The Grammys happened a couple nights ago. Normally I don’t tune in and this year was no different. For whatever reason award shows have never appealed to me. Perhaps I don’t quite understand them. I understand the concept but it’s the execution that perplexes me. How can an academy of self appointed experts take several artists and bands, albums and scores, solo projects and collaborations and deem one better than another? But I digress. After all, this is not why I’m bringing up the Grammys. Instead of talking about the awards, I want to talk about what happens afterwards. The acceptance speech.
Typically the artists follow a fairly common speech outline. “Thank you to; God, my family, my team, my fans, the academy of old heads, arrogant enough to believe their views on music should be televised globally.” Or something along those lines, maybe minus the bitterness. However, there are times where artists speak from the heart. It’s within those heartfelt addresses that one phrase commonly arises.
I bet on myself and I am so grateful I did.
The artist continues on expressing immense gratitude for all who bet on them. I hadn’t thought about it until I read some of the Grammy speeches; betting on yourself or someone else is such an interesting concept. What does that even mean?
When I think of betting, of course Vegas comes to mind. Going all in on one hand, pushing the mountain of chips into the middle of the table, gambling on a chance that can boom or bust. Or perhaps another example that may come to your mind is betting on a game. With the Super Bowl coming up, I’m sure a lot of people will wager on the game in some form or fashion. The key thing to note with both of these examples is that when we bet, the outcome is not in our control. We may have a clear vision of an ideal scenario but we can’t guarantee the results. This is the essence of a bet.
On the surface the phrase; betting on yourself, seems accurate. Yet I believe it appears that way solely because it has become a common saying in our modern dialogue. There are many phrases like this that don’t make sense; break a leg, can’t have your cake and eat it too, sweat like a pig. Did you know pigs don’t even sweat? Beyond the phrase not making literal sense, I would go as far as to say that an artist receiving the highest honor in music couldn’t be further away from a bet. Simply put, bets boil down to chance. Yet chance is only a small ingredient when it comes to reaching the pinnacle of your career.
Bad Bunny addressed the point I’m trying to make during his acceptance speech:
“When you do things with love and passion, everything else is easier.”
When you roll the dice in craps, you can have all the love in the world, but rolling a seven won’t be any easier. You may be playing blackjack, holding a twenty in your hand and feeling pretty good about your odds. Then the dealer, showing 10, reveals an Ace; instantly changing the results. Despite your passion for winning, your bet came up empty. Suffice it to say, a bet is just that. Taking a chance on something that is not in your control.
Bad Bunny may have bet on himself early but he earned his way to stardom. His love for music, passion for people, those things were what differentiated him and drove forward his career. Of course he had talent as well, another variable that isn’t relevant in a bet. As skillful as poker players are, their odds can only be improved by the cards they are dealt. Although we experience something similar in our own lives, we are also more than the cards we are dealt.
We have our efforts. Fueled by our love and passionate pursuit. We have the support of our communities. People who will open a door for us or pick us up when we are down. We have our perspective. Our awareness to pivot or rethink our approach. We have time. If something doesn’t work out for us now, that opportunity may revisit us in the future. Each of us has multiple leverage points in the pursuit of our goals. Although our initial bet is one of them, it is not in our best interest to over value it. Instead, value the traits that are in your control.
Because who knows, maybe in the future you’ll be where Bad Bunny is. Perhaps you’ll be in a position delivering an acceptance speech. You’ll recognize that you are at the top of your game and understand what got you there. It wasn’t just a bet you made or something that happened by luck. You earned it.