Develop That Gear
In past years, I have always done grandiose blog posts to welcome in the new year. I catalogued everything I’d done in the past 365 days, and I came up with a laundry list of expectations for the next 365 Earth rotations.
I now look back at that practice as wildly masturbatory. Saying you’re going to get X, Y, and Z done is like saying, "I want to win $1,000,000" at poker. It’s possible, but a bad run is also equally likely. X, Y, and Z might get done, or you could get hit by a bus. There’s a great deal beyond your control.
What you should focus on is the process.
"No one who rises before dawn 360 days a year fails to make his family rich." – Chinese proverb.
Now that’s a process-oriented goal. That’s something you can stick to as long as you have your health. I like that goal.
Let me share my process-oriented goal with you.
On my notebook for 2018 I wrote, under resolutions, "Develop. That. Gear."
What do I mean by that?
I recently watched the Netflix documentary about Jim Carrey. I was spellbound.
The film followed Jim Carrey as he worked as a method actor for a role. He was in overdrive for the entirety of the production cycle, and he drove the rest of the cast insane.
What I saw, however, was how a homeless Canadian teen rose to prominence in comedy, and eventually cashed a $10,000,000 check he wrote to himself when he was broke.
He developed that gear.
He went to a dark place where he pushed himself to deliver. His comedy always explored the limits, because he was able to regularly perform in a way no one else could.
He never stopped. He never quit. He wanted to bomb or burn the place down. There was no in between.
That man lived in THAT gear.
"Everybody has inside of them what it takes to become a champion. The question is: Can you access it?" -Sugar Ray Leonard
That’s what 2018 is about.
I ran away from home in high school. I started with next to nothing. I never deposited online.
From that point, I have made WPT and EPT final tables. I have won WCOOP and SCOOP events. I’ve published an
Amazon best selling book.
And to this day, I’m still convinced that I’m a slower learner than most of you.
The difference between myself and many of you is I had nothing to lose when I started. I just went out there and made mistakes. No one thought I had a chance anyway. If I failed, I was still going to be on my best friend’s couch, like when I started.
Through all of the mistakes I have learned this about accessing the champion within you:
Motivation doesn’t exist. Every morning I wake up all over again with zero confidence in myself. The only difference between myself and others is I know the pain of giving up is much worse than failing at my craft. I have never felt ready for any challenge I’ve faced in my life. I was always scared.
…but if you just start, the momentum will take you places.
You just can’t let yourself think about it. You have to go.
And once you start, you just have to keep going.
I’m the slowest learner I’ve ever met in poker. That’s not an exaggeration. Many of the concepts I teach in my private lessons took me tens of thousands of hours to understand. I watch some of my kids apply them perfectly after 3,000.
And they haven’t even heard my lecture on the topic yet.
But compared to everyone else on Earth I am a dynamite No Limit Hold’em player.
If you get a PhD it doesn’t say, "hey, it took him nine years to get this." If it takes you thousands of tournaments to get a positive ROI and 10,000+ more to get you a win, no one cares.
You just get the title. "Doctor." "Champion."
By the way, I did play thousands of MTTs before I had a positive ROI. In 2006. Back when money grew on trees in poker,
I couldn’t find a way to win.
It doesn’t matter how many mistakes you make as long as you stay engaged and moving. If you keep moving you’re still lapping the 99% of people who are on the couch.
No one ever changed the world because they wrote a bitching Facebook post. Your opinion means nothing. Anything other than action is meaningless.
Are you a poker player? Are you a writer? Are you a mother? Are you a good husband? Are you great at your day job?
None of these questions can be answered with words. They can only be answered with action.
All inaction is worthless unless it’s meant to be regenerating. But almost all action is right.
Try to maximize the efficacy of your time, but more importantly, stay moving.
You can only do one thing at a time. If you are currently doing one thing then, logically, you are tending to everything.
Stay in that moment. Stay aware. Keep answering your doubts with action. Stop thinking so much.
Stay in that gear.
Good luck to all of you.