Decisions are just bets. They may be used in different contexts but in both cases they’re a wager on the future. Bets are often associated with gambling while decisons are what we do with the choices we have in everyday life.
Sometimes, maybe often, we make decisions similar to how we make bets at the casino. If you put your chips on a number on the roulette table you can call it betting or even a decision but it’s really just a hope.
There are no good bets at the casino only lucky ones but sometimes those bets have far better odds than the decisions people make in life. In life, people don’t bet on what they think will or might happen, they bet on what they want to see happen. There’s an old adage in regards to investing in the stock market — the stock market doesn’t care what you think.
The casino industry has spent decades calculating the mathamatical odds and human behaviour to entice gamblers to increase casino revenues. No one has fully estimated the odds of the choices you face but I gaurantee you that your feelings make no difference.
The reason why you make poor decisions when you’re young is because you think you can spin that roulette wheel of life and that ball will land on mulitple numbers — you think anything is possible. What you’re really hoping for is to not have to live within the the confines of reality that will surely serve you moldy sandwiches in order for you to one day be served a steak or the vegan equivalent.
Our lives tend to be a long-drawn-out series of placing bets and having the roulette wheel spin for years and years. While the wheel is spinning, everything can tell us we placed the wrong bet. We’re free to change our bets or walk away but we often do nothing. Some, many, need confirmation they have lost a game they couldn’t win before they can walk away.
Sometimes in life while the wheel is spinning, your bad odds can actually get worse. You can still walk away. Or just don’t make bad bets to begin with.
Twitter is probably my most used app on my phone. I use it to talk shit but also to seek wisdom and knowledge. I bookmark tweets with possible interesting information and my homepage mimics a library full of retweets of wise words
“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”
– Jonathan Swift
“If you’re going to tell people the truth, be funny or they’ll kill you.”
Once a week I shop for groceries for an 85-year-old who has been living alone for the last 10 years. When I met him 5 years ago I wasn’t sure he’d still be alive today because he was in bad shape and his diet consisted of junk food and cigarettes. People are like automobiles — they can live a long time in their unglorious final stages.
Five years ago he asked me if I was married. When I told him I wasn’t he replied, “lucky.” Other older men have told me similar answers but sometimes I’m not sure if they’re serious or just trying to console me. He went on to say, “it’s good if you find good woman….if you find bad one….it’s puurre hell.” Since then it made me believe he may have been living in pure hell at one time.
More recently, he elaborated a bit more on his marriage. He said he was married to his wife until she past away 10 years ago. He said that he still misses her. Now I’m thinking pure hell is somewhere that someone else he knew lived.
Even more recently, he asked me again if I was married. I told him that I wasn’t and again he said, “lucky.” A few minutes later he again asked if I was married. My friend has a short-term memory issue or maybe my answers aren’t interesting enough. Again, he said, “lucky.” He went on to say that if he could go back he wouldn’t get married. “You always have to consult with your wife with everything. When you’re single you can do anything you want.” The truth is, if you’re single you can do anything you want that is available to you. It’s not like your wife is stopping you from living your wildest dreams. She’s just stopping you from living a life that is without her.
You often hear people say the same thing in other aspects of life as well. If they could do it all over again they wouldn’t have chosen the same path. Maybe the grass just seems greener on the otherside. I doubt though that Tom Cruise lays in bed at night wishing the highlight of his days were hiding in the company washroom texting his friends in a group chat.
In all likelihood, he’s going to ask me again if I’m married. I’m going to ask him how he would have rather lived if he didn’t get married. I believe I can be a little more personal with my questions since he’s probably going to forget anyway. Most of us don’t divulge certain information for fear of present and future discomfort. When you are in your last days and have short-term memory issues you are much less likely to feel discomfort from embarrassment.
Most people typically make enough bad life decisions to live an unsatisfactory life. Taking the perceived safe route in life often results in disatisfaction. I say, “perceived” because what seems safe is often just momentary comfort to ease your current anxieties of the unknown future. Life does not care how you feel if your beliefs do not align with life. Once you’ve exhausted all the highs of your safe life you might think that your life isn’t really worth shit anyway so you should have aimed a little higher. It’s risky to be signing up for the high possibility of pure hell.
Another dog owner in the neighbourhood and I were talking about books. She said, “all self-help books generally say the same thing.” I didn’t disagree. If you know what you want and you’re truly motivated to get it then you don’t need much help. Those who read self-help books tend to need a purpose more than they need advice.
We can all create a goal for ourselves but a goal that deeply matters to us is more elusive.
