"You don't make smart bets when you're worried about the money." The wisdom of my friend Dorian, a professional poker player, had me reaching for a pen to jot down his words, and excited to blog about them.
I'm not much of a gambler, but this comment really resonated with me. Dorian and I talked about a lot of things in yesterday's three-hour conversation, none of them poker-related, and yet this quote applied to every single one of them. Career goals, relationship decisions, control vs. letting go.
My friend mentioned that his playing has suffered recently, and he believes the issue is holistic. Stress in other parts of his life is cramping his style and crowding his mind.
Athletes understand this. The game is more mental than physical, they'll tell you. And they have sports psychologists to work through it.
I asked Dorian how he's approaching his poker quandary. One friend suggested he "play through it," while another thought he should walk away. Dorian is a textbook Taurus -- he doesn't "walk away." But, also like a Taurus, his thinking is very practical and makes perfect sense: Do what you can afford.
If you can afford to "play through it," to keep going until you get your groove back, have at it. You will lose a lot of money along the way, but so what? You can afford it; you're still in the game; and you may work your way back into the right mental space.
Alternatively, you can call a Time Out. Pause. Breathe. Stretch. Collect yourself. Resume.
my coach suggested I put a few major decisions on hold because I am in a
period of significant transition. Making big calls in a cloud
of angst and uncertainty is generally not a good idea. And frankly, I couldn't afford the negative consequences. (Great advice for an impulsive control freaks... like me!)
"Playing through it" is a celebrated approach, but let's not underestimate the well-timed Time Out. It's a play (not a fold), and it can be a game-changer.