Mental Game Mondays #1

Here’s something big I’ve learned:

Everyone now is all about this idea of “do what you love”.

So if you love poker, play poker. And once you stop loving poker, find something else you love, and go and do that.

Sounds great, except there’s one big problem:

All the research shows that this approach makes for a very unhappy life––one where you’re always thinking the grass is greener on the other side.

In study after study, the opposite is true: passion––and happiness–– follows commitment and mastery, not the other way around.

What you choose to do won’t make you happy.

How you choose to do it will.

After you commit to mastering your work, one day you realize just how much you love it and how much joy it brings you.

I’ve lived on both sides of the fence:

As a 20 year old college student, I found myself losing at poker every time I sat down, and I was miserable. I wasn’t enjoying playing, could see I was regressing, and knew I was at a crossroads: stop playing, or really commit to seeing how good I could be. I chose the latter, and within a year I had grown by leaps and bounds as a player and person, loved the game again, and had a six figure bankroll to go with it.

As a 25 year old, I had become a highly successful pro, making great money while “doing what I loved”. But then
I stopped focusing on seeing how good I could get, and only thought of how much money I could make and what I could do with the money. Within a year, I was burned out, convinced myself I hated poker, and spent the next two years not playing a single hand.

Now, much older and wiser, I get it.

In order for me to be a happy, motivated, and highly profitable poker player, the only thing I need to do is stay committed to getting better each day. When I do that, everything else takes care of itself. The volume, tilt control, and winrate––they’re all related to how committed I am to my growth as a player each day.

When I forget this and focus solely on the money, everything goes bad quickly.

If you’re struggling with motivation, volume, or tilt, it’s likely that you’re not all the way committed to discovering how good you can get at this game.

Connect to that, and you’ll re-discover that spark that made you fall in love with poker in the first place.

Commit first, then enjoy the passion that follows.

From there, the money will flow.

Until next week,

Jason

Jason Su has enjoyed sustained success in poker for 18 years. He is the mindset and performance coach for Poker Detox, and offers high-level coaching to serious players looking to take their performance to the next level.

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