Tag Archives: #livelife

You Are A Gambler.

I recently watched the movie – ‘The boy who harnessed the wind.’ If you have not had a chance to see it, I highly recommend it. There is a scene between two brothers in the movie which caught my attention.

TThe village they live in is getting ready to face a spell of famine/drought. The elder brother is trying to convince the younger brother not to sell his piece of the forest to the government. The government going to cut the trees and that means there are higher chances of flooding. Younger brother tells him that he needs the money. Elder one tells him to stop gambling, instead.

Younger one looks at him and says, ‘Gambling! What do you think you are doing? Hoping it will rain next year and then praying enough sunshine for harvest.’

That got me thinking. When we look at it that way, we are all gamblers. We don’t realize it. Don’t believe me – let’s walk through a few scenarios.

Scenario 1: You wake up late in the morning and miss breakfast hoping you can make it to the office on time. You are gambling right here – thinking that if you skip the 10 minutes on breakfast, you might get to the office on time.

Scenario 2: You are having a meeting with your peers, and you say what you think is a profound insight, and they ignore it. You gambled on that statement hoping that it will increase your popularity.

We make lots of such bets and gambles throughout our lives. Who we marry? Having Kids? Most of the time it turns out the way we want, and that gives us a false sense of control. And when things do not go our way we get upset. Does this mean that we never hope for things or wish for events to turn our way? No, a different way to approach it is via probabilities.

There are many ways something can turn out. And what we choose is what we want – but it is not necessary that it has the highest probability of happening. What we want and the chances of it happening are not always aligned – this is where we need to bring awareness. And it will contribute highly to our emotional stability.

If we are aware of the fact that what we want is just one of the many possibilities that can happen, then it prevents our mind from being attached to that one possibility – helping us maintain our emotional equilibrium when things do not go out way.

casino roulette wheel with the ball on number 36

Let’s say you placed your bets on roulette – it did not turn your way. What’s the next best thing – move on. If we realize that what we want to happen in our lives is also a gamble – and if it doesn’t happen, then we should also move on. Know when to quit.

Prof. Rao from Creativity and Personal Mastery states that – if you have to place a bet on life/universe or yourself – always bet on the universe which always wins even when you think you are winning.

What are you gambling on currently in life?

Long Term – how long is long?

I remember my hindi teacher at school telling us this story. It went something like this:
There is a bus that is going from A to B. On the way to B it runs into a oncoming truck and everybody on the bus dies. People come running to the accident to help any survivors and all they see is this 90+ year old woman who gets up with the help of her stick. Everybody comments on who lucky she is. She gets into a rickshaw so that she can go to the bus stop. The rickshaw runs over a tiny stone, loses it balance and overturns killing the old woman in the process.

What do you think is the moral of the story? The time of your death is pre-determined, you will die when your time comes, not a second later, not a second earlier.

There maybe some of you who are thinking well if the old lady had her seat belt on – she could have survived. Yes, that is correct but then it wasn’t the right time.

At the same time I am sure this story and the conversation so far is making you uncomfortable. Talking about death or dying does make people very uncomfortable. I have wondered why? I will be sad when the ones close to me die – it will leave a hole where they filled it but death is one of the most certain things in life. The one thing we know for sure is we will die but still we live our entire life denying it. The quote below says it all

So, how does it relate to the topic of the blog which is “Long Term”. A lot of the leadership and self-help books talk about “Long Term Thinking”. What is your five-year plan? Where do you see yourself in your 2-3 years? The real long term is a little different I think.

When you are trying to prove you are right to a co-worker – that’s when you think long term. You are going to die anyways does being right on whether the status report should say X or Y really matter. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we should not have opinions but the intensity and impact can come down a notch if we keep the long term goal in mind.

As everything else this kind of long term thinking is also a choice – I am just presenting a option , a different way of thinking. If someone overtakes you while you are driving – we have two choices a) get mad and ruin precious moments of your life or b) life is too short to get worked about something you are not going to remember in 24 hours.

“If somebody was to say – you have two hours to live.” What will you do? This is not a morbid question but a check on who well you are living your life. Are you living in the future or past? Or are you living in the moment – you are satisfied and at peace with where you are right now?

This is how I measure my happiness level – The art of dying is in essence the art of living. If you don’t believe me read this article on reasons behind Bhutan’s high Happiness index.