Sunday, 16 May 2010

This isn't an original post - I didn't write it. The concept has been on my mind quite a bit recently.

"There’s a question commonly asked within the gambling community from one player to another: “what’s your unit?” Your unit is defined by the amount of money you think in multiples of; if you perceive a thousand dollars as ten sets of 100 dollars, that makes your unit 100 dollars. In college, a twenty dollar bill is at least four sets of five dollar bills, and maybe even 20 sets of one dollar bills, if you remember that one dollar can buy you four packages of Nutty Bars.

The higher your unit goes up, the harder you are to please. If you were to sit at the blackjack table with \$1,000 and win \$10, chances are you’ll ignore it unless it happens 50 more times in pretty good succession, when maybe you’ll think about getting up and calling yourself a winner. This is the reason gamblers bet according to their unit.  Professional blackjack books say the proper betting amount is determined by the starting bank divided by 30, which in the case of \$1,000 would be \$33.33 a bet.
Oh, one question left to answer. What is your unit? If you remember how many dinners and movies and tanks of gas and iPhone apps \$1000 can but you, your unit is probably going to be \$25, as in “I have 40 chances to win.”  If you were to plop down at the table after a night of losing \$50,000 and taking your last \$1,000 out of the ATM, your unit isn’t going to be the same. It’s not going to be \$25. It’s probably not even \$100 or even \$1000 for that matter. The unit is probably far too big to achieve any success worth appreciating given the relatively small amount of each bet.
I think the same question is true in the case of happiness*: what’s your unit? If you take a look at everything around you, can you see how much there is to be happy about? And if you’re coming up short, could it be because you’re thinking in units that are too big for your bank? Seeing the things that matter to you as smaller and more abundant is a difficult task once you’ve visualized them as indefinably large and hard to count, but in the end, you’ll get more bang for your buck."

*and just about everything else

1 comment:

Matt said...

Great take on perspective :) I like.