In some respects gambling can drive you mad.
It's the pursuit of excellence. It's what you need to make your betting pay. That, in truth, is no easy task. As Dave Nevison said when he wrote his second book: ''No Easy Money''.
If a seasoned professional can say that (albeit a good few years back) it tells a story. Unless you live horse racing, passionate about every thought to improve your skills and achieve the mantle of a winning gambler, you need to question what you are doing.
Very few people stop to assess their life.
I bet even fewer punters question their success or failings. But unless we do so we have little hope of understanding our lot or improving. In a competitive and changing world we need to do this on a regular basis.
It could be something as simple as a profit and loss sheet, or a diary of your gambling thoughts, methods, guidelines or procedures.
I know in ways all this seems a bit hippie like as if I'm going to sit in a quiet corner and start saying a mantra and dip in and out of consciousness.
I've had a few bets where I wish I had done just that.
Plenty of punters have had days where they wish they hadn't got out of bed.
Being a successful gambler isn't easy. It has taken me a lifetime to reach this point and it has been and will continue to be a bumpy ride unless the work is done.
Keeping your betting within a structure built on sound practice.
This means having answers to questions. Understanding your niche of horse racing to such a level that you are ready to work without questioning what you are doing or trying to think on your feet. You may be assessing, using your knowledge and judgement to make the right decisions.
Each bet placed needs to be done with the utmost professionalism.
That takes a lot of knowledge, practice and routine.
You have to work in such a manner that it reinforces the positives. If you have to learn a lesson do so without betting even if you feel you missed a chance to make some cash.
Do not make knee-jerk reactions. Do not bet with your emotions. This is easier said than done. But you have to make that change at some point. If you don't then every single answer to every single question is floating around your head.
It's an absolute disaster.
You need to have your plan, your knowledge and your approach set in stone.
All these aspect help you work professionally.
It helps you build on the positives. It helps you limit your emotions. It helps you bet with confidence.
The only problem with all these words is that you will need to work unending years to come close to having those building blocks of intelligence to make all this happen.
However, you can learn a lot from my approaches.
With assessment, working to a plan and having a positive approach you are one step closer to making your betting pay.
Stop for a moment and question what you get out of gambling, what you want and how you are going to get there.
Understanding is a journey that isn't just for those who have achieved their goals.
They were the starting point for those people who wanted to the same and made a decision to improve.
You have the opportunity to change.