Motivational videos became very popular in recent years and gained huge viewership on YouTube. Many people enjoy watching this type of content and claim that it helps them get motivated. Can you as a poker player also benefit from motivational videos? They certainly seem very intense and it's hard not to get at least a little bit excited while watching them.
Listening to an inspired speaker while watching examples of tremendous mental or physical effort accompanied by an atmospheric ambient track can really get the endorphins flowing and help you get pumped for your next poker session. Does this sound like something you should incorporate into your routine and are there any costs associated with that? Can you rely on YouTube videos when it comes to your motivation?
Perfection vs Progress
It's a long grueling journey for most people and a large number of those who try will never get there. The 99.9999th percentile can't expand on demand no matter how many hours of sleep you're willing to give up, and since sleep is a vital part of any healthy schedule it might be a good idea not to give up any if you want to be included in that 99.9999th percentile of poker players some day.
If your goal was to become a winner at NL100 you wouldn't be satisfied until you took those steps. Unfortunately, our brains are really easy to trick and we can substitute our own effort with the images of other people's intense work. We get the benefits of feeling good about ourselves without doing the work and, therefore, we're losing the chance of ever reaching our goal.
We quickly learned that it's impossible to always be like those people in our favorite video so there's no point in even trying. Since you're losing way too much money in the small blind at NL20 what chance do you have of ever successfully defending your blinds against. NL200 players. You overslept and missed the morning session review, your day is already ruined so you might as well binge on a Netflix show. You're getting trapped in this belief that everything has to be perfect and the fact that your schedule isn't - paralyzes you.
Success is often a sum of small imperfect tasks performed over a long period of time. Decent plan paired with good execution is far better than the perfect plan executed poorly.
“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.” Frederick Matthias AlexanderYou can't become a successful poker player in one desperate push, you can't instantly manifest your sheer force of will and use it to turn from NL10 into a NL200 player overnight. Dreams don't become reality just because we want that to happen. Otherwise, we'd all be living in a dream world. Every long journey should be taken one step at a time and if you try to sprint through it, you might get injured really fast. Perfection is elusive and hard to obtain, but progress is accessible to everyone. Don't try to focus on the impossible task of putting the maximum effort into every action. Instead, focus on small, regular improvements and success will come.
Extrinsic motivation vs. Intrinsic motivation
Another study (this time courtesy of Princeton University) concluded that even though money can in fact "buy happiness" we're hitting some serious diminishing returns as soon as our income reaches 75 000$ per year. Most of us probably still have something to do in the money department, but some serious regulars already earn 75k per year if not more. Does that mean they have already achieved "success" and they have nowhere to go? What about micro stakes players that aren't even close to 75 000$ per year? Should they focus on money like motivational YouTube videos seem to suggest?
Another important source of motivation is mastery. Top poker players in the world make much, much more than 75 000$ per year, and yet they still have this internal desire to stay on top of the game. This desire isn't exclusive to the top pros either. Becoming one of the best NL10 regs in your poker room's player-pool can also be immensely satisfying. By trying to become the best poker player you can possibly be you might find joy in simple tasks like daily hand reviews just because they put you one step closer to reaching that goal.
Other Top Recommended ContentIf you enjoyed reading this article, take a look at some of our other articles on poker mental game and planning...
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