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Not Today.

The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is put my glasses on and stumble into the bathroom and look at my insane bedhead in the mirror. Sitting on my bathroom counter is a bottle cap. It says on it, "Not today." While the sentence itself may be negatively phrased, it rings only positive to me.

This is what I thought the day I achieved a goal I had been dreaming about for almost 20 months. Actually, I should say, this is what I thought when I saw that dream slipping away.

I'm definitely influenced by pop culture, and was all in on the Game of Thrones train. It is clear that Arya Stark was a major bad ass. During her training, Syrio Forel said to her: "There is only one god, and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death: Not today." Melisandre then reminded Arya in a moment when she thought all hope was lost, "What do we say to the god of Death?" She replies, "Not today," before saving the entire future of humanity.

On May 26, 2019 things started out really well. And these words did not come up in my mind. But then things started going poorly. But still, these words didn't come up. They didn't come into my consciousness until almost all hope was lost. Almost. They didn't come into my mind until I crossed the threshold of predicted finish time slower than 3:00. They didn't come to mind until I was no longer fighting to stay under, but I was now going to have to fight to make a come back. They didn't come into mind until the 25th hour, when I really needed them.

That scene played in my mind, and those words echoed in my ears. It reignited the last remaining ember in me to get me across the finish line to what I was seeking. It was as if I had been temporarily existing in a fog, disconnected from what I was doing, and then everything came back into focus. Like a cinematic tool used when an explosion happens to reflect that the character is disoriented and then becomes reconnected with the task at hand.

When things are going well, these brief phrases don't necessarily come to mind. But they need to be consciously brought to mind and be practiced when things are going well in order to be called upon when things are not going well. Affirmations, mantras, strengths: these are all things we need to consciously remind ourselves of on a daily basis. Put that affirmation on your mirror. Write that mantra down and stick it on your refrigerator, or next to your front door, or on the coffee maker. Wherever you're guaranteed to go every day. I truly believe this works to create shifts in the daily mindset with minimal effort, just repetition and keeping what you need to believe in sight. This is an easy way to dictate the content you consume, by creating it yourself, for yourself.

Seeing "Not today," every morning when I wake up reminds me:

-I can dig deep.

-I can get through difficulty, whatever that may be.

-I can handle whatever is thrown at me.

-That there is no force that dictates my mindset besides me.

-That I am a force.

Not today is such a great response to so many questions.

-Will I let my supervisor get the best of me? Not today.

-Will I blow off my workout? Not today.

-Road Rage? Not today. (Except maybe, though.)

-Give up? Not today.

-Be defeated? Not today.

-Quit? Not today.

-Do less than my best? Not today.

What do you say to whatever force is trying to get you down, rain on your parade, take your gratitude, steal your sunshine/motivation/inspiration/drive/will? Not today.

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