Poker: Just another metaphor for life

October 1, 2008 at 2:26 pm Leave a comment

My boyfriend has been teaching me poker. I’m usually pretty terrible at cards, and it can take me a while to catch on to what’s going on. I tried to learn last year, and failed miserably. However, since my boyfriend has the patience of a saint, he’s trying again, god bless him.

This time round, I’m catching on faster. I’m actually noticing the connections between the cards, and even – just wait for it – I’m even winning! But I noticed one thing very, very quickly about the way I played. I am incredibly cautious, even when I know he couldn’t possibly beat my hand, or the odds at least were very unlikely. Do you know how I was playing? I was playing to not lose.

There’s a big difference between playing to not lose, and playing to win. If you’re playing to not lose, you’re making every single decision based on the worst outcome that could possibly happen – losing the hand and all of your money. So you’re just trying to avoid something, that in reality might not even happen. My boyfriend told me to “have faith in the cards” and I sat there thinking that poker really was a metaphor for my whole life.

I make business decisions from an attitude of “Well if I invest in myself and it fails miserably, then I’ll lose all my money, and I’ll end up destitute on the street.” I mean, whoaa. Anyone else think that’s a little extreme? Except the crazy thing is, that’s how most of us make decisions. We don’t take risks, even risks that are probably a pretty safe bet. We never grow. We never just “trust the cards”. We just sit in fear, and stagnate in our little pools of “safety”.

The more I thought about it, the more I upset myself, because all I ever live in is fear. So I’ve made a decision to change, little step by little step. I will start taking risks, and I’ll develop my killer instinct.

And hey, maybe I’ll even win some poker while I’m at it.

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Entry filed under: Fear. Tags: , , .

Let’s give this another go. Meaningful action and expansion.

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