When I came back to being right here – here – right now, that’s when everything changed.

In all honesty, it was always hard for me to be right here in this moment for a long time. But then I was asked, “What if you gave up all of that stuff…you know, the goals? What if that all just went away? Then what?

I didn’t really know when I was asked – in fact, I tried to argue for the point of ambitions and everything else attached to them. But then I dove into the woods and found myself wonderfully lost in this beautiful place. I had no idea which way to go. I had no idea where I was. I was lost. Perfectly lost. And in that moment, it clicked. In that moment, I connected.

When you spend your entire life living as “it should be” vs. what is really going on here right in this moment, you disconnect. You disconnect from what’s really being said, what’s really in front of you, and more importantly yourself. I’ve done this a lot, and it always tears me apart when I put myself in a box of what I think something should look like. My travels deep into the woods used to be based upon my trying to get to that perfect fishing hole and then I would start my day. But I’ve realized, that the hike through those tall trees to get to that spot is just as important as being in a place where I can throw my line in the water.

Things often shift like sand. Things change without control and get swept by the breeze in the way that’s destined for them. When I was younger, I tried to pour as much concrete into those sands to make them not change. But now, especially now, I sit here and watch these sands move. I watch things change. I witness them move in ways I’ve never seen before or couldn’t have anticipated and I do something very very different than ever before.

I change as well.

Not fundamentally, but I know that I can happily adapt and adjust to what is here right in this moment. This connects me. This roots me so far down into this place that I can’t really describe to you the feeling. Because I’ve let go of what it “should” look like to make room for what is here.

And what really is that? What’s here in my life?

I am one of the luckiest men alive. The amount of incredible people I have in my life literally knocks my socks off every single day. There are people who I care about deeply and in reality, that’s all that really matters to me. Having that, is something that I wanted for myself all those years back – the love, the solid network of support, the people who would go to battle for me – not just me for them. This is a reality of my life. A reality that once was just a budding dream.

But what I understand now better than ever is that you have to allow that dream to change. You have to be willing to let the land of uncertainty…a.k.a the future do its own thing. It has plans for you…but don’t try to constrict it. Once you do, you stop yourself from experiencing just how amazing things could really be. This, and feeling this deeply, is one of the things that I really hope can stick with you as much as it has stuck with me.

Leave it all open.

Leave it open to something far greater than whatever you can concoct in your mind.

Walk by faith and not just by sight.

When you stand there open, honest, and vulnerable in front of the world, you’ll never imagine what can happen to you. Everything is possible from that place. And it’s in this place where I am precisely living tonight. I’m in this place because this afternoon I was reminded while sitting out on the view that I didn’t always show up this way. I wasn’t always willing to speak the naked truth and show up every single day willing to say and do things with my life that might scare many. But I must…because I can. I have to do these things, because I’m capable of it. Trust me, the worst feeling inside of me is when I start cutting myself short of what I know is right. That feeling coming from the depths inside of me has never lied to me…but it has cringed when I decided to tone myself down. I can’t be in that place.

Listening to these crickets roar and watching the stars start to take their seats for the nighttime show has me sitting here smiling. Some might think I’m nuts for smiling, but the truth is, everything is absolutely fine. Nothing is wrong. Everything is exactly the way it should be. I know I’m supposed to be right where I’m at for a good reason. I know that I’m sitting here with a full heart and nothing short of it. So I’m smiling. You might wonder why…but that’s for me.

I like playing some things close to the chest.

And honestly, that’s right where they are at home.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project