The discipline of not throwing the Long ball
It’s 3rd down and 25 to go on their own 47 yard line. Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers just went three plays and actually moved backwards on the field. Its frustrating to watch. They’re down by Four points and a playoff berth is on the line. Its so tempting to launch a Hail Mary to the end zone and just pray for something good to happen. That rarely works.
The blackjack player that started with $1000 is down those last 50 bucks. He’s on a losing streak for the last six hands. The realization of soon being out of money is agonizing. He can’t take the pain anymore. He just wants it to end. Instead of following the system and betting five dollars a hand for at least the next 10 hands he goes all in. His up card is a 6. The dealer’s up card is an ace. He’s wiped out.
Why do we have a tendency to throw a Hail Mary? Why do we want to double down when the odds are stacked hugely against us? Because it hurts. We’re getting beat. We just want it to be over. Do we want to win? Yes, of course. But more than anything we just want it to be over.
This is the same sequence of events that has led to the final death knell of many a trading account. Doubling down doesn’t work. Throwing a Hail Mary doesn’t work. At least not reliably. Whether it’s football, blackjack, or trading. You have to follow the system. Don’t give into the temptation. Don’t take the easy way out. Stay disciplined. That’s the path to success.
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