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By Michael Angier




Web SuccessNet

The Ball Doesn’t Remember—the Past Doesn’t Matter

For many people, today will be a lot like yesterday. And this year will be pretty much like the last one.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Recently, I watched part of a TV show about gambling in Las Vegas.

It reported that casinos have increased their profits by double digits at the roulette wheel simply by displaying the history of what numbers the ball has recently landed upon.

Players often bet on the numbers that haven’t recently been hit. Their belief is that these numbers, because they haven’t been landed upon lately, are DUE for a hit. Statistically, it might make some sense. Over a long period of time, all numbers should eventually be hit about the same number of times.

But the chances of the ball landing on a red or black bet or even a particular number doesn’t change based upon the history. The ball simply doesn’t remember where it’s been and the odds are exactly the same as if the game hadn't been played.

Thankfully, our lives aren’t as random as the roulette wheel. Past behavior may be a good predictor of future behavior, but it’s only a tendency. We can change that.

The past is over. Even God can’t change what’s already happened. And the future is unknown. The past does NOT equal the future and only affects it to the degree we ALLOW it.

Unlike the roulette wheel, the past DOES matter, but only to the extent we let it. It matters because we can reflect on it and learn from it. It doesn’t have to rule today or the rest of our lives.

You can change tomorrow by what you do today. What you think, what you believe and the actions you take—or DON’T take—can and will significantly affect the future.

You may not be able to control ALL the events in your life, but you can drastically increase your odds of success by learning from the past and not having it rule you. By choosing wisely and taking consistent right action, you can win.

. . . . .

You don’t need to go it alone. Over 60 people have joined me in the Diamond Club because they know there is strength in numbers. They know they will accomplish more and grow more by being part of a mastermind team and consistently be coached, encouraged and supported in achieving their goals.


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SuccessNet is a worldwide association committed to helping people become more knowledgeable, productive and effective. Their mission is to inform, inspire and empower people to be their best—personally and professionally. Free subscriptions, books and SuccessMark™ Cards available at
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Last Updated 02/25/2006