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Views: 980
Date Posted: Mar. 31, 11:33am, 0 Comments
Sometimes I feel like the world attempts to pummel me with negativity.  On a daily basis.  I refuse to succumb.  I work at being happy.   I work at it.  And one of the key elements in successful struggle is my optimism. - JDW

This material comes from Ayo Olaniyan of Discovering Purpose.

The BBC website published a report Optimistic women ‘live longer’. This was based on a research carried out by a group of US scientists who studied 100,000 women to deduce pessimists had higher blood pressure and cholesterol; optimistic women had a 9% lower risk of developing heart disease and a 14% lower risk of dying from any cause after more than eight years of follow-up. [I'm guessing the numbers might be better for men! - JDW]

The subject of optimism affects every individual going/living through life’s struggles each day. There have been various studies carried out on optimism and while I have a few reservations on extreme optimism, one can’t deny the role optimism plays in enhancing your personal growth.


What is optimism?

Optimism is looking at a more favorable side of events and simply anticipating the best possible outcome in any situation.

Sir Winston Churchill states ‘A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.’ What do you see?

It’s also important to note that there are elements of hope expressed in optimism.

Rick Snyder states ‘hope is a process of goal-directed thoughts that reflects both the belief that one can find pathways to the goal and has motivation based on one’s perceived capabilities or thinking.’


In no particular order, here are 45 benefits of optimism:

  1. It gives you a reason for living.
  2. It reduces the level of stress experienced.
  3. Research shows that it increases longevity.
  4. It enables you to handle and put your emotions in check.
  5. It promotes happiness.
  6. It promotes self respect and integrity
  7. It enhances various coping skills developed in order to combat life’s struggles.
  8. It forges persistence which is an essential trait required for achieving success.
  9. It creates a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.
  10. It promotes healthy living.
  11. It creates a positive anticipation of the future.
  12. It increases your level of productivity.
  13. It allows you to deal with failure constructively.
  14. It allows you to develop the attribute of patience.
  15. It makes you proactive.
  16. It improves your physiological and psychological well being.
  17. It enables you to take a balanced approach to life by dealing with the constant negative thoughts which spring up.
  18. It increases the likelihood of effective problem solving.
  19. It gives you peace of mind.
  20. It enables you to generate an alternative, more hopeful explanation for various difficulties experienced.
  21. It ensures you believe in your dream.
  22. It creates a positive attitude.
  23. It increases your tolerance levels because it lowers the risk of you being irritated by little things.
  24. It allows you to develop the habit of being thankful.
  25. It increases your level of motivation.
  26. It builds successful careers by promoting productivity.
  27. It promotes laughter.
  28. It doesn’t give any room for self denial.
  29. It welcomes any form of constructive change.
  30. It creates positive expectations.
  31. It sets your mood for the day.
  32. It promotes positive relationships.
  33. It builds resilience in the face of adversity.
  34. It promotes self confidence and boosts self esteem.
  35. It ensures you are focused.
  36. It promotes bonding between individuals.
  37. It reduces the level of your frustrations and worries.
  38. It promotes forgiveness.
  39. It enhances effective communication.
  40. It increases your spiritual development and awakening.
  41. It deals with your limiting beliefs which try to keep you from using your abilities.
  42. It gives room for self expression.
  43. It increases your mental flexibility.
  44. It is therapeutic.
  45. It improves your social life.

There are several ways optimism can be developed. They are as follows:

  • Have realistic goals and expectations.
  • Always remember you are human with a lot of imperfections.
  • Acknowledge past events, but endeavor to manage the present with a view to creating a brighter future.
  • Don’t fall into the trap of feeling hopeless.
  • Be true to yourself.
  • Network with people who show optimism in their daily lives.
  • Believe in your dreams.

Once again, the aim of this post is to remind you of the benefits of optimism.

