From time to time, I think about the end. There I am, sitting in a chair somewhere on top of a mountain looking out across the valley reflecting on everything that has happened in my life. ⁠

I think about all of the victories and defeats, what I created and left behind and how far I had come since I started off on my journey. ⁠

But more than anything, I think about the people who I’ve come across and how they have impacted my life. And in that moment, it becomes immanently clear to me that the only thing that really matters is to have lived a life of virtue and to have loved other people as much as we possibly could. ⁠

I don’t know what comes after all of this. I’ve heard many things. I’ve seen many things. I was once told it was like “crossing the street.” I’ve always liked that. The simplicity of continuing to walk into the unknown but just in a different way. ⁠

But I do know that each of us are here to give a gift. First, we must learn what that gift is. And then, when we do, we are destined to pour that out into the universe as much as feasibly possible. ⁠

We aren’t here to create more barriers. The world has enough of those. We are here to bridge all gaps and to come to the realization – like Thich Nhat Hanh said – that we are all made of the same stuff, the same cookie if you will, and we have simply forgotten that “other” is actually “me.”⁠

Our lives are defined by who we decided to be. That’s our choice and ours alone. While many things will happen, wounds will need to be healed, fears overcome and doubts extinguished, we must always rise to the version of ourselves that reaches into the depths of our root and continues to offer our deepest of gifts. ⁠

I hope that you give yourself the chance to make your decisions out of love rather than fear. Those choices, no matter how small they may seem, add up to be a reflection of who you’ve been. ⁠

If you don’t like how the story has been written so far, the good news is you can change it. Create whatever you want. Touch the lives of those around you and countless others in a way that they will be left better off by knowing you. ⁠

Love. Love hard.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project