Yes, you read that correctly.
Gambling is often associated with being negative or a shady, fringe society activity. The reality is, everyone has gambled at some point in their life. Whether it’s a simple bet between friends, investing in a stock, or internally saying “I bet that …insert your intuition here”; we’ve all gambled, won and lost. The slot machines, craps tables, and horse track have come to exemplify the manifestation of gambling. Is there more to learn beyond the glitz, get rich hopes, and fast life style?
When resources (money) come into play the game changes.
The risks become real, and the losses and rewards are exponentially more interesting and relevant. The best example of this is the subprime mortgage lending fiasco where the world banks were betting on continuing higher real estate prices, lost the bet, and then couldn’t pay the house (getting bailed out by the taxpayers).
Do you think they learned from this lesson? Yes, and no. Gambling, like video games are great simulations that can rapidly increase our understandings of finances and a slew of reactions around them.
No, gambling is not a negative, but one of the greatest teachers of risk, reward, humility, and enterprise.
The greater the risk, the greater the reward. This is a cliché and true fact in the business world. Some of the most analytical minds play games such as Poker, Blackjack, and other games that are a combination of skill and luck.
Losing in gambling teaches you multiple things, which only exist because real life money is on the line
Risk – You understand early on that you are putting money into a situation that will most likely not yield a return, but if it does yield a return it will be significant
Reward – Fair heart never won fair lady. If you don’t extend yourself and try to win or make the right picks than you will never change your position.
Humility – Losing teaches us a lot about ourselves. The first time you lose money is a shocking and unpleasant experience. Once you realize it’s a natural part of the game, it becomes a teacher rather than a disciplinary action.
Enterprise – Men with higher levels of testosterone are shown to be risk takers and command the highest salaries. They are born gamblers. Gambling on the horses or your game of choice is an extension of your willingness to venture into the unknown. The same traits early adventurer’s and pioneers possessed.
Above all, gambling is extremely fun. You won’t always lose and you won’t always win. Some are down and some are up (by millions). It’s a great teacher whether you win or lose, and you’ll learn more about yourself and condition your mind to handle tough adversities, be it financial or otherwise.