Jared is not a fan of creating short-term fixes. While he admits there is a lot of great advice out there, if that advice does not translate to a fundamental change in the way you think about the game, learning, and yourself, then you will have to constantly come up with new tricks and solutions. Think of short term solutions as bandaids. Sure they can be good for a short period of time, but having to apply and reapply bandaids over and over again is not a viable long-term solution. To put it in Jared’s words, the difference between the two is like “the difference between pulling out a weed by its roots, and just pulling it out at the surface level only to have it grow back.” To read more, click here.
In the last few years I have spent a lot more time thinking about attention and focus, both as a mental game coach and as a parent. More and more my clients are coming to me with struggles related to the fact they, like many people, are addicted to their phones and social media.
Then I read articles like this which make me realize we could be in a national epidemic of tech addiction. Silicon Valley bosses prohibit their children from using the very tech that they produce, because they know what it is doing to all of us. This is becoming the smoking of our time, but thankfully we are waking up to it. If you want to see how deep the rabbit hole goes, check out this interview with Tristan Harris.
There are many problems with tech addiction, but one of the specific ones I deal with is something I call ‘Bloated Brain’, which I cover in The Mental Game of Poker 2. In both my books I make constant comparisons between the brain and your muscles, for good reason. Bloated Brain, however, is a bit more like your stomach. When we absorb too much information it has a similar impact on our brain as too much food does in our stomach. We feel slow, and tired, and we are unable to take any more information in. (Homer Simpson knows all about this)
If you are playing poker or trading you are already exposing yourself to thousands upon thousands of data points every day and using a lot of your cognitive resources. Then you have to spend your entire day avoiding thousands upon thousands of marketing messages wherever you go. Then there is email, your friends Facebook posts and tons and tons of clickbait. A lot of my clients try and relax with video games, but unfortunately, that’s just absorbing more data.
Now more than ever you need breaks from all that information. Go for walks with no tech, go to the gym, listen to calming music, take one day off from work and tech every week, meditate if that works for you. I also advise my clients to journal, it’s a good way to get that information out of your brain and help your brain to digest data. It really helps them clear their head and a side benefit is that they tend to sleep better.
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One of the most fun and fascinating aspects of my work has been having the opportunity to work with top performers in a variety of fields. I have worked with pro golfers, professional poker players, traders and esports professionals to name a few.
However different each profession is, there are far more similarities. For example, traders and poker players have to deal with more uncertainty than do players in esports and golf, but each one has their own version of ‘Tilt’ and related issues.
Another field that has popped up recently as well is sports betting. I now have clients who are professionals in horse betting and live sports betting, so it was cool to get a chance to do an interview in that space when I was on “The Business of Betting Podcast.” Naturally it’s aimed at that market, but I’m certain poker players and traders can get a ton out of it as well.
Some of you may not know, but for the past 5 years I have been the mental game coach of Team Liquid – the biggest esports organization in the world – and I was recently featured in one of their videos about the work I did to help the League of Legends team quality for the World Champions in Korea next month. It’s a cool look into my work with them and you’ll notice similar themes to things I talk about in poker, trading and golf.
Over the years I’ve done a lot of work with staking groups. I’ve seen the good and the bad. We only tend to hear about the bad side of staking when the deal itself becomes a topic of controversy, what we hear much less about is the way being staked can actually hurt your game.
It is true that staking can take the pressure off, but that is not necessarily a good thing. Last week I wrote a column for PokerStrategy.com which highlighted how staking can help and hurt your game, and what the best deals look like for both parties, from a mindset perspective. Click here to see the full column.