Make life awesome

get cape, wear cape, fly

“Life gives us problems to solve or opportunities to blame.  It’s your choice,” echoed through the room.

The deep bass voice of Dr. Rupert Nacoste was a weapon that could make Morgan Freeman jealous.  For 4 months, Dr. Nacoste turned our lecture hall of 300 students into a theatre of social psychology, breaking the conventional professor – powerpoint love affair.  Dr. Nacoste preferred reciting poetry from the slave era or throw down spoken word that sent chills down our spines.

Today was like no other.  The lecture had me mesmerized, topping every one of the classes I’d experienced in the previous 4 years at university.  You see, Dr. Nacoste was obsessed with how people work, and he was a damn genius.  I sat mulling over his last phrase, with each word molding my reality in real time.

Life gives us problems to solve or opportunities to blame. 

You choose.

I firmly believe that perspective is an antidote for almost all the shitty situations life throws at us.  To do awesome things, we must overcome the unexpected and uncontrollable – it’s a part of the beautiful thing we call life.

Our future doctors must overcome the crapshoot of med school by applying to a silly number of schools.  For entrepreneurs, our chances of success – no matter the absurd hours we put in – is statistically a coin flip.  This isn’t because of a lack of effort, plenty of entrepreneurs work 100 hour weeks and fail.  Many times, everything has to work out just right to create success no matter how damn hard we try.

Hurricanes happen.  Houses burn down.  Busses aren’t on time.  Birds poop on our one suit before a big meeting.  We determine if these curve-balls are learning experiences or opportunities to complain.  They can fuel our fire or pull us down into the abyss of self-pity.  

Life gives us problems to solve or opportunities to blame. 

You choose.

Three years ago I worked as a door-to-door salesman, peddling educational encyclopedias and children’s books in the heat of the Texas summer.  It was a beautifully real experiment into the depths of how humanity treats one another.  Doors were slammed in my face with cuss words spat at me by people who didn’t even know my name.  There were also kind souls who would invite me into their homes to share dinner.

I heard “No” thousands of times, and every “No” was an opportunity to accept failure.  Throughout the entire epic endeavor, one technique helped me mentally survive the emotional upe and down of 80 hour work weeks.  It might help you too. 

When shitty things happened – because they always do – I asked myself the following questions:

     This (insert shitty situation) is good because…

Then,

     This is great because…

Then to finish it off…

     That was awesome.

It was a control on my filter for problems and opportunities.  Without this, sanity would have run away from me screaming in week 1.

My life was a cartoon.  Most people in the company drove cars; I rode a pink bicycle with streamers gifted to me by a family on day 2.  Twice I worked for 14 hours straight without making a dime. I even got kicked out of a town by a man with a revolver and a white moustache.  Imagine coming home from work after a 14 hour Tuesday to tell your co-workers that a Texan town legally banned you from returning.

(Sidenote, I’m happy to tell the whole story to anyone that asks.  It’s pretty epic and I did nothing immoral, dangerous, or stinky.  My only crime was being in the crosshairs of a homeowner’s association president that was practicing for her upcoming auditions to Jerry Springer.)

Every single time the proverbial shit hit the fan, it was awesome.  Absurd, cartoon worthy situations became opportunities to laugh and learn – regardless of whether the culprit was failure or bad luck.

So next time you get kicked out of a town, think:

     This is good because…  I now have an epic story to tell if I ever do standup comedy.

     This is great because…  my tolerance for crazy people just went up by 10.

     That was awesome.

Try to not laugh afterward too.  Confidently pronouncing “this is awesome” after being kicked out of a town is straight up silly, but I love it.  Nothing really phases me after that absurd soap-opera-esque turn of events.  All of a sudden, anything less crazy than being kicked out of a town becomes cake to overcome.

Go forth!  Turn shitty situations into gold.  It’s fun to inject a little rebellious awesome into the problems life throws at us.

Life gives us problems to solve or opportunities to blame. 

You choose.

Make life awesome.

Written with Love,

Kevin

PS. If you believe in making life awesome and like this writing, join our movement for a weekly dose of awesome in your inbox (to your left)!

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