I take tiny steps. Little ones. Little bitty tiny steps towards my goals. A little step each day towards my goals is a huge accomplishment. Like today I started choreographing my opening number for my one man dance show. I just got the first few seconds of it. I'm on the stage. The curtain goes up. And there I am. My back to the audience. I turn my head and give my hips a little shake. The crowd goes wild. Tiny steps.


I wrestle with negative thoughts. And I win. We grapple, we struggle, we each try to get better footing to throw the other to the ground. We brawl. It's not pretty; the fight is intense. Sweat is flying. Large beads of salty sweat. Loud groans, curses, and threats come from both of us. One by one, I crush the heads of negative thoughts. He has multiple heads. I crush one and another one grows back. But I'm patient. I crush them all. Every single one.


I live in the now. In the right here, right now. That moment that just passed, I lived it. I lived the shit out of it. There was so much living in that moment that the moment could barely contain itself. This moment too, so much living. I could teach a university-level class at Living University on living in the moment. The class would be called Advanced Now. I am a distinguished professor of living in the now. I did my thesis on fully embracing the moment and I passed with distinction. I have a tenured position. That's a lifetime of guaranteed living in the now. Bam. Just lived that moment too.


Today is wonderful. I ate a healthy and satisfying breakfast. Now I'm going to have a waffle with agave syrup—it's going to be so good. For lunch I'm going to have a salad with salmon. And for an afternoon snack I'm going to have a chocolate avocado smoothie. Mmmm, that's going to be so good. I like this day. This day is good.


I take deep breaths. I focus on my breathing. I imagine when I breathe in light and goodness are filling my body and traveling and touching my innards and going to every corner of my tall, lanky frame. I exhale and blow out all the darkness and negativity and try not to let it hit anyone near me, except maybe that guy who was acting like a prick when he got onto this subway car and jammed his shoulder against my back for no reason. Hey, buddy, why don't you try this little contemplative breathing exercise so maybe you don't act like such an asshole, how about that?


I increase in wealth daily. My bank account goes up. My 401k goes up. My savings go up. My stocks go up. My bonds go up. My financial outlook looks rosy. Financial independence is within my grasp. I could retire if I wanted. I could go to Mexico and live on the beach and eat fish tacos and go see the beautiful ancient Mayan ruins and contemplate the rise and fall of great civilizations. And then eat more tacos. I can do that all. Watch me. Watch me eat tacos in Mexico. Go ahead, watch me.


I am excited to be here. Super excited. Wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Glad I'm here. Glad I'm at this point in my existence in my life where I'm right here, sitting on this couch. If I were somewhere else then I would be alright with that too—I mean, eventually learn to be alright with that—but since I am here I'm glad to be here. Seriously, it's nice. I like it. It's a comfy couch. I mean if I were sitting on a different couch on another planet in another solar system or really wherever I suppose I could get used to it. But I'm just going to enjoy sitting here now.


I persevere. I keep going, like a marathon runner. I've trained for this. I've put in the hours. I've been strict about my diet. I've gone on those long weekend runs. I've done my calisthenics. Now it's time for me to run. And keep running. Potty break? No, man, just go. I keep running. Nothing will stop me. Nothing.


I make things right. Every day when the sun comes up is a chance to make things right again. To do a better job than the day before. To be kinder, more confident, happier, to enjoy life more, exercise more, and to make any necessary apologies that you were too drunk to make the night before. Like to your roommate. You might say, Sorry I drank all your beer and ate all your snacks including but not limited to one bag of barbecue potato chips, two peanut butter cups, half a bag of Doritos (some of which I threw randomly around the apartment), two slices of pizza, M&Ms, and two hot pockets (which you hid in the freezer, you bastard!).

Sorry I borrowed your phone and emailed your boss that you quit your job and he could go to hell and texted your mom and said that you were in jail and sorry that I texted all your friends and said that you hated them all and you weren't friends with them anymore and sorry for dropping your phone in that glass of water, I don't think it works anymore. And sorry I fell asleep smoking a cigarette and caught your new couch on fire and burned the apartment down. That wasn't cool. Today is my day to make things right. Can I get you a cup of tea?


I let stress disappear from my life. I take full ownership of whatever problems or difficulties I am facing, and I say to them, Go to hell. I take my stress and problems and difficulties and roll them up into a ball and I throw it far away. I have a good arm. I used to play baseball. I can throw it pretty far. I'm pretty sure this is what you're supposed to do with stress. Throw it far away. I am free of stress. I relax. I am calm. I am content. I am staring at the ocean. The sound of the water is very nice. Very nice. I am napping. I am dreaming of myself throwing my stress ball far away from me. Very far. So far. I hope it doesn't hit anyone though. That would suck if I hit someone with a stress ball. That would probably hurt. I will make sure to throw it somewhere where it won't hit anyone. Yes, that's what I'll do.


I am excited for this day. When I woke up, which I did with enthusiasm and energy, I said, I am thrilled to be here, absolutely thrilled. What another gorgeous day. Can't wait to really get into it. Can't wait to get things started. Can't wait to have my two glasses of water. Can't wait to make a smoothie. Can't wait to take a shower. Can't wait to get to work. Can't wait to eat lunch. Can't wait for my afternoon snack. Can't wait for dinner. Can't wait for bedtime. Can't wait to go to sleep. Can't wait.


I am strong. Not just physically, though we all know that is true, but mentally, I'm strong. My brain maintains an aggressive workout regime along with a strict diet. My brain does pushups, pullups, weight training, cardio exercise. My brain doesn't give up. My brain goes all the way. My brain can bench two hundred fifty pounds of mental weight. My brain can kick ass.


It can be solved. Whatever problem there is, it can be taken care of. I think of the solution. My brain makes connections, so many connections all the time. Wait for it. Wait for it. The solution comes to me. Bam, I got it. Problem solved. Again. And again. And again.

To Do

I am a doer. I do things. So many things. Good things, productive things, important things. I get shit done. I plan ahead. I don't procrastinate. I don't leave things for another day. I take care of the most important things today. Like now. I have to go do something now. It's really important. Bye.


I am a winner. I win things. In life. I just beat that guy to the corner of this block. He might not have known we were racing, but I don't let those details deter me. He was walking kind of fast but I walked faster. I beat his ass! Go me! Yeah! In your face, man I don't know! I am the best walker on this block. I am the victor. I am number one. I am the champion.


Seize the day. Take hold of it by the shoulders and look into its eyes and say, You're mine now. That alright with you? If the day consents, say, Thank you, day, let's get all sorts of things done. If the day runs away, don't chase it. Let the day come back to you in its own time. Trust me, wonderful things will happen when the day comes back to you. Wonderful things.


I embrace challenges. Challenges are good huggers. They really hold onto you. They bring you in. You feel good in their arms at first. You are really connecting in that moment. They smell nice. But they keep hugging. Oh, it started so nice but now they won't let you go. Um, excuse me, this was a really nice hug at first but now it's starting to get awkward. But they don't care, they keep hugging. They hold on tighter. Yeah, I'm good to go. The hug is over, thanks. Yeah, seriously, let me go. Now. Let me go, dude. Seriously, this is getting crazy. Let me go! When you free yourself, you say, Ah-ha! I beat you, challenge! I embraced and beat you.