Success is a gamble
Las Vegas may be the best business school in the world
I’m in the USA for the first time of my life. I’m not here as a tourist — I am a professional fellow on exchange, brought to Chicago by World Chicago and hosted by Holistic Index. I am not here strictly to sight-see and have a good time — I am here to work, learn, spread my own brand of knowledge (like teaching people how to pronounce my name) and experience the professional ecosystem to the fullest.
Well, guess what? It has all been overwhelmed by my trip to Las Vegas.
I wasn’t there a long time — 48 hours approximately, and a portion of that spent in the car. It was, however, long enough to show me that the world of Chicago and the life of Vegas are two VERY different things.
My fellowship has so far been a blast — I feel like I’m experiencing new and amazing things on an hourly basis, meeting experts from all walks of life and getting actual advice from those that you usually have to hire for the pleasure (I’m looking at you, Terra).
On the other hand… Despite the immersive work, the perks of exchange, the endless parade of gastronomic pleasures and the obvious improvement I can see in myself and others, the Chicago experience was, for me at least, eclipsed by Nevada.
I am entirely subjective in this, of course. I went to Sin City to see my best friend (we see each other once a year if we’re lucky) and to meet the man that stole her from me, and I wasn’t planning on anything more than a stroll down the Strip and a couple of cool photos.
Rookie mistake, I guess.
Las Vegas is much. Not much of anything in particular, but more of a collection of muches that much into muchness (I hope you get where I’m going with this). I was left to wander alone for a while, and I honest-to-god got lost in a casino, surfacing a mile down the street after several hours. In that time, I had managed to decimate an all-you-can-eat buffet, loose 12 dollars on Wheel of Fortune, find at least 2 dollars in pennies (thanks, Bellagio) and meet some very drunk British people who were convinced I knew Edin Džeko (cuz, you know, we’re both Bosnians).
To top that all off, I probably gained at least 5–6 pounds because of munchies caused by second-hand pot smoke.
It was chill, though. And it made me decide I was doing some things wrong.
Those slot machines are colorful, loud things, but they are basically beacons of hope for a lot of people. I’m not saying gambling is something I recommend on a daily basis, but I can tell you that even a small victory can be a rush. If you never win, like me, you manage to develop a relaxed attitude towards success, which is something most people lack.
Yes, success is good. No, it’s not a linear process.
You fail, you start over. You get lost in a building, you find yourself opening doors you never knew existed. You run into a Montenegrin folk star, you offer him a ride and he pays for your breakfast. You stumble back home on the red-eye, wondering which direction the planet is turning in, and you have a story to tell.
Metaphorically speaking, I thing Las Vegas is onto something. Literally speaking, I’m pretty sure Las Vegas is ON something. Just sayin’.