Life

Stacking the Deck Towards Awesome

A while back a very dear friend of mine woke up in a grumpy mood. She and I tend to communicate through text during the day, and so I did my best to cheer her up. Sometimes I’d do the “guy” thing and try to fix the day, suggesting reasons she should be happy, telling jokes, even suggesting activities I thought might make her feel better.

Nothing worked. By 10am, she was still Ms. Grumpypants.

Then, around noon, I heard from her again. I asked if she was in a better mood.

“Not really…but,” she said, and named off a few fun activities she’d planned for the afternoon, along with some pretty easy tasks she’d been putting off. “So, at least I’ve stacked the deck towards awesome.”

That phrase stuck with me. Stacking the deck towards awesome. Remember when I mentioned that life isn’t fair? That means you’re allowed to cheat. If you seem to have a rotten time all around, why not stack the deck in your favor?

  • Plan on having coffee with somebody funny.
  • Treat yourself to your favorite guilty pleasure movie.
  • Do something physical that you know how to do well – even if it’s just a bike ride.
  • Look at your to-do list and pick out the easiest things, or the quickest. Do them, and bask in the feeling of productivity.

Seriously, it doesn’t take much to give your life the appearance of not sucking. Lob yourself a few easy pitches, and just enjoy the feeling of not struggling.

Longer Term

Of course, if I left it at just stacking your day, it might seem more like a practice. But I believe that you can stack the deck towards awesome in the big picture, too. Line up concerts in your future, pick out movies that don’t come out for months that you can look forward to. Pick out a position at work you’d like to be in, and start helping out the person who does it. Seem random? Here’s a few possible results:

  1. You discover you don’t like it after all.
  2. You discover you do like it, and now have a head start at learning the skill.
  3. You have a new friend, or
  4. You have a better idea of what kind of jerk this job would turn you into.

All of which is good.

Fair warning

I’ve been looking around lately to find ways to stack my own deck towards awesome, but that doesn’t look like you might think. Last year I did it subconsciously, and ended up doing way more travel than was healthy. It was a great experience, but TOO MUCH. In fact, I’m going to be dealing with the effects well into 2012, which I’ll write about later. You need to be careful how far ahead you “stack the deck” or else you may find yourself with an embarrassment of riches.

For me, for now, stacking the deck towards awesome looks like finding places that I don’t have to travel, places where I can breathe in the quiet and listen to the sound of my life for a change. That, to me, would be awesome.

So pick out your own brand of awesome and find ways to stack your future with good cards. “Luck of the draw” will have a whole new meaning, because fortune favors those who are prepared…

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