Fortune Cookie Friday: You Can’t Win If You Don’t Play
If you ever bought a lottery ticket, you are probably a little bit of an optimist. The chances of winning the lottery are slim. When it comes to the Powerball, there are 292 million combinations of numbers you could pick. That means you have a 99.9999997 percent chance of losing if you play. The odds are not in our favor, but we still rush down to our local convenience store and buy a ticket. We focus on that tiny glimmer of hope that we might have the winning numbers.
Life is a similar gamble. Unfortunately, people aren’t as optimistic. We sometimes let life’s opportunities slip by because we don’t think they will work out. Now, I understand that the game of life is rigged. We are born, we live, and we will all die—not much getting around that. The living part can also have many downsides. We can struggle in life financially, physically, and emotionally.
So why should we bother playing? Why can’t we just it back and watch life play out? Why do we spend time going to school, making new friends, looking for answers to questions that might never be solved? It might have something to do with the fact that life requires active individual participation for it to succeed.
There is the premise that if we don’t play, we won’t lose, but where’s the fun in that? We still gain experience when we lose. We learn. We grow. Our struggles make us feel like sitting out on the game, but we can’t realize our dreams by sitting on the sideline. Amazing discoveries were made by people who got up and took the field, even though their team was the underdog.
There will be times when the chips are down, and we are the last person on the bench. We will look at opportunities and think, “What am I doing?” It is not uncommon for us rookies to stumble out onto the field and take a hit. Don’t worry. Even the most experienced of life’s players can fumble. We need to keep that goal of success in view.
When it comes to success, we have to take chances. There will be risks in any venture we choose. We can’t control many of those risks, but we can control how we respond. I guess you could say it comes down to it’s not whether we win or lose; it’s how we play the game.
Life is full of choices, but choosing not to care about life can lead to loneliness, stagnation, and missed opportunities. If we are determined, we will get back up and give it our all. When it doesn’t turn out the way we expect, we can review the stats and see where we need some training. There is always a chance that we come back for another shot at the title.
When we come into this world, we are given a ticket to an incredible opportunity. There may be millions of combinations of numbers in the lottery, but there are infinite possibilities in our lives. Each one gives us personal connections, memories, and makes us something more than we were the day before. Choosing to play is a win in itself.