I went to Vegas last week for a Marketing and Communications conference. I do not really gamble, because I don’t like to let go of what I work hard for. But something came over me, and for a split second, a little gambling seemed like a good idea.
I started out on the nickel blackjack machine. Doubled my ten bucks and was feeling dangerous. So I moved to roulette. Won a lot. Got risky. Won some more. Risked some more. Lost some. Got desperate. Lost a lot. I won’t make a long boring story into a short boring story, but I learned some lessons by standing there watching that darn wheel.
Picking up momentum by getting excited about possibilities is a good thing. It keeps you in the game, keeps you hopeful, and makes you able to step outside of what’s comfortable and take some risks. Like life, isn’t it? Things going your way. Feeling good. Making choices that you might not if you lived in fear. And it pays off. Energy. Excitement. And the willingness to play.
Until the momentum dies, and the desperation and ennui sit in. Complacency Arrives. At one point, I didn’t even CARE if I won. I was done playing, but I just couldn’t leave. Or I thought I couldn’t. I should have. I should have picked up while things were good and used that energy to do some other things. Are you getting the analogy?
Moving ahead while things are going well is easy; it’s when it’s not easy any more that we have to face who we are and see what we’ve got. Sometimes it’s good to stay and risk. Sometimes it’s better to leave the table when you’re up and look for other opportunities before the hope leaves and you start getting cynical.
So recognize when you’re up and carefully evaluate if you’re using your resources in the right place by staying. Or maybe it’s time to take your chips and put them elsewhere. And only risk what you can lose.