The problem is the desire of the goal is not as strong as the obstacles.
You just don’t want it badly enough
You’ve designed a plan to give up
You’re eating potato chips
We all have had some goals that we really wanted to accomplish and actually accomplished them but periods of stagnation and mediocrity rule the majority of the time we spend in our lifetime. Before creating goals, perhaps a better first step is to work on yourself.
If #1 applies to you then you’re like most people which means you don’t think you’re like most people. If you don’t continuously seek and surrender to the uncomfortable truth then you’re #1(most people). I once told myself that my guitar playing didn’t sound right because it wasn’t the same guitar that the guitarist used to play the song I was trying to learn. Luckily, this thought never made it out of my head to someone else’s ears. That’s just an example of how much I was against surrendering to the uncomfortable truth.
We concluded that some(the minority), have it and some(majority), don’t. It’s possible most of us just don’t pick a path that motivates us to the point where we’re relentless in achieving our goals. When your goal is to get by or to fit in, your runway for growth is short. Pick something where you want to be the best.
In recent days I’ve began to appreciate COVID-19 life. There’s no rush hour traffic and I also don’t feel guilty for being unproductive. I’ve been ordered by the government to have no life so like the patriot I am, I will obey. Maybe some are bummed with their reduced income but if you can survive this financially then you can look at this as possibly the only extended vacation that you’ll ever have. Soon enough you’ll be back to your regular scheduled programming which if televised would be the lowest rated show in history. It’ll be like watching reruns of the same boring show for 30 years. I hated MASH when I was a kid. I don’t recall anyone ever asking me if I watched MASH. I just can’t imagine a group of kids all agreeing that MASH is such a great show.
A cute animal video on Twitter pushed me a little bit further to the vegetarian side. It’s not likely I’ll be changing teams anytime soon, or maybe I will, but I see it as a possiblity in the future. Eating that piglet feels comparable to eating my dog. They’re both so cute and innocent. Being a vegan is too extreme for me. I like to eat eggs and dairy products. They should be on the vegan safe list anyway. Eggs aren’t fertilized and a cow might not mind having her titties rubbed in exchange for some milk.
In the summer I bought a piano song book from a yard sale. It was for advanced players but for $1 it was for me as well. My piano teacher pushed me to learn one of the songs. My suspicious nature tells me that teaching me an advanced song further enhances the likelihood that I will continue piano lessons for longer. I’m making progress, slow of course, but I’ve found that when I go back to less advanced compositions they’re easier for me to play than in the past.
At Home Depot I was relieved to find out that the long line up I first saw was for the entrance to the garden centre only. I should have known it was too good to be true as the line up for the rest of the store was twice as long. It wasn’t as long as it appeared though since everyone was standing a football field apart from each other. When the clerk was walking towards me with the product that I needed, a kitchen faucet cartridge, he asked from 3 metres away, “how’s your catch?” An arm’s length from each of us was too close for comfort for him. Maybe my arms are too short for his comfort.
It’s amazing that you can find a video tutorial on YouTube for the exact issue that you have down to the make and model. Or maybe it’s not that amazing. Anything feels amazing when you’re in dire need of it. Without such a tutorial I would wonder if I should be yanking or turning parts that won’t budge. If I was a professional plumber the only jobs that I would want to accept would be faucet repairs and replacements. I wouldn’t even be a plumber, I’d be a faucet specialist. Old people would see my title and think, he must be really good at fixing faucets. I’m calling him. The easy gigs always get disrupted first.
I surrendured to the reality that I will need to cut my own hair due to the closures of hair salons/barbers. Every seller of hair clippers is sold out. Of course they are though. Many people surrendured to the idea way before I did. They probably have jobs to go to still and don’t work at a vinyl record store. That’s life: the person who gets there first wins. In my desperation I wondered if dog clippers would suffice. An internet search seems to say so but it appears not everyone has surrendured to this idea…yet.
Am I next?
There’s an old, disabled guy I’ve been shopping groceries for during this pandemic. I’ve helped him before a few years ago when his weekly grocery list was identical to today’s.
2 Diet Sodas
1 Pound of Summer Sausage
1 Pound of Milk Chocolate Pieces
1 Carton of Cigarettes
You might be surprised at how long you can live with an unhealthy lifestyle. You might not be able to walk or wipe your own ass one day but you’ll be alive.
Last night, a woman confessed to me that her butthole has/had a 3rd degree tear from giving birth. They don’t tell you these things in school. All they really tell you is to get good grades and don’t do drugs.
Also, last night, I discovered a new semi-old song that I like. I had heard of this band but never decided to see what they put out.
