In the short term, I’m not one for taking chances. I like challenge, but I also prefer to know the ground beneath my feet is stable and won’t fall out from under me. But the reality is that sometimes you have to grab life by the sweaty gonads and take a chance. This can relate to many different aspects of life, including one’s health, financials, career and more. In some cases, many cases, if you don’t roll the dice and take a chance in life, you may not accomplish a great deal.
This is perfectly fine if the only ambition one has in life is to make just enough money to keep a roof over one’s head and food on the table, leaving no room for any growth, expansion or experiencing the world around you. Admittedly, there’s nothing wrong with building such a life. I’ve certainly been guilty of wishing to have a simpler life with less belongings and property. One doesn’t need to be Bill Gates in order to have a rich and fulfilling life.
But it stands to reason that if you want something MORE in life, it will sometimes involve taking chances. Rolling the dice. Gambling, if you will. Because the chance you take will often yield negative results, it can be considered as a form of gambling. But traditional gambling is also a good example of this. For example, I buy lottery tickets each week. I’ve been doing so for the past few years and have never won anything beyond a free play or a few dollars, but I continue to play, nonetheless.
Don’t get me wrong; I could give two shits about being rich. I already consider myself rich in a variety of other ways but the money would be effectively used to bring some much needed peace of mind in the form of being debt-free and having an available savings that guarantee that I don’t have to throw myself further into debt just because the foundation of my house decided to start cracking (true story). They say money can’t buy happiness. But to be honest, I’d rather find that out myself than take someone else’s word for it. Money may not buy happiness, but it’s essentially the only way to pay bills.
“Your Odds Of Winning Are Like A Hundred Million To One! Don’t You Know That The Lottery Is Just A Tax On Stupid People?!”– Brian Griffin, Family Guy (Season 10)
This is a discussion I’ve had with a number of people over the years, since most people are convinced that there’s no point in playing the lottery as the odds of winning are almost non-existent. This may be true, but you know what else GUARANTEES you won’t win? Never playing. Eventually SOMEONE will win. And that someone will reap the benefits of that victory. And the reality is that I may get hundreds, maybe even thousands of losing tickets over the course of time that I play. But it only takes ONE winning ticket to make the difference.
I use the lottery as the subject of my analogy, because it’s familiar to most people and it’s easily understandable. But the lesson applies to all other areas of one’s life. Where would society be if no one ever gambled on themselves and took a chance? I referenced Bill Gates earlier… What if he never took a chance on himself? Microsoft may never have come into existence and the face of modern computing would be significantly different. What if Mark Zuckerberg hadn’t taken a chance and developed FaceBook, subsequently fighting for it and allowing it to develop? The world of social media and how we connect and communicate would be significantly different as well.
Maybe both of those are bad examples as well. Light knows the latter example hasn’t garnered the best reputation in recent years. So let’s consider lightning, instead. Have you ever been struck by lightning? Me neither. Any idea what the odds of being struck by lightning are? 1 in 500,000! And that’s DURING the lightning storm. If it’s a clear, sunny day I’m certain the odds jump sky-high (see what I did there?). But consider this? Do you think that someone who HAS been struck by lightning gives a damn about the odds? Or the statistics? No. They simply know it can happen because it HAS happened.
“Never Tell Me The Odds!”– Han Solo, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
I’ve basically written this fun little post with all these lottery and lightning analogies to illustrate a simple point: life doesn’t progress and move forward by sitting on the couch waiting for something to come to you. You have to occasionally take a chance. Whether it’s on yourself or on someone else, you can’t roll the dice unless you pick them up. And those dice won’t yield a winning throw unless you decide to take a chance and try. The odds may be against you, but you’re guaranteed to lose if you never play. ☯