, I have gone through some serious growing pains. It made me realize that there will always be those who want to come and help when the time is right, but they cannot be expected to be there at all times. There will also be those who will only arrive when you’re fighting the battle of your life. Like I said, they cannot be expected to be there at all times.

But these growing pains made me realize just how much my life was being driven by the actions of others. I think its really easy to get caught up in what other people are doing and forgetting about what you are supposed to be doing. There is a concept of “locus of control” which talks about if you are driven by exterior or interior motives. In terms of motivation…I would be incredibly internal. But what I realized was that my attitude and a great deal of my emotions were driven by external factors – not how I was feeling inside.

Maybe this is just a piece of who I am, but the reality is that even though you are someone who derives a great deal of pleasure and happiness by making other people feel good, you cannot expect reciprocation or appreciation. In fact, you cannot expect at all. You must do it because you feel that it is the best thing to do for you, your friends, your family, and the world. You must give your best no matter the outcome.

All of this made me realize that I had to match up my control mechanisms. To give great amounts because of what is driving me inside, and to make my worth based on how proud I was feeling about what I have done. Of course it is always nice to be appreciated, and there will be moments where I look for positive feedback, but the sliding scale of how much I base my emotions and feelings off of others needs to change a bit.

I love with my heart full and it feels like crap when I feel like I am alone. But the reality is very far from that. I am greatly loved, and I just have to know that. I have to know deep down no matter how quiet it gets that this is a fact. An indisputable fact.

Growing pains suck, but the results will change your life. Speaking of growing pains…you are going to see some serious results of dreams in action as I approach the end of the 3rd week of my personal challenge. 11 more weeks to go, but I have been going strong and learning more about myself than I possibly could have imagined.

Happy Fathers Day to all of those dads out there. Thank you for helping create great sons.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project