Gambling helps develop discipline

I don't have the greatest discipline in life. But now and then, I have a surge of intense, unwavering discipline, and it's due to my passion for gambling. Of course, I'm not talking about gambling in casinos. I suck at that. I put all my money on black and lose within 3 tries. I guess I'm not going to grad school this year! I'm talking about making bets with people. These bets can be for anything important to you: to quit drinking, to quit smoking, to meditate, to stop eating frozen yogurt ice cream, to be nice to people, to stop robbing banks, etc. Whatever your problem is and whatever the solution to that problem is can be framed in terms of a bet.

Why are bets awesome?

First, bets are great because they're fun and bring levity to a situation that's usually tangled up in shame and seriousness. You can go through months or years of self-defeating thoughts and feelings, but when you decide to make a bet out of your predicament, it becomes interesting and exciting.

Second, bets involve personal pride and everyone loves personal pride. You can spill coffee on me, pee on me (dogs only), or hit my car and I'll probably still be smiling. I'll even offer you a Hi-C if I have a spare. But claim to have better algebra skills than I do and you better watch your f*cking back. The same applies to grammatical challenges, mind you.

See, all too often people try and develop discipline by mustering intense motivation and dedication. But let's be honest -- motivation will eventually fade. And it'll come back. But then it'll go away again. If you depend on your motivation to help you quit, you're going to eventually run into trouble. Bets are great because they replace the need for that motivation by linking the event to your personal pride.

Third, bets are meaningless. Completely. When you really get down to it, it doesn't really matter if you lose a bet, especially a gentleman/gentlewoman's bet which is my favorite kind. It's complete bullshit, but that's why it's so great. You don't have to figure out why you're giving this thing up. You don't have to engage in the endless philosophical questioning that leaves you second-guessing yourself. Maybe I can just have one. One can't hurt. Maybe just for 5 minutes. Six max. Definitely not more than 10. SHUT UP. 

A meaningless bet helps you give all that up:
You: Sorry, I can't use Facebook anymore. I made a bet.
Friend: What did you bet?
You: Nothing.
Friend: So if you win, you get nothing.
You: Right.
Friend: And if you lose, you get nothing.
You: Right.
Friend: And how long has this bet been going on for?
You: 22 years.
Friend: And you've never even wanted to go on Facebook?
You: Occasionally.
Friend: But y --
You: Can't. Bet.
Discipline. What's something you wish you had the discipline to do? Pick the first thing that comes to mind and go bet someone that you can't accomplish it. If you can't find anyone, I'll bet you. Email me personally: Loser.