From our first breath to our last we're destined to play out the stories of our lives. Each one of us has a different story and we each live with varying degrees of uncertainty about what will happen next.
Our lives are like books. Each day is like a page and tells our story. Stories unravel in numerous ways and sometimes we neglect to question ourselves about how we are viewing it.
Ask yourself, objectively, who are you in the story of your life?
Are you the main character who takes life as it comes? Do you feel more like the narrator telling your own story and going along for the ride?
Do you take life's highs and lows as random acts of positive or negative events strictly based on ethereal variance?
Conversely, perhaps you act as though you are the author and dictator of your own destiny and possess a "take life by the horns" type of perspective, not leaving anything to chance.
Most likely you're a combination of at least two of these, if not all three. It often depends on one's innate demeanor and temperament.
A naturally passive person will leave more outcomes to chance and attribute positive events to serendipitous forces and see adversity as an unavoidable inevitability of fate.
More assertive people would view this as a weakness or a character flaw.
They'd argue that life is a buffet with many diners but a limited supply of food. To be successful, you need to be the aggressor. They feel like the author and the main character.
So how does this relate to poker? Looked at analogously to tournament poker, there are several parallels. Consider for instance the following three categories: playing style, evaluation of success vs. failure, and memory/experience.
Just as one's birth represents the beginning of a new story, so too does the first hand dealt in a poker tournament. Whether you bust first or win the whole thing, you will have a first-hand, a final hand, and (almost certainly) lots in between.
Everyone involved in the tournament has their "tournament life" on the line from start to end and the goal is to stay alive until the end. It's a curious phenomenon to note how people tend to approach it the same way they do their own life.
People who are inherently passive may know their game requires a more loose/aggressive style to succeed, but even though they make an effort to play this way, they still lack the natural ability to go against their habits.
For this reason, poker players who are the most malleable are often the most successful.
A stubborn person who refuses to make changes to his/her lifestyle may find their game has leaks that never seem to go away. This type of person fits the mold of 'main character' who thinks he is also the author. He doesn't care what the narrator has to say. In fact, to him, there is no narrator.
Some players can adjust smoothly to adveristy (i.e. suckout) and execute objective analysis. This type of trait fits the author mold.
What happened is done and can't be changed. Proceed with confidence, reduce negative emotion. Whether this part of your game is a trouble point or not, it's important to remember the situation and utilize what you've learned the next time you face a similar situation.
Since the nature of tournament poker is such that on any given day even the worst player can win, these points only hold a certain amount of verity. A stubborn player may win even though in the long run their success rate is likely to show poor results.
If a player reaches the final table and gets to a heads-up battle, his journey from start to end tells a tale unique to him. His heads-up opponent's journey is no doubt a different story with the same endpoint (up to the heads-up finale).
The beauty of tournament poker is that no matter how each story ends, there's always another one starting up soon after.
Make sure to enjoy the ride and make good 'reads' along the way. Whether you feel like the main character, the narrator or the author, your journey is yours and it's important to value it and play/live your best.