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I am obsessed with failure, ironically I want to write a motivational book on the topic, the idea being simple that failure is a constant and success is rare. Most motivational books do not prepare you for failure, the theme is typically similar in most of them, if failure is mentioned just knock the dirt off and success, success, success will come a knockin at your door. Which everyone knows is a crock, mostly when you read those type of books (I read a lot of them) you are looking for a nugget or two. One thing I can not figure out is if all people respond to a fear of failure? Certainly fear of failure can be a huge motivator. If you are drowning fear of failure is devastating so when death is the lever it is pretty obvious people will get motivated to learn to swim or stay out of the water.
If you have not figured it out yet poker has a lot of failure attached to it, especially as you move up in stakes. I always love it when people say ?I think my game is suited for higher limits? and what exactly would you be basing that on? Success at anything can happen once but continued success at anything requires persistence, intelligence and training. Poker is no different, if you are staying status quo you are failing, even if you are winning. That can also be the tough part, because you are not totally failing it occasionally gives you the feeling that you are succeeding, it is also hard to judge, if you judged success by making a profit then a lot of people are successful but I think I could make a strong argument they are failing.
So I would define failure in poker as not seeking better and more informed answers to how you should play the game. That is why fear of failure is not a powerful motivator when it comes to poker unless you play poker exclusively and sometimes at that point fear of failure can actually harm your game. Simply put making a profit or even losing are not in and of themselves a determinant whether you are succeeding or failing.
Now here is the tough part about what I am saying, books will only take you so far and training schools can maybe get you a bit further but poker is about trial and error. Once I went to a seminar, the cost was $10,000 for four days worth of training, at that time it seemed ridiculous but to this day I have not gone to a seminar that was more valuable in my life than that one (the organizer was a gentlemen by the name of Todd Duncan and the topic was mortgages). Poker does not really have that, and really neither did mortgages, Todd?s seminar got me to a certain point but knocking down the hard doors I had to figure out by myself. In fact, I do not think I reached my potential with mortgages though by most people?s standards I was a big success. By the time I really was starting to catch a good groove the market changed.
That is what is happening in poker right now, so that is why I am writing this article. Games are tougher, redefining success is something smart people do when markets go south. Do not fret though, markets have a way of changing back into your favor at some future point and at that point you will be very happy that you continued training and avoided failing by my definition.
The key points of this article are: 1. To be a success at something you have to continue to try and keep learning. 2. Winning and Losing is not the best way to determine whether or not you are failing. In poker everyone?s goals are different. 3. Invest in training and read source material but at some point you are on your own and it will be those moments where you will find your best attributes, assuming of course you are willing to fail and make mistakes along the way. If Phil Ivey would sell his inner most secrets you could not afford the cost. 4. Your biggest investment you will ever make will be in experience.
If you have not figured it out yet poker has a lot of failure attached to it