Well that year certainly went by bloody fast! I’ve probably said that exact same sentence every year since the day I was born. Nevertheless, that one really did go by quickly, and so now it’s time to take stock and dig a little deeper into my first proper year trying to make it as a professional poker player. First things first,
My goal was to make a sustainable income through that wonderful game of poker, and I can categorically announce that I failed spectacularly.
And I feel mighty proud in doing so.
This year, and especially these last 3 months, has been a huge learning experience for me. I can reluctantly admit that I probably spent the good part of 9 months aimlessly trying to achieve my goal of making a sustainable income playing poker. Just a word of warning, watching wrestling or playing board games night after night after night until god knows what time in the morning WILL negatively affect your chances of achieving any goals you set yourself, go figure! Back to poker, and after failing over and over again something had to finally give. The turning point will always be the Food Cycle conference that I attended earlier this year where my mind, and a small part of my soul, was opened up considerably. A realisation that the only person I can blame for not succeeding would be myself and that if I REALLY wanted the success that I graved then I had no other choice than to completely overhaul my current lifestyle.
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. – Michael Jordan
The big change in my mindset is the idea of being responsible for everything that happens in my life. This includes not only the accomplishments and unavoidable failures, but just about every inch of my lifestyle; my leisure activities, my diet, my poker schedule, my role at Food Cycle, the friends I hang out with, the way I engage with people and how I deal with living at home with an increasingly dispirited father.
Things are never going to be perfect. Ever. If one thing in your life is going well then you’ll be happy to know that a different part is probably about to crumble. It is never ever smooth sailing.
And that’s fine.
In fact it’s more than fine, it’s liberating. If you’re prepared enough for failure and the inevitable setbacks then there’s really nothing stopping you from at least trying to find out exactly what you want from life.
And let’s be honest, none of us REALLY know what we want from life.
Close relationships, security, job satisfaction? The list could be endless.
The ultimate takeaway point from this post isn’t about embracing failure, chasing your dreams or finding that perfect equilibrium. It all boils down to being aware.
Being aware of your personal goals
Being aware of the effect you have on others
Being aware of the effect others have on you
Being aware of other people’s goals, drives, situations etc.
Being aware of everything
Of course none of us are perfect. I am currently fighting off a constant resentment for my father even when he’s trying to be helpful. I know this resentment is built on the fact that my Dad is meant to be showing me ‘how to be a man’ but instead I have to watch him slide into a state of wallow, self-pity and damn right slobbishness.
But I have to continually and actively realise that my Dad hasn’t had it entirely easy over the last decade. From the death of his wife, my mum, or the fact that he is in constant pain from his leg, added into the mix is that he’s had one leg removed, is diabetic, overweight and possibly living in a state of secret mental health issues. It’s certainly easy to see why he has become the man I see before me. (This also brushes over the long list of positive attributes my Dad possesses)
So being aware helps on a daily basis. And this awareness doesn’t just happen after reading this blog post, a book, or watching a documentary. It is a constant struggle and requires a constant need to be self-aware.
There are a lot more qualified writers out there who can explain things a lot more clearly and coherently than I ever could. But if i had to give one piece of advice for you, me or any person you know. It’s to read just one self improvement book in 2017.
Forget about everything you’ve ever associated with self-help and self-improvement and just pick up a book and start that long and never ending road to becoming the best person you possibly can. Slowly increasing those positive attributions that everyone loves, while cutting back inch by inch those negative qualities that aren’t simply ‘part of your personality’ but are just a tiny slather of bad habits that can be improved upon.
I never expect to see a perfect work from an imperfect man – Alexander Hamilton
So while I could look back on 2016 and become dispirited with the fact that I didn’t achieve my ambitions. What would be the point? The only real thing that matters is to keep moving forward and and not only tackle any setbacks that come your way but also look back on the positives.
- I may have not earned a sustainable income from poker but I did go up in stakes which is a foot in the right direction
- I may have given up on playing hockey but I regularly go the gym and play football
- I may have only read one book on stocks and shares this year but I aim to read 2 next year
- I not only volunteer at Food Cycle but have become a hub leader and a key member of the team
- I discovered a true passion for boardgames
- I have begun planning a cycle trip to Italy and back again
- I’ve kept this silly little blog going for a whole year
- I literally have only just figured out I could change the font colour
And so there you have it people. 2016…bit shit, but certainly not the worst!
I’ll see you early in the New Years where I’ll go through my goals and ambitions for 2017.
Happy New Year!!
Daryl aka Poker Vagabond
End of Year Bankroll