An expedited education in human behaviour can be learned through the world of the stock market. Many believe that in order to profit from the stock market, one has to be proficient with accounting, business or the world of finance. Based on what I have observed and experienced you will have a better edge if you have some knowledge of market history and a rational mindset. Easy, right? If being rational was so easy there wouldn’t be so many sob stories out there.
If a group of people promise themselves to visit the gym regularly for a year you can safely bet that the majority of them will not fulfill their promise. Also, if you lend $1000 to 10 of your closest friends you can safely bet you’re going to have fewer than 10 close friends in the near future.
People will say they’re going to buy, sell or hold a stock but their intentions are best before they don’t feel like it any longer. Like someone who says they’ll pay you back the money if you lend it to them regardless of what they have to do to make good on their promise, at best it’s just a good intention. People’s feelings and intentions change over time like the freshness of dairy products sitting under the sun.
This period of market volatility has revealed that I’m not immune to psychological pitfalls either. I’ll survive this storm and if history holds true I’ll come out of this better than before but my flawed behaviour has me reflecting while also regretting some impulsive decisions and indecisions.
Life can be very easy and mostly free of trouble. You graduate high school, attain a skill, master your skill, don’t marry a whore or at least not a bad one, don’t get hooked on crystal meth, save some money and voila! But that’s just too simple. Somewhere during your path you decided you could sneak off to Mexico to visit a dirty prostitute and thought it would be a good idea to confess to your wife of 20 years. Your now ex-wife wipes you out in a divorce and the moment of clarity hits you that you shouldn’t have fornicated with that Mexican hooker. Maybe. Or maybe you just shouldn’t have confessed.
Sometimes it’s not even as complicated as a cross border rendezvous. Perhaps you have an innocent liking to gay porn. Your wife one day casually uses the computer to check her email but finds you were half way through a video of two hairy guys doing it on a beach. You knew better than to shit where you eat but you told yourself that it would be okay just this one time. Like a freight train it hits her that all along you didn’t suffer from erectile dysfunction.
The lesson in markets and in life? Don’t do what feels good, do the right thing. Short-term pain for long-term gain not the other way around.
My normal lifestyle hasn’t been impacted greatly by the pandemic but for whatever reason I feel connected to what I feel many others are experiencing. It’s also possible that the inability to be awake without thinking about this coronavirus is next to impossible which creates a dark cloud that follows you everywhere. The news literally reports nothing but coronavirus related material. Every time you think about doing anything whether in the present or future you have to consider what the virus thinks about your plans. Anytime you see anyone you automatically assume they’re thinking something related to the virus — often it’s, stay the hell away from me.
Because I identify as a human, I’ve been drawn to jump on the bandwagon of being sad and lazy. I’ve been less productive than in non-quarantine days. I feel that if my fellow man is probably self-medicating by drinking alcohol and eating flavoured carbohydrates then I must join in during these hard times. We’re all in this together, right? The other option to is to come out of this quarantine a savage. While others are progressing towards being pre-diabetic I could be doing push-ups and carrying 5 gallon water bottles up and down the block. A man down the street who looks like he’s 7 months pregnant said, “this lockdown has been making me fat.” There’s a better chance he’s 7 months pregnant.
The doomsday preppers and Jehovah Witnesses could not be more excited. This is it. This is it. The End.
For most of this week I’ve been falling asleep to videos of sounds of rain. I’d like to think that it’s been helping with falling asleep but who knows. I also downloaded an audiobook for the same purpose. I don’t know who Patti Smith is but the name sounded familiar. It’s been quite enjoyable. She narrates her autobiography which so far has been tales of a life I have daydreamed of — a struggling young adult who gets by with menial jobs while sharing a small apartment with a partner. It’s not glamourous but it was a common theme in movies set in the 1960s and 1970s. TV is the reason why I also romanticize living in a trailer and crappy motels.
I’ve also been experimenting with newly released legal cannabis beverages. The selling point for these drinks is that it’s a formidable opponent to alcohol as they are low calorie and produce no hangover. Also, one of the main issues with ingesting cannabis is the onset time. Waiting 1 to 3 hours for a high to kick in is not often desirable. These drinks apparently have been designed so that a high is produced as quickly as 20 minutes.
Well, they seem to do what they’re supposed to. Around 30 minutes I can feel a buzz and it continues to magnify as time goes on. I drank 2 the other day and just 1 today. At 2mg THC even 1 drink was sufficient for me. Good, because I’m cheap.
It’s only dawned on me today that virus life will probably be in effect for several more weeks.