Every year, on the Fourth of July, your friends and neighbors gather in your well-provisioned back yard to enjoy a warm afternoon of laughter and food. Unless, of course, the sky turns into water and falls, in which case your 40 guests hustle into the house and gaze through your windows at the downpour.
Which is exactly what has happened the last seven years in a row! What are the odds?!?
Driven by the need to know exactly how bad you are running, you turn to Google. There you learn that in your part of the country, in July, it rains one day out of three. So you calculate 3 to the 7th power − which is about 2,200 − and somehow, in a pleasingly painful way, it brings you solace to know that losing 7 straight 2-to-1s to a thunderstorm is 2,200-to-1 against.
And then Oh shit! it hits you. The next July 4 party is only a month away! And from that moment, you are cursed. You can’t shake these thoughts…
It’s going to rain again this year. I can feel it. 6600 to 1 is coming my way, right up the old downspout. But the chance of rain is still only 33 percent, except who am I kidding? As bad as I’m running, the chance of rain is 100 percent.
Thing is, your fear and dread are solidly rooted in reason. It will, in fact, rain on your party 1 year out of 3, on average. Your reasoned mind should also be reminding you that on any given year, anything can happen. But instead, you hound yourself with a fictional story that only exists to make you miserable:
It has rained 7 years in a row and I know it will rain again this year. I am the unluckiest person alive, and I have the math to prove it. I’m amazed people keep showing up. Life sucks.
But you’re not really like that, right? You’re far more mature, I’m sure. You know better than to get upset over something like the weather, that’s totally random and totally out of your control.
Or maybe you don’t:
I haven’t flopped a set for a week and so far today I flopped two sets and lost them both. Please don’t let me flop another set. I know I’ll just lose again. I am soooo unlucky.
And when you do flop a set in that condition, how well do you think you’ll play it, compared to your normal mindset? Put a dollar amount on that difference, and that’s how much it costs you to “run bad.”
Here’s the good news. Running bad can be cured. You can use your thinking to think it to death. Running bad is a thought pattern that has embedded itself into our collective consciousness through thousands of years of repetition. That’s why, if you want to eliminate your version of this delusion, it’ll take years of repetition. You have to train your mind until you can choose your thoughts. And that is the work of daily meditation.
2018 Coaching Update: I’m doing video coaching now on whatever ails you — from betting problems and tilt issues to bad quitting and no patience. For more details and to schedule a call, click here.