You Got to Know When to Hold ‘Em

January 20, 2009

We will end our series of posts about keeping score with a song.  One of the best examples of how to keep score and stay in the moment simultaneously comes from Kenny Rogers.  Many years ago he sang a song called “The Gambler”.  We take a look at that song today.


The Gambler

The song tells the story of a gambler traveling by train.  He meets another gambler who offers him some advice.  That advice turns out to be rather spiritual in nature.  The chorus of the song explains how to stay in the moment and not worry about keeping score:


You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.


Click on this link to read the full lyrics.


For me the most important idea here is that you never count your money while you are sitting at the table.  When you stop the game to count you will miss something.  You will wind up out of the moment because you are counting your money.


As the song says – there will be time enough for counting when the dealing is done.  As long as you stay in the moment you will know when it is time to count your money.  You will know when to keep score.  Until that moment comes – resist the temptation.  You will only get yourself out of the moment and then you risk losing in the game.


Personal perspective

Over the years this has been a very important song for me.  As I was beginning my spiritual journey I used this song constantly as a reminder.  I would remind myself that I needed to stay focused and in the moment.


This song was a frequent reminder that my false self always wanted to keep score with everything.  I actually used this song to train my false self to trust that I (true self) knew what I was doing.  I knew that when we spent time looking too closely at money, who was returning our attention, where we were in our career, and all kinds of other trivial things that we were only making the situation worse.


When I say that I used this song to train my false self, I actually mean that.  I have been able to get to the point that when false self wants to waste time by inappropriately keeping score, I just say “No – we are not going to do that.  There will be plenty of time to count up later.  Right now we need to take care of our current business or we might wind up much worse off later.”


I have done this for so long that I rarely have any false self rebellions.  I hope that you too are able to quell your false self rebellions and live a truly happy life.


Until tomorrow –


Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.




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