Just going through the motions. Stagnation. Standing still.
If you’ve been playing poker for a number of years, these words all describe a phase we all go through in poker.
It’s helpful to look into what’s the most direct & practical way out of it.
That’s what we go through together in this article. Give it a play, listen or read below 🙂
The Losing Stress Podcast Ep 62
Hey guys, it’s Chiggs for another Losing Stress Podcast.
On this episode, I want to talk about a very specific phase that a lot of people find themselves in when they’re in poker – the phase of just getting by.
And if you don’t know whether you’re in this phase or not, there’s one clear indicator of this:
Are you genuinely excited about poker at the minute?
And it’s worth actually asking yourself this right now, as you’re reading this.
Then we can start to look at why is it that I’m actually excited about poker at the minute?
Is it, in fact, because my results have been going well recently? So there’s an excitement there to keep that going.
Is it perhaps that I’ve actually been playing in fun and exciting games and I want to continue doing that?
Or is there also this excitement for actually progressing further in poker? And so I’m excited to go ahead and do that.
And this starts to lay out something quite nicely here that my psychological and enjoyment of poker is dependent on certain factors.
1. How well my results have been going recently;
2. What kind of games I am playing in and;
3. Whether or not I’m actually progressing towards something in poker that I care about
Progressing towards something in poker that I care about
And this third factor. I think it’s actually very interesting to explore because it tends to be the one that’s most at play when you’re in this phase of just getting by.
And so what can you do to practically help with this?
The most obvious thing that comes to mind is having a goal that you are genuinely excited about achieving in poker.
And this is very important because this is something that you can’t just borrow and stick on from somebody else.
It has to be something that you genuinely and authentically want to do.
And very often, if we’re not inspired in any way, then we go about trying to get inspiration through the internet in some way.
So through podcasts, blogs, videos.
Also, through the influence of other people in real life. So from meeting other people,
But the thing is, nobody else works with the same mind and the same history as you.
And so the only way to find out really what you’re authentically going to be excited about in the long term is to actually ask yourself this.
And sit down somewhere very quietly and see what genuinely, and honestly comes up.
Often what genuinely and honestly comes up is something that may even be outside of poker.
And that may cause some form of fear and resistance.
“Oh, no, I can’t do this because I’m only skilled at being a poker player” or;
“I can’t reach that level because I don’t have the faculties to do it right now” or;
“I can’t start playing this other variant of poker because I only know my variant of poker”
And these are some of the common themes that tend to crop up in the mind.
What these show is that what we genuinely want, when you look at it very simply, is related to what, in the East, they would call the heart’s desire.
Very often the heart’s desire doesn’t match what the mind wants, because what the mind wants is simply based on memory.
The mind’s natural tendency is to stay in comfort and to stay in what “I know”.
And this is very interesting when you actually look into this for yourself.
So not just these words being it.
Questioning and doing it for yourself.
It’s important to realise that everything else that you do that isn’t this, to get inspired, is going to be ineffective.
Because even if you are reading this article you have to recognize that this kind of external inspiration is going to fade very quickly.
And I am sure you can relate to this.
As even if you read motivational books, go to events, watch YouTube videos, the spark might be created but it very quickly fades.
And we can talk intellectually about why this is, but practically the root reason is because we never really sit down and ask ourselves,
“What is it that we actually want?”
And really investigate this.
Because the answer or the answers that come up, might not be very clear to start with.
And let us leave this point here now – hopefully, it’s been made in a way that will have some kind of practical effect with you.
A Warped Perspective On Time
The second and last point, worth bringing up when it comes to being in this, getting by phase in poker is your mind’s perspective on time.
If you’re just getting by in poker then you must recognise that, right now, you have a non-urgent perspective on time.
Another way of putting this is that you don’t care about the fact that time is a limited resource.
It’s the most limited resource that we have as human beings. There’s no way of making extra, really.
And so if you’re in this phase, not really being inspired so much, you can start to take a different perspective on time.
Can you see that, in fact, it is a finite resource & that, at some stage, you’re going to stop working. And when that point comes you are perhaps go to look back and ask,
“Did I do the work that really mattered?”
“Did I do the work that I really cared about?”
And so just to bring this all together, once you start to see that time is finite and it’s important to do work that you actually genuinely care about you see the importance of taking action.
You become driven by it more.
And if you don’t know what actions to take, or even if you think you do know, it’s essential to start with the question,