Confidence (without the anxiety)
It’s a rush.
The emotional spike at the thought of winning, and the alternative fear of losing.
But is it a trap?
Let’s investigate the mathematics of this attachment. Let’s compare the time spent in happiness versus the time spend in anxiety.
For 90% of all games (with the exception of games that are blowout winners in your favor) the result of the game will be uncertain. Therefore, you will feel anxiety the entire time.
Let’s say 55% of the time you win the game. You will then feel a dose of pleasure for about 5 minutes, before the feeling is gone and looking for the next high. This is not right or wrong, it is simply to be noticed.
To combat this, some people have resorted to “positive” thinking.
What is positive thinking? It is simply a way to help that person feel better in the moment, to place a band aid over the underlying anxiety.
Does it accomplish anything useful?
No. It’s a complete waste of time and energy.
There is only cause and effect.
The energy hoping for a win, and the energy worried about a loss is all wasted. At the end of a game, it’s easy to see this. Whether you won or lost, the majority of your time watching was spent in anxiety.
But what about the compounding time of watching a game like this every day for an entire year. What about 10 years? 40 years?
How much time, energy, and attention has been wasted?
So the question becomes – Is there a better use of this time and energy?
It’s taken me many years, but I’ve finally found the truth.
To combat the anxiety, purity is the way out.
What do I mean by purity?
Rather than having the explicit goal of making money and winning plays, my focus when watching a game, is to better understand the game. I attempt to learn something new.
If you truly understand the game being played, you will know precisely how to handicap, project and model the action, and the wins become inevitable.
You will also notice that if you focus on the purity of understanding, confidence tends to bloom.
You will be less affected by the daily fluctuations of wins and losses, armed with the knowledge that each day, your understanding of the game improves.
With purity, your energy is directed towards the productive direction of understanding. And your anxiety disappears.