I’M RECOVERED… WELL ALMOST

Oh happy days! As you can see by this letter, today I am considered recovered from the coronavirus. Sadly for her, Margie still has a bit of time left before she is considered fully recovered, but she is relatively symptom free. I will be allowed to return to work on Thursday. I will keep all of you updated on how that goes. I was told employees might be a bit nervous around me. If you think about it, I am probably the safest employee there right now. Why? This leads to one of my first questions I have for the powers that be.

My first question even before I was fully recovered was, “Am I now immune to this virus?” According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (You know the guy on the news that sounds a lot like Mel Brooks to me) “You’re going to have some degree of durable immunity. It may not be 50 years, but it’s certainly going to be a matter of a few years.” He said this on the Doctor Mike YouTube show. Even if it is only 12 to 18 months like I first heard, I will take it. Still, I am going to abide by all of the social distancing and washing hands (which I hope we all did before this) and wiping down things with wipes just to be safe.

My second question revolved around donating blood to help critical patients. I heard if you have antibodies they can do that. I have not found anything definitive, but will continue to investigate. Along with sharing my story to help calm some of the fears, if I could donate antibodies to help critical patients, that would be awesome. If anyone knows of information in this regard, please do not hesitate to share.

Margie and I have also taken additional steps to upgrade our life for the future. We bought the new air purifier we have been searching online for 6 months for. It is running next to me as I write this. We are also invested in a new high-powered vacuum cleaner. I had ordered some cleaning supplies before I got sick and they are waiting at my work to be picked up as well. We also started drinking a lot of our wonderful herbal teas we have and began eating some healthy things. Even the not so healthy dishes are homemade by my lovely lady, the most beautiful chef I know.

As odd as this may sound to many, getting this virus has been a blessing to me in many ways. I was able to share my story and help others be a little less afraid as well as give hope to others who have tested positive. I also discovered, sadly, how little I am valued at my day job. That is a blessing because I am even more motivated to look for jobs as a full-time writer. Again, if you have any information in this category please share with me. I was able to meet (virtually) many new neighbors and received so many well-wishes I get chocked up just thinking about it. Most of all, I was able to spend some quality uninterrupted time with Margie. I have seen funny memes online about people getting ready to strangle their spouse (even saw one of Tommy Lee jumping off the roof) but our love is different in so many ways. We learned so much about each other and grew closer than we have in a long time. It was certainly no fun being sick, but I am grateful I made it through. I am grateful my symptoms were not worse. I am grateful to have such amazing friends and family to help us out and cheer us on. I am grateful I have such an amazing lady to be stuck with.

I ALMOST FORGOT IT MADE ME HAPPY

This idea was given to me by my beautiful Margie. In these crazy times we all need to remind and use things to create a little sense of joy in our lives. In my book A Happy Life for Busy People, I encourage people to create what I call a “Happy Playlist”. Quite simply compile a list of songs that bring joyful memories to you. I put mine on my phone. I created a list on YouTube and add songs on a daily basis as they occur to me. Currently, it has a total of 187 songs. The great thing about this list is that anytime I find life giving me a hard time I ‘just push play’ and I am greeted by songs that bring back fond memories or transport me to someplace I would rather be. Some make me think of my friends and quite a few make me think of my lovely lady.

Music is a powerful way to transport your mental state quickly than anything else I know. Once you do the list of songs you may realize how powerful this is and want to add other mediums as well. Favorite movies that you love that make you laugh or put a special feeling in your heart. It is great to have a collection of books that can take your mind to a different world. At this moment when many of us have a little more time it is a good idea to put some of these together.

Why now? I often use the comparison to learning to swim. It is certainly a better idea to learn to swim when you are safely on shore than waiting until you are on a sinking ship. When we return to work we will face a lot of new challenges. Some of us may have to begin looking for new jobs. Life will take a lot of getting used to and having a things that could make us happy will really come in handy. Whether your happiness comes from music, books or even kittens (that is Margie’s contribution to today’s post) Let us all use the time we have to create some ideas of people, places and things that bring joy into our lives. When the world returns to normal, let us spend more time doing those very things.

IS MY CORONAVIRUS JOURNEY OVER?

This is me holding a copy of my book during a video shoot for a position I am applying for. As you can see I am also wearing the amazing smiley face shirt that my lovely Margie bought for me. The attention to happiness is not only for the video I was shooting, but it is also because I believe my journey with coronavirus is almost at an end.

