Monday, April 27, 2009

Turning Things Around

More poker/life ramblings....

The beauty of poker lies in its instant feedback. You play a hand well, don't get sucked out on, and rake in a big pot. The time between the good play and the stacking of chips was literally only seconds apart. Your brain is stimulated with a dopamine release and you want more of it.

On the negative side, when you're tilty, you shove all-in on a bad bluff or weak draw and lose. Still, the feedback is near instantaneous. Your chips are gone and so is your motivation to play well.

In the latter circumstance, sometimes all it takes is a good night's sleep to turn it around. You can recover. Your bankroll has withstood such hits before and with a new day and a new poker session come new opportunities to play well once again.

Life, though, is a bit different.

You screw up, whether you truly believe you did or not, the results are the same. Some form of negative feedback. Unfortunately, you can't just wake up the next day and fix it with a winning session. Life moves much slower than a poker game. Impressions on people last longer than a hand of poker.

It takes more discipline to turn things around in real life. Each day you have to make sure your mindset and your actions are tuned in to your intent. Making a change. Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Sure. But it takes a while. Over enough time, I'd say that even a leopard can change his spots. If he really wanted to.

Over time, you can build on a foundation of change. It takes work. It takes constant reminders. It takes the acknowledgment that you're not perfect, but you're working to bet better. And if you are consistent, over time, even people will notice. People who've once noticed you were one way will notice now that you're acting in a different way.

The change I've tried to put myself through is working. Slowly. But surely. The right people are noticing and that's a good thing. I have momentary slips. But luckily I catch myself. I will continue along this path I've set for myself, mainly because I have to. For the good of my family, I have to.

Life's long session keeps dealing me hands and I'm playing on a short stack with a limited roll. There is no place for tilt. If the river's kind to me, I'll be able to keep playing.


BamBam said...

A wise man once said, "you can only play the hand you were dealt. But there is always HOW you play that hand!"


Unknown said...

Man, I wouldn't count on the river. That always screws me. I'd just count on what you're doing, what I had to do at one point, and that will be enough.

P.S. I saw Steel Panther at a metal awards show on MTV2 during Headbanger's Ball. It was during a promo, even, so that's pretty sweet.

muhctim said...

Nice post. I enjoy reading things that make me think, and that I can apply to my own life. Good luck with the changes. Thus far,(in my own life) I have them to be most difficult, most rewarding, and ever evolving.

Dave said...

Nice post. Poker as a metaphor for life works well. We just have to try and not confuse the two - or are we better off when we do so?

Anonymous said...

Great post, I've always said poker mirrors life to some degree, especially as I run bad at both!