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RISK TAKING AND GAMBLING

"Keep asking yourself – what would you do if you weren’t afraid?"

What would you do if weren't afraid of any consequences? Pack up the family and move to some exotic location that you have always fantasised about? Go off on a world wide multi-year long journey to discover the meaning of life - or what you decide it may be?

Well what's stopping you? Ah, the old what do we do for money question. But is that really what's stopping you or is it the fear of what "might happen"?

The motivation for this article is twofold. Firstly, earlier in the week, some dude jumped out of a capsule suspended under a helium balloon ten gazillion miles off the ground and became the first man to break the sound barrier without the aid of a vehicle. Last night, a docco on TV was screened about ten women who had breast cancer and their attitudes towards the disease and the fight for life they found themselves in and how their personal values had changed.

All of these people shared common values. And those values had all changed as they undertook the task in front of them. Some of the women had gone from being quite conservative to almost "devil may care" and were personally a lot better off for it. I cannot imagine the fear one has when you're told you have cancer. For someone who hasn't been there it really is impossible to know. Similarly I cannot imagine how that guy felt when he stepped of the platform at the edge of space and started free falling towards good old terra firma some 20 plus kilometres below. The TV coverage gave you some idea of his visual perspective but his mind control must have been something else.

So how was he able to do it? Well, obviously a lot of jumps had gone beforehand - this was not the first time he strapped on a parachute and "gave it a go"! Suffice to say he was confident enough in the outcome, based on previous training, to assume he wasn't going to become a 10 cm tall human drill bit.

Similarly, these ten women summoned up enough internal courage to face the task at hand and gave it their best shot. By the end of the programme 9 made it - one didn't. But their attitudes were amazing. Suddenly it didn't matter if their boss was obnoxious or they hated their jobs or were worried about the man from the finance company was going to be knocking at their door........it was IRRELEVANT. They had stepped off the precipice and guess what? Nothing bad happened!

Here at home, we often speak about stepping off the precipice. At the end of the day, I could not have been happy without doing it. I had already had two or three "careers" which were mostly high profile but it was all giving me the "Vita Brits" so one day, backed with a degree of confidence that "I did know what I knew but that was all I knew", the leap was made from the precipice of a comfortable, stable, guaranteed income producing lifestyle and we stepped in to the world of the totally unpredictable state of living "outside the system". Had it not been done, I would have gone mad with frustration and probably eventually to my grave wondering what might have been. Like the guy jumping from the edge of space, the confidence of past experience to draw on was enough to make me believe nothing bad could really happen and so it has proven to be.

But before everyone starts precipice jumping, a word of caution. Be very sure that your past experience and study of whatever you want to do will supply you with an emergency chute should you need it - and if there is a significant other involved in your life, make sure they're happy to take the ride and share the risk too because they're going in a tandem jump as well if you leap off the cliff.

Over the years, when times get economically tough, I hear different politicians, trying to bolster public confidence, utter the phrase "we have nothing to fear but fear itself".

As far as I can find out that phrase came from Franklin D Roosevelt when he was inaugurated as president of the USA. What he actually said was: "So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyses needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

So what has all this got to do with gambling? If you have done no research in to this area and decide to launch off in to playing for profit, you are JUSTIFIABLY correct to be in fear of the consequences. Just as whatshisname prepared for his leap from the edge of space, you simply have to understand the odds of success and failure attached to a high risk venture like gambling.

You can't live in fear of loss and must believe your "gambling education" has done nothing but prepare you for success or you will be gambling with scared money and, another saying, scared money never wins. Ever!

You must not have what is referred to as "anticipatory angst" - and this has nothing to do with that good horse Angst that raced some years ago. (Showing our age now aren't we?)

Digest this: Anticipatory angst is a state of anxiety and despair brought on by the belief that you have all the information you need to predict the very future you dread.

Read that sentence above a few times have we? Hmmm. Imagine if all the women on the breast cancer docco had that anticipatory angst as well as the cancer. Their personal outcomes, according to most research, would have been a lot different. Think about all the times you have worried about what "might happen". And when reality caught up with the fear, what happened? Most times, of course, absolutely nothing.

If you are truly in control of your gambling approach, have worked for years to perfect the staking plan that works for you and doesn't spin you out with stress, and you have years of research as a back up to your punting ideas that returns a strike rate sufficient to back up that staking plan, hey, go for it. If you can't tell yourself honestly that you are in that situation, keep reading, studying, experimenting until you can. And it must be honestly. Only a fool lies to themselves - and soon gets found out.

If you weren't afraid, how much different and more successful would your betting be?

The precipice will always be calling your name - just make sure you have the confidence of real knowledge before you walk up to the edge.

This article is copyright RaceRate.com 2012 . All rights reserved. May be copied freely for personal use and yes you can put it up on your web page providing this copyright notice stays in tact.