I just returned from Casino Tour 2008. I was a winner!
Over the last few weeks my world of speaking has taken me from a Connecticut Casino to Las Vegas to Atlantic City and then back to a Connecticut Casino. In between speaking about personal development, leadership and one of my favorite times of year, Recess At Work Day, I did my part to keep the United States out of a recession by making withdrawals from my personal bank account and depositing that money in the lands of short-skirted cocktail waitresses. Now I do realize that some of you think I am in denial and that we are already in a recession; go ahead keep up those negative thoughts. That'll help!
So I walked into my favorite Las Vegas casino and saw the BMW Convertible. I decided I was going to win that car. I put it out there. After all, I did watch “The Secret. " I'm going to win that car. I'm going to win that car. I'm going to win that car. I can see myself driving that car home from Las Vegas all the way to CT; top down, wind blowing through my hair, uh I mean beanie; propeller spinning in the wind. I am going to win that car.
Well you won't believe this. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Not in a million years. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I was down to my last 2 credits; $150 later; I put it out there once again that I was going to win that car. In the background I hear Frank Sinatra singing “Luck Be A Lady Tonight. " Frank was my dad's hero. Dad must be looking down on me. The stars and the planets are all in alignment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . And I pressed the max credit button and the three symbols come up.
A cherry, a Bar and a Win the Car.
I did not win.
I turned to the woman next to me and wished her good luck. Her response, “I already won a Mini Cooper last year. I'm just here to have fun. "
I got up from the seat and walked back to my hotel.
Gambling is one of those interesting phenomenon. There are those, like me, who walk into a casino for entertainment purposes; and those, like my friend Anita, who walk into the casino thinking that there is a gazillion dollars in that building and some of it has her name on it. (Then she goes and gets dealt a Royal Flush right in front of my eyes. Yes, DEALT!) There are those who are cursing and swearing at slot machines and the crappy cards being dealt to them as they lose, lose, lose. There are people beating up and pounding on machines which are not paying out. It makes you wonder. Are these people are always looking for the big payoff; the easy way out; a windfall of cash that just lands in their lap? It makes you wonder about the rest of their life.
There are also people carrying oxygen tanks and smoking. I am not even going there. They're having a good time; I guess that is all that matters.
So back to the beating and pounding. I'm still from the School of Hard Work. I still believe hard work provides its rewards. I still believe that working hard is anything but when you enjoy what you're doing and you have a little fun doing it. I still believe that within any job, no matter how serious it may be, you can have a rewarding experience once you figure out what excites you. But it is up to you to figure out how to make your job fun, interesting and exciting while getting the task done you were hired to do. It is up to you to find the right mix or work and play.
A while back a National Coffee chain closed down every store for three hours on the same day to retrain their staff. I have, without a doubt, seen a difference in the attitudes of their employees since that evening training session occurred company-wide. They are laughing, playing and working harder. Some of the complacency I had noticed has gone away. Customers seem happier as well. And happy customers mean a stronger company which could lead to more money, better benefits, or more opportunity. Working harder provides rewards.
Recently I spoke to an organization which had changed their compensation structure; to one that is revenue based. Yep, employees are now being paid based on revenue collected and many of these people receive 10% yearly raises. Not many companies can say they are giving raises at the 10% level; and in a time of a rec_ (I refuse to say the word). Once again, another example of working harder provides rewards.
Two people very close to me are about to file for bankruptcy. I have watched them unravel for several years now; always looking for that windfall; always looking for the easy way out; they're going to hit the lotto; make that great trade in the financial markets, or sell that million dollar home. They seem to attend the School of Handouts.
How about you? Are you attending the School of Hard Work or the School of Handouts?
I'll bet a lot of those people at the casino didn't get a 10% payback. Heck, I'll bet most of them didn't. I know I didn't. I'll bet a lot of those people at the casino leave without being able to purchase a cup of coffee. So I didn't win the car and had to settle for a cup of coffee on my way out the door. At least I had some fun - obviously at the expense of others.
So what does this mean to you. . . . . . . . . . . . . Stop reading this article right now and get back to working hard and creating the extraordinary life you deserve. Or at least do it to help with the handouts we need to subsidize.
Rich DiGirolamo is a professional speaker from Wolcott, CT. He calls himself The Big Kid and enjoys “making painful processes fun. " To learn more about Rich please visit http://www.richdigirolamo.com or http://www.recessatworkday.com