(You have a choice.  I choose optimism. - JDW)

Views: 957
Date Posted: Mar. 24, 2:22pm, 0 Comments

Champions Are Driven By Emotional Motivators


“When a performer begins to experience physical or emotional pain in the heat of the battle, the brain, whose primary role is self preservation, asks the question: ‘Why must I suffer?’ The champion will answer the question with the vision they have carefully constructed, and they will continue to fight. Since the masses lack this mental clarity and have no reason to suffer, they quit as soon as the pain kicks in. Developing a world-class vision is the secret to world-class motivation.”  – Steve Siebold


The masses are primarily motivated by extrinsic motivators, such as material possessions and money. The world class is motivated intrinsically, by their dreams, desires and passions. External motivation is short lived, while internal motivation is nearly impossible to exhaust until the goal is achieved. The rah-rah, jump-up-and-down motivational pep talks are fun and temporarily motivating, yet lack the real fire emotional motivators generate. World-class leaders know the secret to motivating themselves and others is discovering what they will fight for when the going gets tough. The great ones move from logic-based motivators to emotion-based motivators. They know the key to finding the true power of the individual lies in the deep recesses of the psyche.


The process great leaders and coaches use is tedious, time consuming, and simple: ask questions, and don’t stop until you have landed on the emotional hot buttons. World-class coaches keep digging until they hit the vein of gold – when the performer begins answering in terms of how they feel, as opposed to what they think. When they hit the vein of gold, they continue to probe until the performer reaches an emotional high point, known in performance circles as the white moment. The white moment is the strongest emotional driver of a performer. Coaches use emotional drivers to motivate and inspire performers to push far beyond their threshold of pain, to accomplish feats that, without this level of motivation, would be impossible.


Action Step for Today: Ask these five critical thinking questions:
1) What am I willing to fight for?
2) What values do I hold dearest to my heart?
3) What values would I be willing to die for?
4) If I could achieve a single thing, what would make
all my hard work worth the struggle?
5) If I had thirty seconds left to live, what would I tell
my children are the three most important things I learned about how to live a happy life?

Your answers will tell you a lot about what drives you emotionally.


World-Class Resource: Read Authentic Happiness, by Martin Seligman, Ph.D.


The above - once again - by Steve Siebold.  If we study the greats and apply ourselves, we might surprise ourselves.  We will surely surprise others, particularly our opponents. - JDW

Views: 956
Date Posted: Mar. 22, 10:33am, 7 Comments

We've all heard that "derivatives" caused the financial system meltdown, but few understand what they are.
Read this and you'll fully understand them, and the concept of "too big to fail."

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit . She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed in a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).

Word gets around about Heidi's "drink now, pay later" marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi's bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Detroit .

By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages.  Consequently, Heidi's gross sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic Vice President at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets, and increases Heidi's borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert traders transform these customer loans into DrinkBonds, AlkiBonds and PukeBonds. These securities are then bundled and traded on international security markets. Naive investors don't really understand that the securities being sold to them as AAA secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics. Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation's leading brokerage houses.

One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi's bar. He so informs Heidi.

Heidi then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations, she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and the eleven employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, DrinkBonds, AlkiBonds and PukeBonds drop in price by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of Heidi's bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms' pension funds in the various bond securities. They find they are now faced with not only having to write off her bad debt but also with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. Her wine supplier claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, and her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant, lays off 150 workers, and converts their full output to "Bud Light."

Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion dollar, no-strings-attached cash infusion from their cronies in Government. The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who have never been in Heidi's bar.

So the drinkers are screwed, Heidi is screwed, her suppliers are screwed, her neighbors are screwed -- but the banks that caused the whole mess (and are now "too big to fail") are bailed out by the ever-more-screwed taxpayers.

Now do you understand how it all works? - Author Unknown

Views: 621
Date Posted: Mar. 18, 12:15pm, 0 Comments


One more from Steve Siebold....

