As eye-rollingly poppy and filled with cliche tumbleweed town wisdom as is Kenny Roger’s song The Gambler, I cannot wax condescending regarding its seemingly jejune advice, as I would find myself belied by my previous poker analogy ladened posts regarding being pot committed that I had written here –> (Page of Wands with Eight of Wands) and here –> (The Tower with Eight of Coins).
These two posts echo in their themes the advice given by the anonymous 1978 version of Johnny Moss in the lines know when to fold ’em / know when to walk away. So as to avoid the risk of the police coming to my door saying they received a disturbance call and hauling me off to jail in handcuffs while the theme of knowing when to walk away stares out the window as they put me in the squad car, I’m going to simply take a different perspective on this rather than beat it to death. I would not want Doyle Brunson rolling in his grave, was he not actually still alive.
It may seem like the least apropos time to think about this when you’re chest deep in quicksand, but sometimes we have to ask ourselves if we are deceiving ourselves by believing we can succeed in an otherwise futile scenario or if we are merely deceiving ourselves into believing the scenario is futile as a means of an excuse to eschew any future effort required of us.
Since I’ve abandoned the poker analogy and am now going with one involving quicksand, I’m going to go with it. In this scenario, the solutions to prevent oneself from becoming further immersed in quicksand seem counterintuitive. Some suggestions from the Bear Grylls ilk is to sit down or attempt to lie down. This feels much like turning into the direction of a skid or pretending you’re dead if a bear is charging you, or pulling prime rib out of the oven before it reaches its ideal temperature, or complimenting the wardrobe choice of your boss of a different gender. When you’re steadily feeling yourself being pulled down by the perception-addling non-Newtonian fluid, the last thing you believe will save your life would be to relax into it like coquette sipping a Piña Colada in a cabana. Yet this has been proven to help one escape from nature’s gravity well, though it might provide futile in escaping from this encumbering analogy.
This is an illustration of the solution residing outside the box. All too often when we find ourselves way too far into our pursuit with no hope of success and a long way back to Start, we are driven by the dynamo of intensity-fueled frustration, of a tenacity that is applied simply for the sake of tenacity. When all we know to do is to put our heads down and push through, we can’t see the possible divergent paths to our left and our right.
Before we are ready to walk away from an exhausting black hole of effort with no return, leaving the construction of our dream three-quarters the way complete only to find out we are broke and ineligible for any financing assistance, it’s time to actually lie down on the floor and stare into the starry sky since there is no roof on the structure. Stop the pull of the quicksand and the hemorrhaging of hope long enough to let the mind wander. When we release the frenetic fervor of effort even only for a moment, leaving our thoughts free to roll in Elysium fields of disassociation from our task at hand, we open ourselves up to finding an alternate route, an untried avenue, a probability that is just crazy enough to work.