Every decision you make is one you should be comfortable betting on. If you’re not, you should be making different decisions.
When I was young, my mother would always be asking me if I wanted to make bets. She’s pull out her hand and motion for me to shake it with this air of confidence, and I would inevitably back out of everything, every time.
Something about a bet makes us back away, like we don’t have the confidence we previously had about a subject. This is true even though a bet doesn’t really change anything– it just makes us consider a potential loss.
Something has happened since then. I don’t back away from bets anymore. In fact, I’ve been making them a lot, kind of as a form of training. And I’d also now argue that the best way to view life is as a series of bets, or seen another way, as a bunch of opportunities to win.
This past New Year, you probably had an opportunity to make a bet with yourself. You may see it as a resolution, but that’s not actually what it is. It is a bet, and if you lose, you will actually be worse off than you were before. The opportunity will be gone, and you will have less hope about being able to change. You will have lost the bet, and you should treat it that way.
Actually, you are making bets with yourself every day. Most people just don’t realize it. We bet our reputation on what we write, or we bet money in the form of opportunities we take, or those we avoid.
People don’t realize the risk inherent in the decisions they make because these decisions are quiet and aren’t made by the light of reality television cameras or with Carmina Burana as background music. (Incidentally, that’s how I’m writing this post. You should try it.)
Most things are done quietly and without much fanfare, and because media convinces us that important things happen with a lot of excitement, we are missing out on the great victories, or losses, of our own lives.
So this is a wakeup call.
Your decisions are costing you, silently, every day, and you are putting things off because it is in our nature not to fear things which are far in the future.
But viewing it as a bet puts the loss front and center, like it should be.
You are betting your life on the resolutions you made this New Year. You should want to succeed at them very badly, and should work hard to do so– get organized and learn more about it, not just hope (which is what most resolutions really are).
Bets are won by those that are confident and those that have more information.
So win your bets by becoming that kind of person.
People associate themselves very strongly with the decisions they make (even something as simple as enjoying coffee or going to bed late), but they don’t realize that they would be just as happy being the opposite kind of person, and be just a much “themselves.”
But no, there is no risk in changing. The real risk in staying the same.
I plan to be unrecognizable in 5 years. I plan to surprise everyone.
You should too.
Now, tell me how.