Tragically, I heard the news was not so good for a different local family. A young lady lost her battle with this virus. It really touches home when someone in your community loses their life to the very condition you also have. I am so grateful my symptoms did not develop into something more severe. As I forge ahead with finding out the details on where I go from here I will make sure to keep all of you posted.

The health department told me I would be cleared 3 days after displaying no symptoms. My primary care doctor has cleared me to go back to work on the 31st. It is strange that there is no actual test to clear you. Instead we are to rely on time elapsed since my symptoms were first shown (14 days) and since I last experienced them (3 days). I have also learned that 2 of the countries who displayed some of the lowest mortality rates with the virus (Germany and South Korea) have done so through extensive testing. On a personal level, I find that our country being one of the wealthiest in the world has no excuse for not having more tests available. It is my sincere hope that we have all learned something very valuable with this crisis.

On a professional level, I hope we have learned to take care of health care workers by making sure they have the right protective equipment and medicines they need to diagnose and treat those infected. In the same light, I hope we come to better appreciate the ‘essential’ workers such as grocery store employees, gas station workers, people involved in the shipping industry and others who still had to show up when others were at home. Next time we go out to eat or even just for a drink or cup of coffee I hope we leave a little extra tip for these folks whose income was eliminated when businesses shut down.

On a social level I hope we better appreciate the time we spend with friends. Going out for coffee with those you enjoy will become something you treasure instead of something you take for granted. Seeing the smile on a friend’s face in person and being able to give them a hug will feel more like a gift and less like something that happens every day. May we take the time to gather more often and relish those times more when we do.

On a personal level may we have come to discover, or rediscover the beauty and wonder of those we share our house with. Not only does this strengthen the bonds of our relationships, but it certainly beats being cast for a reboot of The Shining. In my quarantine with my beautiful Margie I have been reminded what an amazing cook she is. I have enjoyed some of the most tasty dishes as she helped me regain my strength. I also found so many different ways in which I find her beautiful to me. Just last night she demonstrated what talent she has at drawing. This is something she rarely has time for. Even the frustration of having to maintain ‘proper social distance’ from each other made us appreciate how much we enjoy each others touch.

I hope when we look back on this period of time years from now we remember the many things we learned. It is my sincere hope we also reflect on the appreciation it gave us for the many things, and people, that we might have taken for granted. It has taught me that even having a potentially deadly virus can be turned into the blessing of helping others if you approach it the right way.

BEST NEWS SO FAR IN MY JOURNEY WITH CORONAVIRUS

That’s me rocking the quarantine look. Today is roughly day 6 since being diagnosed with coronavirus. It is the best I have felt so far. Shortness of breath is hanging on, but getting better. As an example, last Monday I took out the garbage and didn’t even get back to the house before feeling winded. Today, I took out both the garbage and recyclables and was just a little short of breath when I got back inside. This may not seem like a big difference but I sure felt better. The dizziness is also getting better. It seems less intense and certainly less frequent. Also, my sense of smell seems to be returning slowly. This symptom is the worst. It affects your sense of taste as well. I am hoping it continues to get better every day.

People are asking me what Margie and I are doing during this time. We are doing the same as many of you. We take turns watching movies, we play games and are creating and enjoying meals together. We also have read to each other. Margie has a hard time staying awake during reading so I usually read out loud to her. I rather enjoy this as I feel it is an activity that brings us closer together and we both get to learn something in the process.

One of the books I read during this time was How to live to be 100…or more. It was written by the comedy legend George Burns. I was never a big George Burns fan until recently. Not only does his humor amuse me, but in many ways his relationship with his wife Gracie Allen reminds me a fair deal of Margie and I. People ask how we can work together, live together and sleep together without killing each other. This quarantine time was not that big of an adjustment for us because we do spend a lot of time together. (about the only time we are apart is when I am at the post office) Doing so takes a great bit of effort and comprimise. I am sure a lot of you are discovering this as we speak. I think it is a great way to get to know your partner and strengthen your relationship.