The Great Ones Separate Truth From Fact


“We have to live today by what truth we can get today and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood.” – William James, 1842-1910, author


While average performers tend to believe truth and fact are the same, the world class knows there is a difference. Champions use their critical thinking skills to make a clear distinction between truth and fact. Fact is reality. Truth is our perception of reality, and perceptions are subjective.


One person perceives giving to charity as an expense, while another perceives it as an investment in someone else’s life. The fact is that many people give to charity; whether it’s an expense or an investment is a perception. Which line of thinking represents truth? Both. In the minds of individuals, perception equals truth. This subtle distinction allows the great ones to understand themselves and others at a higher level of awareness. The masses tend to operate from truth, which is often a distorted version of facts. Champions make decisions based on facts, not feelings.


The world class also uses this understanding of truth and fact in their mental programming. The great ones know the conscious mind functions most effectively on fact, while the subconscious can be programmed with truth. Since the subconscious is unable to make the distinction between fact and truth, champions program their subconscious minds to believe their visions, dreams and ideas as truths. Because the subconscious doesn’t have the ability to reject an idea, it accepts it as truth and begins to create behaviors that are congruent with this new “truth.” The conscious mind knows this “truth” is not fact, and tension begins to build between the conscious and subconscious, creating cognitive dissonance. As a result, the two go to work to create congruency. The great ones are not only aware of the difference between truth and fact, but they also know how to use them both to get what they want.

Action Step for Today: Write down 10 things you know are fact, and rethink each by asking, “Is this really a fact, or a truth I’ve created from my own or others’ perceptions?” For example: is it a fact that the sky is blue? Is it a fact that you are a nice person? Is it a fact that the faithful will be rewarded in heaven? You’ll see how often we operate from truth, rather than fact.

Views: 559
Date Posted: Mar. 12, 12:39pm, 1 Comment

 This From Steve Siebold....


Champions Have An Immense Capacity
For Sustained Concentration

“Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all of your energies on a limited set of targets.”

– Nido Qubein, speaker, author, philanthropist

Champions are famous for concentrating their energy and efforts on what they want and blocking out anything or anyone who threatens that focus. While average people haphazardly pursue loosely defined goals, champions concentrate on the attainment of a singular purpose with an intensity that borders on obsession. World-class performers invest an inordinate amount of time and energy in selecting their major goals. While the masses consider making changes every New Year’s Eve, the goal setting and planning process is an everyday habit of champions. When the goals are set, champions put mental blinders on and move forward with dogged persistence and ferocious tenacity.


World-class performers create such an intense level of concentration to overcome challenges and achieve goals that it is the last thing they think about before they fall asleep, and the first thing that hits them when they wake up. The great ones dream about their goals so frequently that they often keep pen and paper on the nightstand so they can quickly record any ideas or solutions that come to them in the middle of the night. While average people see world-class performers’ successes as a matter of intelligence or luck, champions know sustained concentration of thought and action is usually the true key to their success.

Action Step for Today: Write down the single most important goal you want to achieve in the next twelve months and make a commitment to concentrate on achieving it – no matter what it takes.

World-Class Resource: Read Focal Point, by Brian Tracy. This book is required reading for all Mental Toughness University clients in corporate America.

Views: 653
Date Posted: Mar. 9, 6:49pm, 0 Comments

 This from Steve Siebold.    

 The World Class Operates From Objective Reality


“Amateur performers operate from delusion, pros operate from objective reality. The great ones’ habits, actions, and behaviors are totally congruent with the size and scope of their ultimate vision. That’s why we call them champions.”

