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Mindset Is Everything: Rub Your Face In the Fluff of Your Fears Today

I believe that mindset is everything in life.

When my beautiful wife Anna Melissa was about 25 weeks pregnant with our first child she asked early one morning if we could go to the Humane Society to look at kittens. This was not unusual. Anna Melissa asked daily since Day 1 of our marriage if we could go to the Humane Society to look at kittens. In fact, every single day in the course of our regular activities if I ever asked her, "Is there anything I could do for you Sweetheart?", the answer was ALWAYS, "Get me a kitten." Usually I meant, "Would you like a drink from the fridge?", but it didn't really matter what I meant because my darling wife just wanted a fluffy little cat.

The problem? Although I had grown up with cats and dogs throughout childhood, somewhere along the line of growing into an adult I had developed a very extreme allergy to cats. The kind of allergy that chokes off your throat, makes eyes ooze yellow goo, and turns flesh the color of a cherry tomato if it is directly exposed to a cat. This wasn't a small sniffle and an achoo we're talking about. I'm talking full blown call Reno 911 this man's eyeballs look like they have syphilis kind of allergic reaction.

So my daily rebuttals of "Let's not look at cats today" weren't completely unfounded.

However, if you've ever seen how beautiful my wife is, or how cute she can be if she pokes out her lower lip to look sad, you know that there's really only so many "No's" you can put up before a "Yes" will eventually come.

My "Yes" to LOOKING at cats came as she was 25 weeks pregnant carrying our child and sustaining life.

That afternoon after a fun lunch date and some casual shopping I was hoping she would forget my saying yes to going to see kittens. But I was sorely reminded of my commitment and she guided me through unknown streets of Birmingham to the Humane Society. It was a hot June afternoon with the sun high in the sky, the kind where you usually dart from your vehicle to the door of a building before starting to smolder from the heat. But I took a moment to pause on the sidewalk, look my beloved sweetheart in the eyes, raise my hands to the sky, and repeat loudly three times the phrase, "We are not getting a cat today. We ARE NOT getting a cat today. WE ARE NOT GETTING A CAT TODAY."

She smiled and we walked into the relief of air conditioning where we were told to walk down a certain hallway to see cats. As Anna Melissa paused at the front desk to ask about a certain hair length type of cats, I had already passed into the menagerie of glass cubby holes with captive kittens peering through from the other side. I was no more than three steps into this feline factory when I saw a particular kitten looking through the glass and straight at me. With dozens and dozens of cats all around, completely unaware and not caring (as cats do) about my existence, this one small kitten locked eyes with me, tilted his head slightly, and then, as if scripted from a movie, he put his right paw onto the glass in front of him.

I could go on and on and write about the internal struggle that followed for the next 45 minutes...but suffice it to say that we got a cat and we named him Eugene, and I love that little furbag.

His moving into our home, although an easy emotional transition, was physically for me akin to having the plague in my upper respiratory system. By the end of Eugene's first day with us my eyes were so swollen I could barely open them. Anna Melissa, the dear that she is, although she loved the cat, kept saying, "Stan, we can't keep him if you're going to be like this. What are you going to do?!"

My answer to her was plain and simple though: "I'll get over it. It's all in the mind."

So that night, barely able to see out of my eyes, I picked up little fluffy Eugene and I rubbed my face all over his belly. The next morning, with my eyes crusted shut and my throat feeling like I'd swallowed 2lbs worth of sandpaper, I got out of bed and I rubbed that fluffy furbag all over my face. That day at work, I'll never forget, with red blotches all over my skin and with my face swollen, a kind middle aged woman asked if someone was hitting me! I literally looked abused.

But that night I went home and rubbed that cat all over my face. And so the routine continued every morning and night, and mid afternoons on my days off, until about three weeks later my eyes were no longer the color of cherry tomatoes and my cheeks weren't swollen past their usual puffy selves.

I was cured.

I told my mind I didn't have an allergy to cats. I acted AS IF I did not have an allergy to cats. And lo and behold, I stand before you today as a man who DOES NOT have an allergy to cats.

Mindset is everything.

Your life, and everything in it, are a collective result of the things you think you can and cannot do. You may think there are physical, mental and emotional, financial, or societal limits stopping you from achieving whatever it is you would like to achieve in life. But let me tell you something, that's all a load of poo. Blind men climb Mt. Everest. Bad singers get record deals. Mediocre writers publish books. The only difference between someone who does those things and the people who don't are the fact that they BELIEVE that they CAN DO those things.

Harriet Tubman once said, "I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed another thousand if they knew they were slaves." The fact of the matter is this: Most people want something more in life. They have a pet project, a passion, a hope or a dream that they're just sitting back and letting slip by because they are the slave to their beliefs that perhaps that thing, that wish, and that dream just can't happen. But there's no need for that.

If you want to be, DO.

I get on social media each day and see so much good, but also so much bad. There's so much divisiveness and complaining. There are so many people saying "If only..." this and "If only..." that. But eventually all of us are going to run out of time to say "if only" and not have another day to just treat one another kindly.

I used to always ask my employees when I was a manager "When is NOW the right time to start doing what you know you ought to be doing?"

The answer is now.

If a man can cure himself of a physical ailment due purely to a belief, then just imagine what you could do with your life if you set your mind to it. Now is the time to do something more, follow the steps you probably ALREADY KNOW you need to take, and start living your life with purpose instead of acting like a slave to your own belief patterns.

Mindset is everything. So go rub your face in the fluff of your fears today.

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