Tuesday, January 04, 2011


lsat year i think i said how the new year was irrelevant to me, and the only reason i use it for poker results is for convenience with tracking software. i still stand by that. i preface the following post with that as a disclaimer since the following may appear as a resolution of some sort, but it's not. well, it is, but it's nothing to do with a new year, it's because i starting reading the 7 habits of highly effective people. i started a long time ago, but got bored after the intro section. on saturday i returned to it, reading section 1. the first thing that struck me was how many of the major points it mentions, i had learnt through poker. for example, there was a little bit about projecting your thoughts onto others as a default way of thinking. (coincidentally, i read on article on this from a writer on betfair just days earlier)

however, one thing i have learned which wasn't mentioned in this book was the difference between being told something, understanding it and being able to apply it. eg, one of the first things i heard about in poker was it's a game for the long run. immediately, it is clear that this is true. sadly, it took many many hours of play to understand this, and even longer to be able to properly apply it to my thought process and play.

i found it easy to autopilot when playing and not concentrating on applying any new fixes to my game until they become a part of my autopilot process. and i find it can be very easy to fall back on bad habits such as this. i'm pretty sure that this can also be applied to real life.

i use the term autopiloting, as it's a familiar one when playing lots of tables of poker. without full dedication to each table (i find 3 the maximum i can play with an almost full dedication to all) a lot of the processes in making decisions become more automated. and then you are playing a reactive game rather than a proactive one. this is what i have taken from the first chapter of the book. whilst this method is fine for poker, because my hourly rate increases (and the hourly rate is the most important thing to me), this process is not good in life in general.
the second thing i have taken from this chapter is that all your actions are done by your choice. again, this is almost too obvious a thought, but the implications when you understand and then apply it, are vast. whilst you cannot control what happens to you, you can control your response. aside from physical pain, you can control your response. it may not be easy but it should always possible. i find all i have to do is remember i have a choice. when driving, if the schmohogs in front are driving terribly, i am learning to think "i don't need to get annoyed by them". getting annoyed doesn't help. (an even more favourite saying of mine is now "change the things i can control, accept the things i can't, and have the wisdom to tell the difference").

sometimes it's really hard to not just react to others even when you know you have a choice. i find it easier for now to reframe my thoughts prior to choosing to not be annoyed. so instead of thinking the retard driver is a retard but not to be annoyed, i decide instead to praise my own driving for anticipating their idiocy, and that i once again managed to survive on onslaught of drivers who seem to be attempting to kill me.

i will also apply this to when i play poker. when i get outdrawn, or impatient, i will remember i have a myriad of choices. i don't have to get annoyed by anyone else, i can take my time, i can relax, i do have to concentrate if i want to do well, and ultimately, i don't have to play right now if i don't want to.

the goal you set for yourself after this first chapter of the book is to spend one day thinking about the language you use, to remind yourself you have the choice (ie not saying i have to, but instead i want to, etc) and also to spend thirty days being proactive rather than reactive.

at the moment, when i wake up, i don't think about any of this. i hope at the end of thirty days, it will be ingrained in me in such a way that when i wake up i will consciously be choosing a lie in when i choose to lie in.

one more thing i want to do is to read something before i start playing to get myself in the right frame of mind. i found a few things but nothing yet which is perfect. if you know of anything let me know. if i find something, i will of course post it.

for now, that's all i can be bothered to type. i've improved my posture and seating position such that i can type for longer. i think the most important thing i'm starting to do is to type properly ie be less lazy and use all my fingers especially little finger for backspace. this has greatly increased the amount of time i can type for without massive wrist/arm/shoulder/neck pains.


Bossanova21 said...

the closest I've ever come to reading such a book, which I'll classify as 'self-help' or 'pseudo-philosophy' is zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance.

I read 3 chapters, realised it was atrocious, and never turned back.

Mudwig said...

sounds like a lucky escape. i haven't read many, one to cure arachnophobia and one chapter so far here. i find i have to wade through mountains of repetitive dung, filtering it out to reach some useful concepts. and even then, it's only been on other people's recommendations.

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