I fell hard in 09′

In 10′ I got back up after wandering around for a year. To be honest, 09′ was the bottom for me. I watched everything burn to a crisp. But there’s an interesting phenomenon when you have everything in your woods suddenly charred and burned…you get to start planting seeds again.

When I think back to the times before this though I can best describe myself as someone who was completely made up of reactions to everything. The world did…I reacted. People did what they do…I reacted. There wasn’t much thought into taking any responsibility or even concrete action to make my life better. I thought that life was a series of getting the crap kicked out of you and seeing how quickly you could stand back up. While this is still the case in some situations, there has been a significant amount of development in terms of how I see things.

Time has been good to me. In fact, giving this time has always been something that I could count on.

In my life everything happens at once or nothing at all. But when it goes down…it goes down. Things get pretty serious and my world works like a light switch in a room full of blackout shades…on – then lights almost completely out. I say almost because the light has never truly exited for me. Even back in 09′ when it was at its worst, there was always that flicker of resilience inside of me that kept me going no matter what.

Resilience can be manifested a lot of different ways. It can show up through courage, anger, action, and inaction even. It’s not always about saying the right thing or doing the right thing, sometimes its about not saying or not doing something that might jeopardize all your momentum. It can be about keeping away from the things that you know will tear you apart inside. Too much of anything will slowly let your soul melt right out of you. I’ve seen it happen and it’s not fun to see your true self start slipping away.

In a world full of media entirely invested in you becoming like everyone else we are pushed and pulled to try to lust, drink excessively, party hard and dive into our search for becoming famous and loaded with money. I myself even get pulled into this type of thinking and have to drag myself out of it once in a while. It’s in the media I consume, it’s in the music I am listening to, it’s in the conversations I hear around me and everywhere else. There’s this massive current and if you don’t spend the time thinking about how you are going to create your own path you are going to get stuck in it.

Against the grain for me is about looking at a negative direction you are heading in and turning it into something positive.

I try pretty hard to keep myself out of looking at what other people are doing and thinking I am missing out. Deep inside I know that if I don’t go after what I want for myself and the dreams that have presented themselves to me, that the feeling of missing out on what other people are doing is going to be far outweighed by the incomprehensible amount of regret of not achieving what I know I can. I do have my moments where I wonder…but then something inside keeps me moving forward to what I know to be true…not matter how strong the pull in the other direction may be.

We can get caught in things that are bad for us and desperately wonder how we can get out of them.

My new book coming out January 1st 2015 talks about this a bit. It talks about one of the deepest philosophies I believe in: the 1 degree. While one degree of change might not seem a lot at its inception, over time the gap between where you were and where you are then grows significantly. Further, its sustainable…and that might be the most important part of the whole thing.

We can rise from the ashes but we have to give ourselves the opportunity to do so.

Fresh starts are born each day when you wake up. Truthfully this day is all we have and we can use it to take a step forward in the right direction, go nowhere, or take a step backwards. Going nowhere is really easy and attractive to those who are stuck in bouts of procrastination…taking steps backward are painful and there’s something weird about how we semi enjoy pain. And finally, those steps forwards are going to take everything you’ve got. They are hard to make…but once you get the momentum behind you  – you will begin to run.

It will take a full heart to rise from the ashes. It’s going to take your best. Even if you can only offer 60% in the tank today, give it 100% of that 60%. Don’t fall short or give up because you don’t have as much energy as you used to. Give it what you have and you won’t be disappointed tomorrow that you wasted another day.


Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project