I have card playing on my mind these days. Eric Baldwin, a young guy from my hometown was recently named card player of the year! Quite an honor and he is a very nice young man to boot.Maybe that is why I keep thinking about poker and card playing. I was thinking about card playing today as I drove around town doing some errands.My goal this year is to focus on having more joy in my life. A noble goal indeed if I say so myself. As I turned a corner near my house…it came to me…in the card game of life joy will always trump worry. I love that!I laughed and envisioned being in a big card game tossing down joy card after joy card while those who were tossing worry cards just sat and complained.How can I translate my big card game for life where I am? Here is how:We all have things to worry about. Some of us may have more than others these days. So the worry cards can come easy. Its the joy cards that we may be having trouble with. The answer is just to plan ahead.Here are 2 ideas to get those joy cards ready to play the greatest hand of your life this year.The first idea is to make a list of the things that bring you happy and bring you joy. Maybe you have forgotten because life has been hard lately. That can happen. Just start making a list of things that make you happy. Maybe its your partner, maybe your dog, maybe chocolate! Your list…your joy.Once its done you hang it up where you can see it. Or better yet make several copies. One to hang up and one to fold up and carry with you. Then when worry pops up you simply put your focus on your list. For every worry card you pull out a joy card.The second idea is to pick a symbol so that when you see the symbol it makes you smile. I decide my symbol this year will be a monkey.I love monkeys. They seem happy sitting in trees and I believe they would be greater huggers though I have no real experience with that. Its just what I believe.Monkeys make me smile and that brings me joy. I saw monkeys in nature when I traveled to Sri Lanka and worked with people who were living in refugee camps after the tsunami. Monkeys were living in the trees by our hotel. So this year I chose monkeys for my symbol (last year it was a sunflower) out of respect for all that experience brought to me and besides they are cute!So what happened today, the first day of the year? I saw monkeys all over! Every place I went I saw monkeys. I even picked up a dog collar and guess what was on it? Monkeys!!! I saw so many I just started laughing at the last store. And joy follows laughter every time.So when you are playing the game of life go to the table prepared. Make your list. Pick your symbol. Then remember the number one rule in the game of life…joy trumps worry each and every time!