Wednesday, July 7, 2010

injaynesworld "What Are The Odds..?"

I enter everything. Ev-er-y-thing. Raffles, lotteries, online sweepstakes, writing contests... If there's something to be won, I'm totally there. I've endured more than my share of ridicule for this, especially for buying state lottery tickets, and my response is always, "Hey, someone wins. It's not like it's a scam and they never give the money away." Occasionally, I even win. Last spring, I won a $10 gift certificate and a bag of groceries in a local market raffle and I once won $425 in the Fantasy Five lottery. 

But winning isn't just about the prizes, it's about the thrill -- the feeling that for that brief moment you were just a little bit better or luckier than the next guy. It's like the joke that goes, "It's not enough for me to be thin, my friends must also be fat."  That may sound bitchy, but come on... You all know exactly what I'm talking about. We live in a competitive society. From the time we're kids playing soccer or being on the swim team, it's pretty much drummed into our heads that winning is a freakin' big deal.

For me, entering contests is kind of a metaphor for how I've lived my life. I have gambling blood in my veins. My grandfather trained and raced horses for a living. My father, when he was around, would show up with  diamond earrings for my mom one week and we'd be scrambling to pay the rent the next. You'd think such instability would make me cautious and a seeker of security, but it had just the opposite effect. Being used to instability and having survived it made me unafraid to go for long shots like a writing career in Hollywood and actually believe I could achieve it. It made me totally used to times when I had no money and no idea how I would pay my bills or buy food because my mother always told me, "There's always a way" and damned if something hasn't always turned up to pull my butt from the fire just in time.

So how does this relate to entering contests? If you enter, you may not win, but if you don't enter, you sure as hell aren't going to win.  If there's something you want to do in life -- a career switch, a move to a new city, a return to school, whatever -- just go for it!    Because playing it safe?  That's for losers.

What would you like to go for and what's holding you back?
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