Archived 9/03/03

“What are the Odds?”

By Larry John

Here is an “un-requested” email I got today. I hate getting these “get rich quick and get rich now” type emails. I can’t believe anyone of right mind would ever respond to one of these “spams and shams”.  And then I thought, maybe there are a lot of us who AREN’T in their right mind and that’s why they work. Here read this.

Life is full of indecision. "I should’ve" - "I would’ve" - "I wish I had"

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*Absolutely no need to contact or sell to anyone

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*Great support and training - both live and online

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Visit this link NOW and we will show you.

Well, how about you? Does this sound inviting to you? Now I will have to admit that there was a time in my life that I would have fallen for this financial teasing and hype. Hey, who wouldn’t want to make an extra $5000? And the neat part is it sounds like you don’t have to work very hard for it. Wouldn’t you love a quick and easy five grand? But do these five “big ones” come with a price of their own? Easy money is hard to get and even if you get it, at what cost? Which brings me to the gamble of gambling. I have lots of friends who buy a lotto ticket each week with the expectation of winning the lottery. They REALLY think they will win. And they start a lot of sentences with “When I the lottery I will….”

Yes, the “I wish I hads” take over and we want money now! Greed is such a wonderful motivator. Greed motivates us to do things we wouldn’t normally do if we were thinking clearly. Do you really think you are going to win when you gamble? I actually heard of a lawsuit against the State suing for over $500,000. The plaintive said that he was entitled to that amount because of money he had lost playing the lottery and the pain and suffering that losing had caused him. Losing hurts, really hurts, especially if you THINK you are going to win. What’s worse than losing? It is coming close and NOT winning. If we are going to lose, would we rather lose big. When you come close and lose, it just hurts even worse.

So as we get older, the gamble of the gamble gets less and less enticing until gambling becomes down right silly. Whether it be slot machines, the game of 21, poker, or sport betting… gambling losses pull and it become harder and harder to push our greed button. The reason is that just like the Bible says (I think), “You must LOSE in order to FIND.”  If you lose enough, most of us will FIND it stupid to gamble with the expectation of winning. We might enjoy the “game,” but the odds are always stacked against us and in the long run (and sometimes short run) the HOUSE always wins.

I once had an Automotive client in Seattle who came to Arizona to meet with our agency. We took him and his brother to see the Cardinals play football. They loved gambling so much that they had a bookie come to their dealership each week to get their bets. At that time they would either get their winnings from the bookie or pay their losses to him. Most of the time they lost, but they couldn’t stop gambling. If it wasn’t to win money it was to win so they could pay back their losses. They just couldn’t stop gambling. They couldn’t even enjoy the football game, because they had so much riding on this game and about 10 others throughout the nation. The addiction to gambling was so strong that it even took their minds off their business and their dealerships suffered because of it. Humans are crazy animals, aren’t they?

So, why do so many people gamble? The reason is that greed is a powerful psychological drug. We all want to get rich fast. Like so many human “drugs” like fame, power, sex, the need to be loved and desired, money, and control over others… the desire that comes from greed and the desire to get rich fast is a hard habit to break. It is said that MONEY is the root of all Evil…. yet it is really the “lack” of money that makes idiots of us all. It is a disease for some and for others the desire to “risk it all” is caused by not being able to know when enough is enough. So, we gamble what we have to get more of what we have until we don’t have any left of what we had. You got to know when to HOLD ‘em and when to FOLD ‘em.

For some of us, the lure of gambling is no big deal. It’s all fun and games. For some of us however, all it takes is one sip and were “gamble-aholics”. If you are one, even if you win you lose because if you win or if you lose you can’t stop. Most of us keep gambling until we run out of LUCK. So if you gamble, I will give you 3-1 odds that you will eventually lose it all…whatever “IT” is. Think about it.