The Lonely Journey

A poker player has to live by his decisions, even when he is losing.

In our professional life, we are also on our own with our decisions. No one will be there to sympathize with you, and the pain is yours alone.

@kieronl

🌻

Self Improvement

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Pick The Right Table

A good poker player chooses a table where he has a better chance to win. A group of casual players is better than a table of professional players.

In your career, you need to pick the right stream or the right company, where your skills are in demand, and your contribution will be valued.

A poker player learns many skills initially about different combinations of cards, and how to play a basic game. He keeps on improving by further calculating the other aspects of the game, which were not understood before.

Similarly, one needs to identify the basic skills for the job and then grow with experience, improving your dealings with people and situations.

A successful poker player constantly plays a high standard, and does not make impulsive decisions. A long-term discipline in a career path builds one's wealth, supported by one’s past success.

A single wrong decision can demolish one’s reputation and credibility.

Not risking in a poker game means slowly losing or bleeding away our stack. In our careers, we have to take risks, take the jump ahead, getting out of our comfort zones to succeed.

It’s not the end of the world if a poker player has a set of bad cards, as any bad situation can change with new cards and the skillful playing of the game. In the corporate world, good or bad situations change quickly. Being the weakest in the team does not mean you cannot reach to the top.

Good situations too can change rapidly, so we should not be taking our promotion, bonus, boss or our job for granted.

Life is a game of poker, and works best when not taken too seriously.

Your career should be something you enjoy doing. It is good to keep the eye on the ball while enjoying the game, playing in the right spirit.

Your past work culture, expectations and even your prior performance do not matter in the present moment.

In Poker, new outcomes, and surprises in the current keep happening in the game of cards, and the past cards dealt cannot influence that. What matters is how you act now.

A certain percentage of the winnings always go to the casino where the game of poker is being played. Similarly, your work has to ensure your employers goals are met, not just yours.

If the casino table is rigged or players are playing in tandem, there is a strong chance that you will lose.

In the case of the workplace, if you see extreme discrimination, politics harassment or bias, then there is no need to stay there.

The game of poker is unpredictable and the luck of the draw lands in our favor, out of the blue.

A successful entrepreneur sticks to his creation, limiting his losses and keeps on working tirelessly for that moment to arrive.

A poker player has to decide when to quit (fold) so that he can save his stack for the next game. When the odds are really low, and the cash is bleeding, he makes the decision to fail.

Similarly, in business, we have to know when we are wasting our energies and quit something that is draining our resources, pivot our business if required, or start from scratch on a new one.

A good poker player is not dependent on luck of the draw, and on the other player's mistakes to win. It’s about how you play.

Any investor knows that the business will do well not because it’s a great idea, but because there is something he sees in the businessman.

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RELATED IDEAS

People have a natural tendency to conflate the quality of a decision with the quality of its outcome. They're not the same thing. 

You can make a smart, rational choice but still get poor results. That doesn't mean you should have made a different choice; it simply means that other factors (such as luck) influenced the results.

You cannot control outcomes; you can only control your actions.

5

IDEAS

Maria Konnikova, in her soon to be published book The Biggest Bluff, tells us that Poker is a real game, closer to life as opposed to the modern games which try to ‘game’ our brains’ and exploit its weaknesses.

Poker pushes us out of our comfort zones and illusions and puts us where life is, unpredictable, and always with fifty-fifty odds.

A poor understanding of good or bad luck can derail the decision making of bankers, judges, and athletes. Being aware of probability will prevent you from reading too much into random events, or 'spotting' trends when there are none.

In the current pandemic, where governments design policies based on limited data, we could all do with a better understanding of uncertainty and how to think about it under pressure.

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