• James McNeil

Poker Chips and Lies; What do they have in common?

Imagine for a moment that you have a career selling used cars. While on the lot one day, you are looking for customers and see a man walking toward you in a very expensive looking suit. This man also happens to have a briefcase in his left hand attached also by a set of handcuffs. Immediately, you start wondering what’s in that briefcase.

The man approaches you and says, “I’m looking for the best luxury sedan you have.” Instantly you see dollar signs flash before your eyes. You know just the car to sell him, and if he buys it you can receive an incredible commission.

You take him to the car and show it to him. Eagerly you await his response. Finally he says, “I’ll take it.” Elated you walk back with him to the sales floor to begin the paperwork.

Upon arriving you say, “Sir, do you have a trade-in?”

“No trade-in,” he responds. “And no financing. I’ll be paying you with this,” he finishes tapping the briefcase. Then with a flourish, he places the briefcase on the desk. He looks around quickly to make sure nobody is watching, and you catch your eyes following his. He then opens the case so you can see what’s inside. To your surprise you see poker chips.

Poker chips?

As you look up in disbelief, you can see his smile. He points to one row of chips and says, “These are worth a thousand dollars each.” Then he points to the row next to it and continues. “These are worth five thousand dollars each. And these-” he continues before you cut him off.

“I’m sorry sir, but those are not legal tender. I cannot accept those as payment for a car.”

With a confused look on his face he starts over. “These are worth a thousand dollars each. There are easily fifty there. These are worth five thousand dollars each. There are fifty there as well.”

At this point, you’ve had enough. “I’m sorry sir,” you begin, “But if you want to buy a car here, you need to cash those in and bring the money.”

By this point, you may be shaking your head, not only at the thought of being a car salesperson at all, but also at the idea of someone trying to randomly assign values to plastic chips and using them to buy a car. After all those things have no value, right?

But we’re already familiar with this concept, simply in another form. If you’ve read previous posts, you’ve already seen the term “Impostor Syndrome” mentioned a few times. The lies our mind tells us (and yes they are lies) that keep us from asking for help, showing any weakness, or even opening up to those we love.

You know the words of these lies. They sound something like this. “You know that job you’re trying to get? Good luck with that. You’re not good enough!” “You know that weight you’re trying to lose? You’ll never do it! You don’t have the willpower!” I could go on, but by now you get the idea. And we believe this inner voice because after all, we know ourselves, right?


Whether these negative words are coming from someone else or from the voice in our own head, the fact still remains that they are absolute lies. The most amazing thing happened to me in that night in September that I’ve brought up a few times and I referenced in the introduction to Finding Your Personal Mission. When I was reminded that because I was made by God, I was a true masterpiece. I didn’t need to earn that title. I simply needed to live as though it was true because it was.

It is for you, too.

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