“As far as I can tell it’s about letting the universe know what you want, and working toward it, while letting go of how it comes to pass.” – Jim Carrey

 There is beauty in the struggle. 

No. It’s not the most glamorous part of the process. In fact, it’s the hardest part of the journey. But from everything I have ever read from those who have made it to where they want to go, they say that the struggle and the grind, despite how difficult it was, was the part where they knew the metal was hitting the meat. The pushing to make yourself something greater, to exit your comfort zone, and to see what you are really capable of is thrilling and exhausting at the same time. 

Up above in the Jim Carrey speech, he talks about many different things, but the topic that struck me the most was on having faith vs. hope. He mentions that faith leaps over fire while hope walks through it. For me, over the past couple of years since I published The Better Man Project book, I have seen, dreamed, experienced moments of, and developed this vision of what my potential is. There have been triumphs and great defeats…and yet there was always something missing from my repertoire. 

Dogged…unfaltering…persistence…extended over a long period of time. 

Until recently, I haven’t realized that the only way I am going to get to where I want to go is by working my tail off. In a generation where people become YouTube or Instagram sensations over night there is a disservice done to the rest of us by seeing others “get lucky.” I think luck is one of the worst things that could ever happen to you. Not because you are getting a good result – no…pat on the back for that – but because you will never ever be able to replicate your success. If you have absolutely no idea how you arrived somewhere, you will never be able to get there again. 

Further, if life decides to life you…which it is incredibly capable and effective at doing…when you lose everything you won’t be able to gain it back. 

My dad has told me many times that good things happen to those who work their butts off and are open to opportunity. If you don’t work hard and allow yourself to run into these opportunities, you are going to be stagnant.

As of lately, I have started my journey towards making things happen for myself. But before that, I felt seriously stuck. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I never tried anything long enough to figure out if that was something that would interest me in the future. I had significant fears and doubts that would paralyze me from actually taking any significant risk and I was content enough feeling safe in my shell even though from the outside it looked like I was taking risks. The truth was, I was taking a “bit of risk” but nothing that I knew I was capable of. I didn’t want to work for it and certainly had bouts of month-long procrastination events where I would constantly put off what I knew I needed to do.

All rooted through fear.

Fear will consume everything in you and slowly cause you to bleed out.  But fear, as real as it is, is a shadow over your eyes that can be removed by a strong dose of courage. You know, that mustering up of something deep inside of you that knows you can do it anyway. We all have that inside of us, we just have to let everything else go that one did or is trying to control us in this moment. It was fear for me that caused me to write out all these big grand plans on my chalkboard, transcribe them onto pieces of paper and then stow them away to never truly give them the births they deserved. It was fear that caused me to shut down my writing, dating, and other things because I didn’t want to put myself out there anymore.

But that’s no way to live life.

That’s no way to live at all…shutting yourself down and playing the game of punting on 4th down and 1 to go. Sometimes, and by sometimes I mean every time in this game of life, you have to hand it off to your running back who will grind out that last yard and send the momentum downfield. The greatest gifts of all are given to those who take risks, fail miserably, get back up and try again. They are given the gift of experience and wisdom…something that without any effort cannot be accumulated. And for those individuals that try…they can take everything they have experienced into the future and build something even greater.

It’s because they weren’t lucky. They built and built and built even though they were torn down time and time again. In many ways I can relate to that analogy because I have had the distinct honor of having a lot of very interesting things happen to my throughout the course of my life: some good and some bad. But these experiences have allowed me to find what I am truly made of. They have given me the ability to understand what my best stuff is and how I can bring that to the table when I need it.

It’s funny because just a little while ago someone was asked about me and they said that I was  trying to find myself. To others that might sound like a bit of an insult, but to me, that’s the dead truth and I am in fact very proud of that. Every day I am learning more and more about myself and in no way am I ashamed of that. We are all incredibly complicated people and looking at myself here and now, a 25-year-old young man with grand visions and a few years of this journey under his belt….I know that I have a lifetime left of that process. I gave myself the gift of constantly learning about my past, present, and future. I hope that others give themselves that gift as well.

It’s been almost 4 years February since I started writing and it’s almost jaw dropping for me to go back and read the writings of that boy who started this journey. I say boy because in no way was I a man. No concrete love, passion…a tendency to quit on everything that was hard and his integrity was out the door. Over the years though I have developed into a more whole person and am proud of that fact. Sometimes it’s hard to actually see the difference because you have nothing really tangible to compare it to…however if I can imagine the path I was headed down back then versus the one I am on now…the results would almost be completely opposite.

I still make an incredible amount of mistakes, but it’s the way I handle those mistakes and my understanding of who is responsible for my life (me) that is the biggest difference. I have been told that I am incredibly hard on myself – and I fully agree with that. But I am only very hard on myself when it comes to my character and principles. Those to me are things that I am working on as hard as I can to be non-negotiable in the face of temptation and those worldly dancing shadows.

The dreams you have will never come true if you don’t work for them. But the work is not just general work, it’s on a completely new level. I see all of these people out there doing their thing, on stage speaking to thousands, changing other people’s lives and I have this feeling inside me that knows I can do that as well. My heart is pounding telling me to go and do it. In the past it has been my fear that has overwhelmed that beat…but that had to change. It had to change because I finally understood what would happen if I let that consume me – those dreams would die and I would live in a pool of regret for the rest of my life. I have to turn it on now…I have no choice.

So let me tell you what I am up to.

  1. November to March: Studying for my professional personal trainer exam
  2. March 2015: Going to school in SF for professional life coaching
  3. March 2016: Graduate from school, get certified to work with cancer patients through life coaching and health+fitness
  4. April 2016: Professional speaking courses
  5. Traveling the world – recording people’s stories, smashing my comfort zones
  6. Beginning Speaking Career

This is what the next 5 years look like for me.

I want to end on a note about something I have really come to take to heart in the past couple of weeks while learning from this book called “Mastery” by Robert Greene. It’s going to take 10,000 hours before you can create completely different and incredible results from what you love. To me, that was a hard number to chew on…but it also at the same time helped me understand how much more work I have to do. If you truly are willing to travel down that path, then there is a great challenge ahead of you. But that challenge can be won through a daily chipping away. I know I have it in me to do this and further that it is something I want to do. So the commitment begins.

2 – 09 – 11 was the start of something amazing for me…2 – 09 – 2021 here I come.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project