Editor’s Corner: How did I get here?

feeling-lost-in-singaporeHave you ever gotten into a situation (either good or bad) and wondered how you got there? Sure, big events happen sometimes. But, a series of small occurrences can also take us to places we’d never thought we’d be.

I’m going to share with you a trivial situation and a more serious one to illustrate how life can turn you around and around…gradually.

THE GAME. I have found some fun games and such online. I’ve never been a big gambler in real life. If I go to a casino, I’m the one playing penny slots, and if I took $20, I’ll play until that is gone or until I double it. Coming home with $40 is better than coming home in debt, in my opinion. That being said, my favorite game to play on my phone or iPad is a slot game. Even though I know it’s truly not random, it gives me the feeling that it is, and that I’m trying my LUCK.

When I first started, I think the game gave me $1.5 million. Can you imagine having $1.5 million? Can you imagine LOSING it?

I’d find a slot I liked that seemed to give me decent returns, but, eventually, I’d be broke once again. The odds are always with the “house,” or, in this case, the game designers. [For more in depth information about why we love slots, scratch-offs and buying lottery tickets, click here.]

Eventually, several slot games started paying off and my “meager” $1.5 million turned into $10 million.

Then, I stumbled across a slot game that encouraged me to bet big to win big, and I took the bait. Call it luck or psychological programming, but now I am a fake billionaire.

Heck, I now bet that stupid $1.5 million on one spin! I am flabbergasted that I keep winning. The rich get richer, eh? And to what end? Realistically…nothing. I get no benefits in the real world by playing this game.

I know I could lose my fake fortune in five minutes and I know it’s not real. The point is that I went from the baseline ($1.5 million fake dollars) to where I am now gradually, yet it changed the way I think about the game.

When I play the game now, I feel invincible.

I know that sooner or later, I will hit the BIG WIN. And while it does absolutely nothing for me in real life, there’s some weird part of me that feels like I really won that money.

When I play now, if I don’t get at least one big win, I feel ripped off.

I had to look back at when I started the game. I was happy to win $100,000 back then. But since I’m now a fake billionaire, I feel gypped at anything less than several million.

And it was GRADUAL. I think that many situations – good or bad – happen gradually. And most of the time, we don’t really see it as it is happening.

LIFE. I’m a divorcée, and it took me a while to understand how and why my ex and I got to the point of splitting up. He never hit me, went to strip clubs or cheated on me. But after almost 23 years of being together, it became obvious that we didn’t have much in common anymore. It was gradual.

Over those 23 years, things had GRADUALLY changed. I got more involved in the community…he got more involved in the company that he and his business partner built. Is either thing wrong? No. But it created a chasm over time.

Through the years, people and circumstances change slowly…sometimes for the better, sometimes not. But oftentimes, we just don’t notice the gradual changes. That’s why we end up in a situation that, “I never thought I’d end up” in. No one gets married thinking that they’d get a divorce.

A SOLUTION. It happens to everyone…sometimes in inconsequential situations (like my game) and sometimes in much more important scenarios (like a divorce).

Vigilance is easy from the outside. I can see what YOU need to fix in your life; however all we can really control in life is our own behavior. But, like driving on the same route every day and not remembering how you got to your destination, we get “zombied” with day-to-day stuff. Pretty soon, we are in a situation that is unfamiliar or that only “other people” get into. Our behavior needs to have purpose and requires forethought. It’s not an easy thing to do.

Check in with your situations, relationships and feelings regularly. Remain observant. It is human nature to adapt to different situations, but make sure that you’re adapting to healthy ones! Hopefully, this will help you get to whatever destination you’re aiming for in a more conscious, purposeful way.

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If you have thoughts, complaints or questions about this article, please email the author, Stacey Doud, HERE.

 

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