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Mental Game & Life Strategy

The ability to set goals and the discipline it takes to achieve those goals without letting the rest of your life suffer are two of the most important things you need to master in order to improve as a poker player and begin getting serious about becoming a pro. One of the best parts of playing poker is getting out into the real world, playing in person, meeting new people and going on crazy adventures. This is also the riskiest part of the game because it takes you away from your comfort zone, and leaves you playing without your safety net. The solid footing of any healthy lifestyle depends balance and control, and a thriving poker lifestyle is no exception. Set realistic goals and learn to govern yourself so that you’re always working towards achieving your goals without letting the other, more glamorous things hinder your success. 

Table strategy is great to know, but you'll also need to understand how to manage yourself off the table to maximize your edge - and here’s where things get personal. I invite you to keep up-to date on my life and times as a poker player, and learn from my experiences so that you can learn from my triumphs and avoid my mistakes.  Any pro poker player will tell you your  mind is your most powerful weapon. Sharpen it, nurture it, rest it and give it peace so you can take to the tables - and your life - with killer confidence. 

Empowerment Exercise #2: Being Accountable

Evan Jarvis

If you’ve been with me up to this point in our journey to empowerment, you’ll have already navigated the five levels of awareness and should have identified what, exactly, it is you’re looking to improve in your life, and by extension, at the tables. 

Now we’re going to talk about learning to be accountable of and for our actions, and our reactions. You’d think that after a few decades on this planet we’d understand enough about ourselves to have a solid handle on how we feel – really feel – about certain things, but the truth is, the things we’re often most clueless about are things that relate directly to ourselves. 

This is where learning to be accountable will help. 

The exercise is easy. If you don’t already have a journal or a poker journal, I want you to get one. Hell, staple some pages together and make one. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to be cohesive.

Once you have your journal, I want you to take notes throughout your day about what you do, and how you feel after you’ve done it. Start as soon as you get up and jot down a few notes on how you feel. Feel lousy? Consider the quality and duration of your sleep.

Write down what you eat for your meals and snacks. How do you feel after eating certain foods? Likewise, write down how you feel after doing certain activities, like exercising, washing the dishes, getting a hair cut – whatever. 

Fear not, undertaking this exercise doesn’t condemn you to a life of endless chronicling of your every move. In fact, you don’t need to write about everything you do – I know that’s impossible. Just keep your journal on you and write when you can.  You don’t even need to journal for long. As little as a week or two can do the trick. 

Connect the Dots

Once you’ve been journaling for a bit, you’ll start to see patterns arise. You’ll see that you’re constantly sluggish after eating or drinking certain things, or perhaps if you stay up past 10pm you’re distracted the next day. Maybe a 20 minute power nap makes you feel great, but anything longer makes you feel groggier than you did before the nap. Maybe you’ll see how interacting with certain people drains you and leads you to make poor decisions, and how other people energize you. The point is taking note and then noticing these things will give you a clear ‘how-to’ guide for your life. If you want to feel good and play optimally, you’ll know exactly what to do. If you want to feel like ass and waste your time and money at the tables, then you’ll know how to do that too. 

It’s that simple, and the pay-off is huge. Stay tuned for your next step toward empowerment.

Video version of the exercise below!

View the rest of the series!