– Steve Siebold

In 20 years of competing, coaching and working with performers from various fields, I’ve discovered most amateurs suffer from mild to severe delusion in relation to their efforts and competencies. In other words, most people delude themselves into thinking they are working harder then they are, and that they are more competent than they actually are. Of the five major levels of conscious awareness, (poverty, working, middle, upper, and world) my experience has been that performers at the middle-class levels of consciousness suffer the grandest delusions. The poverty level is barely surviving and living in a very harsh set of circumstances. The working class is punching a mental time clock and counting the days until retirement. They’re usually not expecting much, and no one around them expects much, either. They are typically not concerned about climbing any higher. It’s the middle class that is most incongruent with reality. They are operating at a high enough level to understand that higher levels exist. Although they don’t expect to get there, the thought crosses their minds from time to time. Because of their low expectations, their actions are incongruent with their desires. In other words, they want to live the life of the world class, but are unwilling to pay the price. Since this reality is too harsh to bear, they delude themselves into thinking they are doing everything in their power to get ahead. Of course, they’re not. They’ll tell you they’re putting in far more time than they are. They’ll swear they are thinking about their vision all the time, but they’re not. The world class is brutally honest with themselves, and they tend to look reality in the face. They err on the side of over-practicing and over-preparing. Champions know that, to ascend to the top, you must first be operating from a mindset of objective reality. Self-deception and delusion have no place in the professional performer’s consciousness.

Action Step for Today: Make a commitment to check delusion at the door. Be honest and ask this critical thinking question: “Are my habits, actions and behaviors congruent with the vision I have for my life?”

World-Class Resource: Get a copy of Leadership and Self-Deception, by The Arbinger Institute. This book made me reexamine my entire belief system. It’s a must-have for your mental toughness library.

More secrets to follow. - JDW

Views: 381
Date Posted: Mar. 5, 8:30am, 0 Comments

“I woke up early today, excited over all I get to

do before the clock strikes midnight. I have

responsibilities to fulfill today. I am important.

My job is to choose what kind of day I am

going to have.


Today I can complain because the weather is

rainy, or I can be thankful that the grass is

getting watered for free.

Today I can feel sad that I don’t have more

money, or I can be glad that my finances

encourage me to plan my purchases wisely

and guide me away from waste.


Today I can grumble about my health, or I can

rejoice that I am alive.

Today I can lament over all that my parents

didn’t give me when I was growing up, or I can

feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.

Today I can cry because roses have thorns, or

I can celebrate that the thorns have roses.

Today I can mourn my lack of friends, or I can

excitedly embark upon a quest to discover

new relationships.


Today I can whine because I have to go to

work, or I can shout for joy because I have a

job to do.

Today I can complain because I have to go to

school, or I can eagerly open my mind and fill

it with rich new tidbits of knowledge.

Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have

to do housework, or I can feel honored

because God has provided shelter for my

mind, body, and soul.


Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be

shaped. And here I am, the sculptor who gets

to do the shaping. What today will be like is

up to me. I get to choose what kind of day I

will have

Have a GREAT DAY . . . unless you have

other plans.”      -  

Author Unknown

Views: 403
Date Posted: Mar. 2, 2:48pm, 1 Comment
You need to be spending some time studying away from the table.  Especially if you want to adapt to the ever improving competition.  Even freerollers can afford top notch education.
For example....
This is a 41-minute intro to multi-table SNGs by a two-time WPT champ.
The Deuce Plays with Bart Hanson: DeucesCracked offers 58 podcasts, which are both entertaining and informativeThere are four episodes with Tommy Angelo, a particular favorite of mine.
StoxPoker offers 14 podcasts, including two with Dusty "Leatherass" Schmidt.  Another favorite.
CardPlayer's monthly newsletter typically includes a couple of free training videos from PokerSavvy.
Poker Professional Andrew "Foucault" Brokos reviews some of the biggest pots he played last month, and breaks down his thought process in each spot. Listen to how a high stakes player analyzes a poker hand - and learn a few things to help your own game!  (31 minutes long.)
There are perhaps two dozen training sites today.  Many of them offer free videos.  Some samples are on PokerCurious - just go to training site reviews.
By all means, check out the podcasts.  The point is there are plenty of opportunities to garner some expert advice...for free.
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