My brother picked me up to go work out the other day. He was wearing his zip-up one-piece, Army green, lined Dickies coveralls and work boots and ball style cap. His graying beard was a little scruffy and he needed a haircut. I wore black sweatpants, a green T-shirt, a black zipper sweatshirt that I discovered to my embarrassment had egg dripped on the front, running shoes and a cap rimmed with old sweat, and I hadn’t shaved in three days.

We must have been a picture as we entered the fitness center. We walked up to the front desk to sign in and the guy behind the counter was eye balling us and with a straight face asked: “You guys here for Zumba?” (This is a workout class for women, who wear clean, appropriate and stylish gym clothes.) His delivery was so deadpan that for a split second I thought, Zumba … are you kidding me … and of course he was. The three of us looked at each other and busted out laughing. I was darn near on the floor. Laughter is a great cure for what ails you. It made my morning and as I write this column, I’m still laughing.

I can be loquacious (I had to look that up). I like to pontificate I’m told and I take too long to make my point. So here it is. Laughing was fun, it was joyous and that very moment occurred because I created it.

I believe in the power of our thoughts and how they create our reality. I haven’t always believed or understood their power, but now that I do, and as I have become more aware of my own thoughts, I’m able to experience them in action. There are those days that I just should not leave the house. My thoughts are so powerfully negative that if there is a jerk within a thousand miles of me, we’ll find each other. We will connect and it will be unpleasant. How unpleasant is usually determined by how long it takes me to become conscious and recognize that how I think created and is now strengthening this negative encounter. So in an effort to create fewer of these encounters, I have engaged in a practice.

When you first wake up and are still in that in-between state of sleep and full consciousness, before thought kicks in, before you remember who you are, there is a moment in which you can create your day. How do you want it to be? This particular morning my first thoughts were: I will be a loving father. Today will be productive and I will recognize with gratitude the abundance in my life. Today I will feel joy.

Find your own words and then get up and expect your day to happen. This particular day was a good one. I had a good morning with my son. I made him pancakes for breakfast before driving him to school, I had a big belly laugh at the gym, and I was working writing my column. I was safe, warm and fed and I live and work from our perfect little home in the village and for all this I am grateful.

Now … I’m not always conscious of my thoughts and as a result, I still create some really bad days. But when I am conscious of my thoughts, I create some really good ones too. I can’t expect people to change to accommodate me. I must change the way I think in order to experience any change. I’m going to keep that in mind next time someone backs out without looking in a parking lot.