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Gambling versus working?

There is not a week goes by where I don't receive an e-mail from someone about gambling for a living. And I make the same point to each of them that bothers to write. Yes, it is fine to imagine what it is like and how pleasant it may be but the realities may also be a little different than what they first think.

Then again so is working. Some people may be psychologically cut out to do neither!! The truth us is that in this world you have to do something or you starve to death.

I am not one that believes "the Government" owes you a living. "The Government" by the way is just you and I and everyone else in Australia and I don't owe you a living any more than you owe me a living. I owe my family a living and that's about it. So bludging off the good tax paying folks - all of us in one way or another - is, to me, not an option.

But if you can "make a quid" from concentrated gambling - and the word concentrated is very important in this context - is that worse than working in some mind numbing, boring, 9 hour a day job that pays two thirds of three fifths of nothing per hour simply for giving you the "dignity of work"? And what is this so called of dignity of work all about anyway?

The politician ruling class keep chanting the mantra that "work means that you are not merely a parasite living off the work that others do. If you think certain jobs are "beneath" you, then you not only display your own ignorance, you also demean the people already working in those jobs."

But I fail to see why me trudging off faithfully to work every day of the week, when I used to do that in a variety of different situations for about 30 years, changed me in any way at all to what I do and think now other than to reinforce that doing the daily grind was not what I aspired to. However, playing the devil's advocate for a moment (and it IS important to play that role occasionally) I quite often have on the site a little saying that goes "The two most difficult aspects gambling for a living are coping with the losses and dealing with the recurring idea that you're not doing anything worthwhile."

In the work ethic playground though what IS worthwhile? Raising food from the ground is worthwhile. Extracting energy in the form of gas and oil to make the joint work is worthwhile. Medicine and health is worthwhile and participating in essential community services seems worthwhile. But what about all the other stuff? Is running a fast food joint such an essential deal? Money in - money out - but what are the production values? What do they actually PRODUCE?

So if I choose to spend my time and effort producing nothing else other than an occasional winner at the races, what's the difference between me and Maccas?

It fascinates me every three months to hear about the GDP figures for the quarter - you know - that strange measure of worth-values called gross domestic product. Supposedly it tells us how much "stuff" we made during the quarter like oil, power switches, furniture, cans of food etc etc etc and they couple that up with the retail trade figures (which include gambling by the way) and tell us if we are going backwards or forwards as if that actually makes a difference to what we may be having for dinner that night.

My concern with the paragraph above is how much of this production is actually useless production - not stuff we NEED - but rather esoteric throw away rubbish that you find in the "cheap as" supermarket type bargain stores that are totally non essential? We don't NEED plastic widgets that in reality do nothing except make you feel good that you were able to afford to buy it. What you really NEED is a roof over your head so you have somewhere safe to sleep at night when you need to sleep and you need food and water to keep living.

You don't NEED a 200 metre wide TV or a recliner chair with a drinks holder thingo cut out of the arm rest that looks like it came from the old Triumph picture theatre in East Brisbane (which I note is now a kung fu training academy or something the like!). I am not writing this to urge you NOT to be a consumer. But perhaps we would be better off as a society if we simply consumed better "stuff" and used far greater discretion in the "stuff" we bought and consumed. Perhaps that would encourage a greater use of quality as opposed to quantity as a worthwhile measure and give more valuable work to craft and trades people who take a delight in producing quality rather than quantity.

We are getting off the topic here a bit aren't we? If you are to escape the boring 8am to 6pm job scenario there are some things you need to be aware of and commit to BEFORE you jump off the cliff.

Here is your expectation / to do list:
a) most people will think you are very strange, irresponsible and undoubtedly bordering on the criminally insane
b) most people will tell you you can't do it because they know someone who etc etc etc etc etc etc etc
c) you must have NO debts before you jump
d) you must be prepared to put in just as many hours (and you will do more) than what you work in the "real world"
e) you must have a very firm PLAN as to how you are going to approach this and be prepared to see it through to the end - WHATEVER that may be
f) you must have the full support of your partner and they MUST accept that you are "completely mad"
g) you must have a sense of humour
h) you must have abnormal expectations as to what life is / means / can be
i) you must have no fear - absolutely no fear - and be an optimist and not a pessimist under any circumstances
j) you must have done a budget and know exactly how much you need every month to maintain the essentials of your life and how much you NEED to win
you must accept that losses are a daily part of the game and you simply have to have a bank large enough to sustain a run of outs, the length of which can be astounding

If you can't nod your head in agreement with EVERY one of the items on the list above, stay doing what you are doing because trying to gamble for a living is not for you at this stage. This does not mean to say that you can't enjoy gambling, it simply means that doing it for a full time replacement source of income is probably not for you now.

From personal experience I can tell you it is incredible how much brighter life is when you do "jump off the cliff" and also incredible how much harder you work, how much more productive you become, when you are working for yourself, producing something that YOU determine is of value.

It sure beats working for someone else producing nothing that you perceive to be of substance - even if it is only the occasional winner somewhere round the countryside.

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