Today we also left the house for the first time. We both walked around our neighborhood. It felt good to get some fresh air. My shortness of breath would not have allowed me to go much further. It is funny to think that just 2 weeks ago I was running on a treadmill and now it is tough to walk a few blocks. It makes me grateful for my health. I am also grateful that my symptoms were mild enough I could breath, especially with my asthma. It also made me grateful for the neighborhood I live in. Margie and I live on a busy street, but the streets behind us is a rather closed in little neighborhood. It is a shame we do not take the time to walk there more often. I hope these coming days will get us a chance to see and meet more of our neighbors (from at least 6 feet away) and say hello. I recall a conversation I had with a former alderperson who said the best way to improve your neighborhood is get out in it. I couldn’t agree more.

Speaking of getting out in your neighborhood, I aim to do that as soon as possible and I encourage all of you to do the same. When this world regains a sense of normalcy, I encourage all of us to get out and support the local businesses in our neighborhoods. They are certainly going to need our help. It is not just the business and business owner (who is often a neighbor) that you will be supporting, but you will be supporting all of your neighbors who are employed there. Small businesses are what drive the economy. It is important to take care of them. By doing so we are taking care of our neighbors and our neighborhoods. Mr. Rogers would like that I dare say. If you are reading this and you live in my neighborhood, Margie and I look forward to meeting and getting to know a lot more of you. So if you see us out supporting a local business please come up say hello and introduce yourself. Let us use this challenge we have all faced to build a better world.

CLICK HERE TO GET NEIL’S BOOK FILLED WITH IDEAS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE AMAZING

ME AND THE VIRUS – DAY 5

Here I am rocking the quarantine look. Usually I am much more clean shaven than this. Today is day 5 of this virus and I being partners. It is frustrating that certain aspects of it seem to cling on. The breathing issues, which tend to be worse at night, are improving slightly. I still have bouts of extreme dizziness. As an added bonus, when I returned home from being tested I noticed something else. My sense of smell was off. Margie was cooking hamburger with garlic and onions. Something normally that makes my mouth water. I could not even smell it. I just read that could also be a symptom of the coronavirus. Gratefully, my sense of smell seems to be returning every so slowly.

Speaking of being grateful, I wanted to take a moment and give some genuine thanks to a few amazing people. Melissa from the West Allis health department has been amazing. She calls to check on both Margie and myself on a regular basis. Today she even dropped off a little care package on our porch. (see photo below) This is much appreciated and she is certainly an asset to our community. That takes us to my next point – my community. I have been sharing my journey in our West Allis community page on Facebook. The response has been overwhelming. I did so to reassure members of my city and take a little of the fear out of this virus. In doing so, I have not only met a great deal of new neighbors (virtually of course) but received such kind words and encouragement from them. Margie and I are so grateful to live in a city filled with such wonderful people. Then there are our friends from our DJ shows. They have checked in and offered to help us. I cannot not begin to convey what a great deal this means to us. Even had a great early morning conversation with our friend Kurt.

In the coming days and weeks I know they are planning on ramping up testing. This makes me happy to hear. I cringe when I think about how I would have been back to work now trying to ‘make it through’ the symptoms. Meanwhile, I would have been spreading it to my coworkers. When these additional tests are given it will obviously increase the number of positive cases as well. This is something that I want us to all keep in mind. When they tell you “cases have doubled overnight!” Before cowering in fear consider the fact they may have doubled the amount of tests they gave and are just getting better at identifying cases that have been out there.

When will this all end? Nobody can say for sure. Are we making a difference with all of the measures we are taking? I believe so. Doing our best to practice physical distancing is the least we can do. Staying in touch with and helping out our friends as we are able also makes a great difference. I look forward to being out in the world again and I know all of you do as well. Let us be patient and remember those like Anne Frank who had to hide in an attic and remain almost silent for two years to avoid persecution of her and her family. We can just relax in our homes, order take-out, surf the web, watch movies and play games. This is certainly not an easy time for any of us, but let us be grateful it is not much worse.

If any of you have any questions in regards to how I am feeling, what I am doing to treat this virus or how the symptoms seem to be progressing, please do not hesitate to ask. I am sharing my story for that purpose. So that all of us can not only have an insight into this virus from a person perspective, but limit our fear while increasing our caution.

ISN'T THAT SPECIAL? DAY 4 OF MY JOURNEY WITH THE CORONAVIRUS

This was a post I began writing under very different circumstances but I find the meaning still holds true. My idea then was to write about how this virus has us looking at different aspects of our lives with a more grateful perspective. Then I was informed that I, indeed, had the virus. I used a tool I use with most challenging situations that occur in my life – I asked myself two very important questions.

