The Success Principles of Poker: Replace Your Straw with Muscle
People who go with the flow end up in the middle of the sea eaten by sharks.
People who go with the flow end up in the middle of the sea eaten by sharks.
I "flowed" for 35 years and they started to gnaw away at me.
By the time I realized what was going on there was barely anything left.
If you have somewhere to go then you need structure - otherwise it’s going to take you an eternity to get there.
There are No Cheerleaders in Poker
I don’t admire weakness. I don’t like it. I don’t respect it. I hate it when I feel the impurities of it invade my cells. It makes me feel like the scarecrow when all the flying monkeys are ripping him apart straw by straw.
The monkeys find me when I am weak. They can’t see me when I am strong. I spend the vast majority of my days sitting upright in a chair writing things like this. I am in a coven of one.
My only company is the sound of barking dogs and screeching seagulls. Sometimes I feel like I need a walking stick just to reach the toilet. There are no cheerleaders here - no pom-poms. I live a solitary life.
The life of an real money online poker grinder is similar. You wake up in the morning and flick that switch.
The games start loading, you start playing and you don’t stop until you're forced to go to sleep because you need some energy to do it all again in a few hours time.
There is no one calling your name in the heat of passion. There is no passion. There is just the work. We can’t go on like this.
Replace Straw with Muscle
I read somewhere the other day that sitting down is the new cancer. Fuck that.
We need to break this shit up a little. Take the lead pipe out of the dead hands of Mrs. Peacock, walk out of the kitchen and bash this thing up a little bit.
I need you to grow some fangs because I want to give you something to get your teeth stuck into.
I recently read a great little book called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. You should read it. If you don’t read then change that habit immediately.
Jim Rohn once said ‘your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development because success is something you attract by the person you become.’
You aren’t going to become anybody if you don’t read.
I liked the book because it reinforced some of the positive habits I had already introduced into my life. Habits that were beginning to form a more productive and energetic version of that scarecrow.
Pieces of straw were beginning to be replaced by muscle. Elrod believes in the power of routine. I believe in the power of routine.
Tiredness is Dictated By How You Think
Elrod believes that getting up at the crack of dawn is the key to success. Start living earlier. He believes that tiredness can be dictated by how you think. The more tired you believe you're going to feel, the more tired you will feel and vice versa.
Remember waking up on Christmas Day after a few hours sleep?
“How you do anything is how you do everything” -- Hal Elrod
I tried this for a little while and whilst I did get more done I would wilt in the late afternoon/early evening.
I also needed an alarm clock to wake me up in the mornings and I like alarm clocks less than I like to be locked in a room full of cuckoo clocks.
So here is my revised Elrod plan. I know the online poker tournament clock largely dictates your day but that’s not the point I am trying to make here.
Another quote from Jim Rohn expresses my point perfectly:
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
Form Better Poker Habits
I want to help you form better habits because as Elrod says:
“Every time you do the easy thing, instead of the right thing, you are shaping your identity, becoming the type of person who does what’s easy, rather than what’s right.”
Here is my daily routine. Note that on Fri & Sat I can do what the hell I like and these rules go out of the window. However I tend to still stick to most of them - that’s the power of habit.
I wake up when I wake up. This could be after six hours sleep or nine. Invariably I sleep anywhere between five and eight hours.
I find that if I tell myself to wake up at a particular time then I will. This is the most important habit of mine.
It’s a ground-breaker. It’s so simple. So many people in the world don’t have the option to wake up when they want.
As a poker player, you do. I assure you that you will be happier starting the morning if you do this.
I drink a warm glass of lemon water and cayenne pepper. This helps stimulate my body’s detoxification system. This is also the time I take my supplements.
I am vegan so I do eat plenty of fruit and vegetables but our food is lacking more and more natural nutrients these days.
I read a study the other day that said up to 50% of our food's natural nutrients are lost by the time it reaches our doors.
Set Your Poker Intentions for the Day
I journal. I set my intentions for the day, write down my personal mission statement and then empty my thoughts onto paper.
I go to the gym and do a 5k run. I always listen to a podcast whilst I do this and I'm note taking all of the time. My faves at the moment are: Tim Ferriss, James Altucher and Dave Asprey.
I then do some weight training. I go to the pool and swim 10 lengths. Then I step into the steam room and meditate for 20 minutes. I practice Transcendental Meditation (TM) but any form of meditation is better than no form.
I make breakfast. For me that’s nearly always tofu and vegetables. I read for 30 minutes. I always read five different books simultaneously and always have a notepad next to me to write down inspirational words, quotes or phrases.
This helps me with my writing. I am currently reading:
-- The Moviegoer by Walker Percy (Fiction)
-- Animal Liberation by Peter Singer (Health/Nutrition/Effective Altruism)
-- Choose Yourself by James Altucher (Business)
-- Blackout by Sarah Hepola (Alcohol & Addiction)
-- An Astronaut's Guide to Life by Chris Hadfield (Random Choice)
Productivity Shot Through the Roof
I write creatively for two hours. I try to stand as much as I can. I have an hour break, which is normally a walk through town to get out of the chair. I rinse and repeat the above process for 9 hours.
During the one-hour breaks I do different things but always include making a smoothie, my second 20-minute meditation, some form of yoga or stretching and read some more before I write as this helps the process.
I allow myself one TV show per day. I try to watch something that inspires me and I take notes whilst watching as I find this helps my writing. If I'm watching TV or playing video games then I'm not working on my life purpose. I will never get anywhere. I will never achieve anything.
My productivity has shot through the roof since making these changes. Before this I was a bum who spent most of my life watching TV.
Some people believe it’s too regimented but I like it. I also have Fri & Sat to cut loose. I also take my son to football training on Thursday so I have a different schedule on that day.
Nothing Matters But Right Action
I hope by sharing my schedule with you it will give you some ideas on how to structure your own. If you need any help with that then send me e-mail at needyhelper (at) gmail.com.
Life is all about taking action. Nothing else matters. But it has to be the right action.
Human beings don’t like innovation. We like our comfort zone. That’s cool.
Understand this and create a different comfort zone. Then keep changing it until your comfort zone is a place where you are producing some amazing results.
Get to it.
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