Problem Solving: Don't do it "on your own"
It started when I was a teenager, grinding poker in my grandparents basement 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. I was a 7th grade dropout making a ton of money, so it was easy to get the idea that I was doing it on my own and honestly it felt cool. I had no idea that this would be one of the most limiting beliefs that held me back.
For the first 10 years I rarely talked poker with anyone and I only had one coach, who was one of the best heads up cash game players in the world. The relationship didn't last long though because I wouldn't listen and I'd spend the whole time relentlessly arguing my points. Eventually he got fed up and said “Why do you keep arguing me, I’ve been successful over millions of hands and you’re completely new to this game?” I still don’t think this made me stop, It was hard for me to accept advice when I placed so much value on not needing it.
This mindset is so stupid because even if you've never had a coach you still had a ton of help along the way. It would be funny to go back and question my old self, “Did you build the software you use? Did you write the books you read? What about the conversations you had with other poker players? Do you think you’d be any good at poker if they weren’t there to challenge you?”
Or to go even deeper “Did you earn your genetics? Did you invent the internet? Did you invent the game? Did you invent all the millions of things that make the seemingly simple occupation of online poker possible? Think about all the inventions that needed to happen to get from Neanderthals making fire in a cave to playing poker on the internet in your well heated house.
We are all standing on the shoulders of millions perhaps billions of people. Imagine if it were a video game and you had to start at the beginning, no inventions, no houses, no weapons etc. how far could you get in a lifetime? Where we get to start at is like being able to fast forwards hundreds of thousands of years in the game and start from there. It’s like a cheat code. So what’s the shame in getting help from one more person? I can guarantee there are plenty of people out there who are smarter, better connected, have more money etc. who are getting help, how are you going to compete with them without doing that?
I started to learn this lesson 4 years ago and I did it by mistake, I did it through teaching others. When I started coaching poker it was to practice ideas I read about and obviously to make some side income. I never considered how much I’d learn about the game through teaching. I learned so many vital aspects of the game which I never would’ve on my own and consequently 2013 and 2014 were 2 of the best years of my career.
I became good friends with a lot of my students and we’d discuss topics outside of poker like meditation, business, relationships, learning etc. and again I had the same type of transformative learning experiences that are hard to get on your own. It was with so many of these experiences that my mindset slowly switched from “I’m going to do it on my own” to “I need to get the best help available if I have any shot at achieving my goals."
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