Borrowed Time

PokerOur concept of time is messed up to a certain extent.  Not the measurement of time.  Seconds, minutes, hours, days, etc. are effective units to use for measuring time.  It is our relationship with it that may be in need of a revamp.  Perhaps I am only speaking for myself but I generally don’t think that I’m so unique to have a completely new thought.  Time is something that in our younger years we waste so often it is as if we believe that there is an infinite supply for us.  Then as we get older, we lament its passing, wishing that we had some of that wasted time back.  It seems that the only people who truly grasp the limited resource which they have are the people who have a brush with their own mortality.  There are a multitude of stories including George Lucas, Franck Ribery and so many others who gained clarity from a near death experience.

For me, I was too young.  Too young to remember and I never got the lesson.  When I was two and a half, I had meningitis.  I almost died.  Despite knowing this story since I was a kid, it never really sunk in that I was working with borrowed time.  At this moment I am forty one years into a lease on a life that easily could have passed by already.  So what does one do with this realization, even if it comes extremely late?  Like so many things in this world, the first thing is most likely to be grateful.  None of us is owed anything in the world.  So gratitude for all that has sprung out of that borrowed time is the most natural course.  Then comes the projection forward.  If you’re playing with house money, do you play it conservative only betting on the best odds?  Or do you look for some long shots that would pay off big because let’s face it you were supposed to be cashed out long ago?  I’m sure that you had a gut feeling about what you would tell me to do.  The question is can you follow your own advice?

We’re all living on borrowed time.  It doesn’t matter whether you’ve beaten a terminal disease or been healthy as a horse since birth.  It’s not completely up to us when we cash out.  So with that little bit of clarity from your gut, you need to decide, what are you doing with the chips that you have today?  There’s no particularly wrong answer, just an answer that’s right for you.

Deal ’em!



You Won the Lottery! Don’t Waste It!

Are you saying to yourself, “I didn’t win the lottery.  If I did, I surely wouldn’t waste it.”  YOU DID WIN THE LOTTERY but we’ll deal with that in a moment.  It’s easy to look with contempt at the people who seemed to have it and then lost it.  Examples like MC Hammer, Mike Tyson and Kim Basinger are ones that pop into my mind.  They all had millions of dollars coming in yet they went bankrupt.  How could they let this happen?  There are all kinds of reasons: mismanagement, overindulgence, lack of a defined plan or stupidity.  It seems really simple.  If I were to win the lottery, I’d be able to keep it all together.  It would be easy.

So now to the point, you did win the lottery.  You won the “Birth Lottery”.  If you’re reading this, then you have access to the internet and probably live in the US, Canada or Europe.  You weren’t born into slavery.  Through your life, you’ve probably been loved, fed and educated pretty regularly.  Although you don’t have as much as some people near the top, you’re so far ahead of the people at the bottom that it’s a joke.  Starvation, malnutrition and imminent death are probably not on your worry list for today.  So since you won the birth lottery, what are you going to do with it?

Your perspective on your life will determine heavily what you will do with it.  You can choose to see your place in life as a burden or difficult.  Or you can realize that you already won the lottery and not waste it.