We’re Playing with House Money

It’s his story, not mine. But it’s riveted me for the last week.

We were introduced by a colleague of mine, a former student of his. It was one of those introductions that you think, “how in the world did we not know each other before?”

He has four kids, we have five. His wife has started a new project, so has mine. We share big, dreamy, ambitious ideas. We live four or five minutes apart. Our lunch could have gone another hour or two easily.

He said one thing in particular that hasn’t escaped my mind. It has gripped me actually.

“Man, I’m playing with house money. What do I have to be afraid of? What do I have to fear?”


House money. In cards, people say this when they’ve won. Maybe not a ton but enough to not be worried about losing.

He got up and walked out of a hospital where he should have been pronounced dead. What could he possibly be scared of now? Beyond the gift of life he was given, he was given the gift of perspective. His beliefs and values giving him the ability to use this new chance for the benefit of others.

Again, it’s not my story, it’s his. And as dramatic and captivating as his is, all of us have the same story actually.

The circumstances vary widely of course, but we’re all playing with house money.

What would look different if we realized this? What would we start doing if we believed this? What would we stop doing?

Surely something right? Surely lots of things.

It may feel like the deck is completely stacked against you. Or that time is running out. Or that the chips are so far down there’s no chance.

We’ve all been there before, we’ll likely all be there again. Life certainly isn’t all roses. But what if we gave into this guy’s belief that we’re playing with house money? That we have nothing to fear?

Life likely hasn’t given you the exact cards you would have chosen, but if you’re reading this, you’re still in the game.

House money.

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