1. How can I use this? and 2. What is good about this?

You may think that being someone who has several high risk symptoms (asthma and a bad heart) that it was difficult for me to find something good about this virus. Certainly, nothing is good about having one’s health compromised. Right away that was one good thing. It gave me a whole new appreciation for my health and how important it is that I do my best to take care of myself. Making the 5 days a week spent at the gym worthwhile. It will give me something to keep in the back of my mind as motivation when I return.

The next question was how could I use this. Without a second thought I was grateful for the opportunity to be able to share my journey and hopefully help keep people calm while showing them a real person behind the virus. If, by sharing my struggle I can help bring peace and answer questions for many others it will be worth suffering through the days of feeling like I can’t breath, coughing, fevers, getting tired just walking from the kitchen to the living room and being so dizzy I feel like Captain Jack Sparrow without the rum. This may all sound a bit frightening but I am making it through. What is helping is all the well-wishes I am recieving from the community and even complete strangers. This is but one of the many joys this virus has brought to my life.

I always enjoy meeting friends for coffee at great local places like Urban Joe’s. If you have never had that pleasure let me encourage you to do so as soon as we get through this. Breakfast at West Allis Cheese and Sausage? Very hard to beat. These places are run by great local people in my community such as Curtis and Mark respectively. Although I always enjoy them, I will cherish such experiences far greater the next time I have that chance.

Of course there is this wonderful lady. My beautiful Margie. I am grateful she has not displayed many symptoms. I feel bad because of me she has to be quarantined as well. If I have to be stuck at home for two weeks I could not pick a nuttier, funnier, sweater and more wonderful person to be stuck with. Although the social distancing has been a nightmare for two people who love each other as much as we do, we have been finding ways to pass the time. Like, for example, arguing whose beard has grown more in this period. I am kind of jealous of hers, but don’t tell her that. She is an amazing cook and I have never had so many good meals! Even though we can’t be as close as we like, seeing her face lighting up the next room still puts a smile on mine.

As the days tick on by I watch numbers for positive cases continue to climb. This makes me think of two very important things. First, we must continue to work hard at practicing physical distancing. Yes, I did say physical distancing. Just because we have to be geographically apart, does not me we have to lose our sense of community. I have met many great neighbors by sharing my journey than I knew before. I have found new ways to bond with and love my lady than I knew before. Now more than ever we need to use the technological tools we have at our disposal to lift each others spirits. Local community pages, like the one we have for my city of West Allis, can be a place to gather virtually and encourage one another. We can use Facetime to connect with friends and family. Even take the time we have to call our elderly relatives to not only check on them, but let them know we love them.

This crisis has brought together many who otherwise stand on opposite sides. I hope we can continue this sense of unity once we have overcame this virus. It has challenged our sense of normal but caused us to appreciate the mundane. It may have kept us away from those we care about but has us missing and loving them so much more. There are many things about this virus that are frightening and terrible, but let us dig out what blessings we can discover to keep the light of hope burning in these dark times.

DAY 3 WITH CORONAVIRUS AND A NEW SYMPTOM!

Welcome to day 3 of my not so fun journey with the coronavirus. Today a new symptom seemed to take center stage. That was feeling dizzy. I recall last Sunday having moments of this feeling. Once having to hang on at the dinner table and another thinking I forgot to put the car in park only to discover it was not the car that was moving but my own equilibrium. Those moments were fleeting and passing. The shortness of breath is what made me go to the doctor and had me so nervous.

Then enter today. From mid-afternoon on I was very dizzy. It began when I bent over to pick up a cookbook that had fallen in our pantry. I stood up and felt like I had just left a tilt-a-whirl ride. It passed in about 30 seconds. The rest of the day I have been walking around like Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. The sad thing is I have not even had any rum. For a moment I did contemplate drinking some and seeing if the two would balance each other out, but then thought that might not be the best thing for my healing. I have also heard from a few sources that they are saying not to take elderberry, which I had been doing. I stopped adding that to my list of things I am trying.

You may think the hardest thing is dealing with fact I feel like I cannot breath 80% of the time, or even walking around like a drunken pirate without having the pleasure of drinking rum. Both of those are most unfortunate. The real struggle, however, is far worse. It is having to be in the house with my lovely lady and not being able to wrap my arms around her and shower her with kisses. I can tell that she, who is pretty much symptom free as far as the virus goes, is also hurting. Watching someone you love so much be so close yet so far away is the worse frustration ever. Last night as I watched her sleep all I wanted to do was walk over and place a kiss in the middle of her forehead. Still, because I want her to remain as healthy as she can be I stayed roughly 6 feet away.

