In Wisconsin the old timers play a game of cards, called Sheepshead. [Depending on your specific, Wisconsin dialect, the second (s) may, or may not, be silent) In order to win… a player needs to “take” or accumulate the most “tricks” or individual hands, and will, usually, wind up with the most cards as well.
The more cards you can accumulate, the better your chances are of winning each round, and eventually the game.
There are a few things a man will accumulate in his life time… if he lives in Wisconsin.
He’ll have a drawer in the kitchen, with at least three decks of cards… he’ll have a garage; shop; or pole shed with at least three rolling mechanic carts, full of tools; and if he is old enough to have his own house, with at least one parking spot… he has accumulated, at a minimum, three snow shovels, a bucket full of sidewalk salt, windshield scrapers, jumper cables, extra boots, a walk behind snow blower… and maybe, even a 1/2 ton plow truck, because he might have to take care of his parents driveway also.
Does he have all of that equipment his first winter, ready for the first accumulating snowfall?
Growing up in Wisconsin he will already have… the jumper cables, an empty five gallon bucket (which will be used for the salt once he doesn’t need it to hold his minnows), a windshield scraper, and the last shovel available at Fleet-Farm… because he waited, and didn’t believe the weatherman, that we were going to have an accumulation of snow at the end of September.
He’ll eventually work on getting the extra pair of boots; the walk behind snow blower; and the plow truck… but not necessarily in that order.
Today we’re talking about the principle of … accumulating; to accumulate; accumulation; and how as men we can use that to our advantage.
That accumulation of ten inches of snow happens one flake at a time… and so we can use that principle to engage our positive behavioral changes one at a time.
And the other principle that goes “hand in hand” with “accumulation”… which is time.
Understanding both individually, and how they work together, we can utilize them both to help change our lives.
Understanding “to accumulate” “takes time” can be applied to anything we want to improve. Be it our character; our physique; or our Sheepshead gamesmanship.
Things can die instantly; think any random accident, heart attack, or brain aneurysm… but life, life… happens “little by little.”
As men, of any age, we need to apply these principles to our life’s journey. And understand, also, that accumulation can happen in a negative sense as well.
If we NEGLECT plowing that parking spot, or driveway, the ensuing accumulation of ice and snow will cause us problems… later on.
The accumulation of a negative attitude; and poor decisions; will accumulate, and also, cause problems… later on in life.
Fat cells accumulate excess lipids; our minds accumulate a blanket of negative outlooks; our spirits are affected by an accumulation of seemingly daily defeats… all lending themselves to the overweight, mentally anxious, spiritually empty, and emotionally immature males we find ourselves to be.
The only way out, understanding the principle of “accumulation.”
Understanding it takes one flake at a time, given enough time, working in concert with a million other flakes… will produce an accumulating snowfall.
To change your life, the accumulating flakes you are looking for… are your individual, daily, choices.
Starting with the information you take in.
For example, you may think you are in good shape…but what are you using as a gauge?
What do you think you know about diet and exercise?
What is your attitude toward being healthy?
Do you look down on other men for trying “to be better?”
Each one of these is a “flake” in your personal snow storm… but if you refuse, and you need to learn that it is a refusal, to learn about your own attitudes… whether they are positive or negative… then you will be hard pressed to change for the better… what ever you decide is “better” for you… especially if you already resigned yourself to think that you are as well off as you are going to be.
ENCOURAGE yourself, EQUIP yourself, ENGAGE yourself… and identify one thing, one flake, one card game, that if you made the choice today to start accumulating those actions that will let you see the PRINCIPLE in action and attaining to, or acquiring those card skills… you’ll see they will allow you to take a trick away, once in awhile, from those old guys.