It’s all in how you play the game

Risk and Reward are a very functional part of how you play the game.

Last night I was watching my son’s high school team play football. If I had kept track I would have guessed right on about 50% of the plays being called on offense. Now a good part of that might be because I have watched all the games and I get to talk to my son about the team when he gets home from practice. I am not a coach, but over the years of watching football you get a general idea of where a team’s strength and weakness’ are. The opposing team’s coach’s risk is predicting what play they would be calling. If he is right the rewards can be great (if his team executes) but on the other hand, if he were to guess wrong the reward could be a touchdown for my son’s team. It is about risk reward.

It is no different when I go to Las Vegas. I think I am a lot like others….you walk into a casino and there are the flashing lights (and there is a reason to where and why the lights are where they are at) and all the different sounds and you get seduced by aroma of money. It’s pretty exciting…and that how they get you. I like to play Pai Gow poker, it is relatively slow (especially compared to black jack) and you can play for a long time without risking a lot of money. Again, it is the risk and reward game and I play within the risks that I feel comfortable in.

One can look at life as a game, who do you want to play the game with, when do you want to play the game with and the list goes on and on and on.

The same goes for how you choose to take care of your health. While there are certain aspects of it that you can control (and that is called hereditary factors) there are so many more factors that you can play the game with. It is your choice as to what risks you are willing to take. The rewards may be a lifestyle with fewer restraints……but there is often a cost down the road for the risk you take earlier on.

The simple one for me as a dentist to illustrate is brushing and flossing on a daily basis. It takes time, something that a lot of us don’t feel we have enough of. Or we get too tired at night time and just want to crawl into bed. The risk is oral disease, cavities and/or gum disease. And depending on anyone’s individual status they might actually not be harmed by the risk taken. But when you are harmed, there is a cost that you did not have to have. There is a financial cost, often a time cost and the one cost that is totally dependent on you, the emotional cost.

But think about all the risks/rewards we take every day, from habits like how we drive our car (and text or talk on the hand held cell phone) to how often we exercise and what we do when we exercise. Do we take seconds when we eat or splurge on dessert?

It’s not always about did we win the game but did we play the best we could. Life and our risk and rewards are no different. It’s your life and your choice. Life the commercial says ‘Choose wisely’.

To my Jewish friends I want to wish all of you a happy and healthy new year. At our temple there has always been some candy for the kids. I decided to make a difference…..I now hand out the lollipops…and they are Dr. John’s. Sugarless and sweetened with Xylitol….to help prevent cavities. As one little boy likes to say “these are healthy lollipops”

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