I always like to end things on a positive note. While Margie was sleeping I did manage to finish the book I was reading. How to live to be 100…or More by George Burns. In it, along with some great comic material, was some wonderful real world advice that I would like to share with you. There is a chapter he discusses limiting worry, stress and tension. With all that we are dealing with these days that can be hard to do. All of us want to stay well-informed, but by doing so many of become inundated. News of this virus, the death toll numbers, quarentine information is everywhere. It is on the nightly news, shows up on our social media and even alerts on our phones. Add to that all of the rumors and misinformation being spread to cause worry and panic and things can become overwhelming. This stress, tension and worry can lower our immune system and make us sick. How do we overcome this? I am going to give you a quote from George Burns himself – “You may not be able to change the world, but you can change the channel.”

Trust me, I get it. As someone who has this virus I like to be informed of all the latest information. We have to be careful to take some time away. Let us use this time that we have at home to read more, meditate more, catch up on some rest. Tomorrow Margie and I have a mini movie matinee planned. This will be with some amazing homemade nachos. We will check in on what is going on, but we will also take some time out to focus on joy. Something we could all benefit from doing. I would encourage everyone to plan at least one activity that will bring them some joy and self-care. I would love it if you could share it in the comments below.

MY FIRST DAY WITH CORONAVIRUS

Today’s post was scheduled to be about appreciating all of the things we took for granted before this coronavirus started. Can you imagine walking into a store and not having to worry about what was in stock? How much thought had we given to toilet paper before this? All of this will be touched on Monday.

Reason being I discovered that I, myself, have the coronavirus today. I want to share with you a sort of day to day production of what happened in hopes it will help put to rest a lot of fear that is out there. I will share with you my journey through this crazy condition. With that in mind I put on my Winnie-the-Pooh onsie and a mask and went to work typing this. So, sit back and I will tell my tale thus far.

The first thing people ask is usually “How did you get it?” If I knew that I would have chose not to get it I suppose. As far as I knew I was around nobody who had symptoms or who had traveled. Between the work at the Postal Service and being a DJ not to mention just being out and about I could have picked it up anywhere. What made me get checked was this. It began with sniffles, which actually went away quickly. It could’ve been part of it or not. Really not too sure. Then I began to feel run down. It is really important to stay rested and well so your immune system stays up. Something I should pay more attention to. Then on Monday I took out the garbage and was out of breath. It is like 20 feet from the house to the dumpster. I knew something wasn’t quite right. Being that I have asthma, I took my inhaler. This normally helps but only seemed to make things worse. I called the doctor who told me because of my bad heart and asthma I was too much of a risk to come in.

The next day was more of the same. A second call to the doctor yielded the same results. “Just stay home and see if you feel any better.” I was told. By then I had to call into work. I did so out of concern for my coworkers. If indeed I had anything I certainly wouldn’t want them to get it. Somehow our complex automated system of 25 questions you have to answer when you call in sick (because there is nothing one wants to day than shout “YES!” to an automated system when you are ill) scheduled me for having the following day off as well. I decided to take this as I was still not feeling better. I would feel tired walking from the kitchen to the living room. Finally my doctor gave in and told me to go to urgent care.

Arriving at urgent care I asked for a mask as I was instructed to do. Ironically, I was the only one in the waiting room with one on. When I finally was called back the nurse in what looked like a hazmat suit took my vitals. She was very nice and informed me everything looked good. No fever, blood pressure normal etc. Then I went for a x-ray on my chest. This was given by a lady with a face shield and other protective equipment. This also came back looking great. They were about to send me home when I mentioned I knew someone who had been to California. They seemed healthy but it was enough to give me the test.

Early this morning I was greeted with a phone call from my boss chastising me for making people nervous about me being sick. I never mentioned being tested for the virus but I guess a silly picture of me in a mask in the waiting room was a bit much for people. There was no wishes for a speedy recovery, just complaints that I shouldn’t make people nervous. This was followed in 30 minutes by a call from my doctor informing me I tested positive. I guess people had a right to know I was sick. I thought long and hard about how best to inform everyone I had been around without causing too much more panic. In the end I decided to post on social media.

