Some of the best advice I’ve ever heard comes from a song released back in 1978.
It’s called “The Gambler.”
The song itself tells the story of a late-night meeting on a train “bound for nowhere” between a man known only as the gambler, and what appears to be his down and out whisky drinking train car companion.
The gambler informs his companion that he can tell he is down on his luck (“out of aces”) by the look in his eyes, and offers him advice in exchange for his last swallow of whisky.
The lyrics in this chorus are so timely and metaphorical, I thought you might enjoy making sense of them with me here today.
Then tell me if you think this song is only about gambling while playing cards, or can it also be applied to gambling while playing…
The Game of Life?!
The chorus goes like this:
You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done
Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away
And knowin’ what to keep
‘Cause every hand’s a winner
And every hand’s a loser
And the best that you can hope for is to die
in your sleep
At the end of the song we are told that “somewhere in the darkness, the gambler, he broke even,” and finally his companion finds an ace that he can keep!
In my opinion, this song is about potential, choice, opportunity, astute decision-making, and good old-fashion common sense.
It also strikes me that giving away our “tell” in any situation is never a good idea.
If we can come away at the end of our lives holding at least one we have most certainly lived our lives well spent!
What’s Your Take?