::chains hit the floor::

There’s no other sound like chains falling. That slithering of metal making it’s way to the ground. The sound of hundreds of clinks all at the same time. That’s the sound of gates opening. That’s the sound of new worlds becoming available. Maybe it’s like diving into that huge closet full of fur coats…and if you go deep enough into it…out you pop into the snow of Narnia. I loved that scene when I first saw it in a movie…boop, there they were.

A year ago, I took a picture of those golden doors in downtown LA. I loved how they were chained up. I love how intricate they were – like they were hiding some sort of treasure behind them. That image stuck in my mind for a very long time…and really did become the image of what was going on in my life. There was a treasure to be found when I unlocked those gates and the chains fell…it just wasn’t what I thought it ever would be.

Life’s grandest treasures, at least this is what I’ve experienced and the type of thinking that’s running through my head at 25 years old, are not going to be things. They aren’t going to be achievements, awards, and any other dancing shadow of the material. They are going to be wisdoms of the heart, things to be discovered about oneself, and passions of the soul.

Can these discoveries lead to the material? Oh absolutely. Make no mistake, I absolutely and firmly plan on helping the poor and sick, but I’m not going to be able to do that by becoming poor and sick. I’m going to have to make a dent in this world and find a way to bring it all together – I think I’m heading down the right path with that. But if you get lost in thinking that the things are really what matters, well, you will get lost. There’s a reason why they say that the journey is where all the magic happens. It’s the place where you become someone different. But if the journey is just a pain in the ass part of the process to getting to the end result…you will get there and have this awful feeling of grasping for something to hold onto…and feeling the sand run through your fingers. I have been there so many times it’s scary. You just feel – numb. You feel…actually…upset and like “all of that work for this?”

When that happens, your head has been in the wrong place. It hasn’t been present. It’s been rowing rowing rowing away and you “made it” to the “island where it was all supposed to turn out” only to realize that it didn’t and your still not happy.

Welcome to participating in the greatest, sexiest, and one of the worst lies there is in our world.

It’s honestly a horrible feeling. That feeling ran most of my life. I had always loved competing and striving for the top – but that settled down recently. The Top was redefined. The top didn’t become something that actually was…ever reachable. My definition of what perfection changed as well – it became to constantly change and to change often. To me, that’s perfect. I didn’t say become flawless, hell, I never want that actually. I am deeply flawed and that gives me many things to work on. But what I do believe in is changing my approaches, my ways, my angles and viewpoints to see things in a different light.

So making it…actually disappeared.

I gave it up.

I’ll never make it.

Because the day you make it, you’re done. The day you know something…you’re done learning. Those days make you complacent…you lose your bite…your edge.

The way I see it, if I’m lucky, I’ve got about 75 years left of this journey until the day I croak. Maybe it will happen sooner than that – I have no idea. I hope not. But if so, doesn’t that put the fire under my ass a little bit more to continue putting out as much content that exists in this heart as possible? I know I have a death sentence and have no idea when the clock is going to run out for me. That idea, lately, has really put some perspective into my mind and I’ve been in a little bit more of a rush to say the things I know that I really need to say.

That idea, has also allowed me to leave things behind that I know I should. I really can’t spend much more time worrying about things that happened in the past because I have no control over them and really should be focusing on what’s going on right now. If things come back around – great. If they make themselves part of my present – amazing. But there’s no time to waste anymore. I’m onto something and am going to stay on it for a long time.

One thing is really sticking out in my mind right now that I want to end with today…is something that keeps me proud no matter what happens in my life – I don’t touch anything with half of my heart.

What does that even mean?

You see, you can get into things and be timid, scared, and shy about who you are and what is inside of you. This can prevent you from truly being present as well. If you touch things with half of your heart, you’re going to get some pretty interesting results. I don’t really like to do that. I’ve done that before and the regret is murderous. You end up going…what if I actually gave it everything I had? Would it have turned out differently? Would I be in a different place?

So sometimes, when I sit down to write, tears pour out. I laugh. I die inside. I suffer. Things in my soul wrench. Joy comes out to play and every possible color of life begins to pour out onto the paper. But this is me touching my purpose with everything I have. It’s not just with writing…I do this with everything. People, friends, love, passions, purpose…and I’ve learned that while my naked vulnerability or passionate intensity about life may freak people out, scare them away, attract them to me, have them try to bring me down or anything else and in between…it always lands the right people, events, situations, and dreams into my life.

I’m going to keep doing that – bringing my heart to the table…because I can’t not do that. To ask myself to be anything but that would be asking myself to not be me. And that…would be the worst tragedy of all.

Don’t mind what the world thinks…what do you think? One day, the world will come to you for advice.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project