Despite the misgivings of my boss, I felt this was the responsible thing to do. That way those who have come in contact with me could get tested if they had symptoms as well. I was truly thankful I had not returned to work after I had begun to feel under the weather. I received helpful information from my doctor as he was able to provide. I have also received many well-wishes from those I am friends with on social media which I am truly grateful for. On top of that, I am at home with my lovely Margie, the most beautiful woman on the planet to nurse me back to health.

I decided to share my journey here so all of you can know what it is like and perhaps I can help to remove some of the fear behind this virus. One very important note is that I have not had any digestive issues, so you can all stop buying so much toilet paper now. I did, however, purchase a water filter pitcher and am very thankful as you are supposed to consume a lot of liquids during this time. There will be daily posts to keep you up to date as to what I go through. If any of you have questions or may have gotten it yourself I welcome you to reach out in the comments below. We will all get through this together~ Keep your heads up my friends.

THERE IS HOPE

Today is the first day of spring. It is perhaps my favorite time of the year. I am really not of fan of winter and having Seasonal Affective Disorder does not help matters anyway. What I really enjoy about spring is the general sense of renewal and hope it brings. Seeing the first song bird that has returned from its winter migration, watching as the piles of snow begin to shrink and disappear and seeing those first few flowers pop up through the brown grass fill us with hope and a sense of what is to come.

In the past 8 years, my posts have centered around that theme. Today, as I write this the world is a different place. It is a world not filled with hope, but one filled with fear. Much like the seasons, this too will change. I have heard everything from warmer weather helping to make the virus less likely to spread, and medicines and vaccines being worked on to be ready as soon as they can be.

All of these things are like the flower coming up through the once barren ground. It may not transform the landscape, but it is a sign of good things to come. Just like spring often toys with our emotions going from warm sunny days to ones with cold and snow before returning to warm up once again, so will this worldly situation. Just as the weather may seem to go up and down, eventually, we know the warm up is coming. As we fight to get a handle on this terrible virus, things may get worse before they get better. In the end, however, we all know spring will come and we know this disease will be controlled.

Both the exact time the weather will warm up for good and we can go back to living our normal lives remain a mystery. We know with certainty, both will eventually come. In the meantime I encourage all of us to do with this virus what I do to make it through the last of winter. Yes, there will be plenty of barren brown ground to look at. News of continued spread of the virus. Death tolls and how they keep getting bigger. If you think about it, they really couldn’t get smaller. This is like staring at what remains of winter. Instead, do something that will give you a feeling of hope. Spend time each day looking for those flowers, look at the melting piles of snow. That may be the news they have successfully isolated and grown copies of the virus in Canada which will help develop treatments, vaccines and tests. Instead of focusing on how you can no longer visit your favorite watering hole (or coffee shop) for a beverage, focus on the quality time you can spend at home.

There is one more very important thing you can do. When you find those things that give you hope. When you see that rare article of good news, be sure to share it with others. Spread hope in a time of despair. Be the light in a moment of darkness. Let us fill the world with as much light for those who are struggling as we can. If you cannot find the light, be the light. Thank a worker stocking the shelves at the grocery store, as my beautiful Margie did. Call to check on an elderly relative. Donate or help out at a local homeless shelter. Be the one to share a story of joy and encouragement. We are all in this together, and that is the way we will get out of it – together.

I AM THAT

Sometimes finding simple definitions of who you are can really help. I rather fit into that statement above. By knowing who we are we can find other like-minded souls to complete our tribe. Also a sense of identity will help us steer our own internal moral compass. Think of how you feel when you act out of character? Maybe you do something unkind and think to yourself, “Man that is really not who I am.” We have all done it. Unfortunately, I do it to this day. That is why developing a good definition of the kind of person we would like to be is so important.

Think of how easy it would be to turn away from temptation if you had a definition of who you are. Would it be easier to walk away from those doughnuts in the breakroom if you consider yourself a healthy and conscious eater? Would it be a little more difficult to ignore a friends troubles if you wanted to be considered someone who cares deeply for those around them? Sit down by yourself and think about who you really want to be. Then create a short, concise statement encompassing what you have come up with. Carry it with you and let it guide your daily speech (especially to yourself) your actions and your thoughts. Before long you will have become the living embodiment of what you have on that piece of paper.