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Views: 510
Date Posted: Jun. 29, 12:15pm, 0 Comments
Decades ago, I had the opportunity to sit with a teacher named Patrick O'Hara of The Growing Place.  What he had to say made a lot of sense then...makes even more sense to me today.
 
People are very much alike, even if no two are quite the same.  "We are very, very simple, but we're very subtle.... we are each all mankind as much as one drop of seawater is the ocean."
 
Patrick believed we can be our own teachers.  "You must understand you are literally the creator of yourself.  Thought directs energy.  Start to think of yourself as an energy pattern." 
And then start to increase the beneficial energy in your life, while you decrease the negative. 
You start by doing nothing. 
"The first cause of all things is being still," Patrick pointed out.  In other words, get a grip.  He suggested meditation.  I know, I know. 
To be honest, I suggest a long shower or a long walk.  You have to be able to see what you're looking at, so you can act, instead of react.
The stillness, achieved daily, will present you with the opportunity to see what you've become. 
And to see how your life might be transformed when you accept the responsibility of creating it.
 
Patrick O'Hara had apparently spent countless hours in contemplation and thought he had some answers.  He shared some with me, and so I will share some here. 
You will have to provide your own questions.
 
You have to give up to gain.
You cannot have an emotional feeling without a physical reaction.
When you love, you make yourself whole. 
Your power is in your softness, and your softness is in knowing who you are.
It's not enough to say "There's got to be something better."  You have to follow up with "And I want it."
The way to make change is by example.
 
Forget what you want to get away from.  Take aim at where you want to be and go for that.  Keep moving.  Keep your goal out there in front of you.
Reality is never the way it seems to be.
Finding a spotless clean restroom on a cross-country drive is a spiritual experience.
Man's only problem is the refusal to accept his own greatness with humility.
If you're doing what you're supposed to be doing, things will work out.  Believe this.
You don't have the slightest idea what you can do.  So, why lack self-confidence?
 
You must see life the way it is, so you can laugh your way through it.
It's the space between the notes that makes the piece. 
What you believe is what you create. 
You have to let go in order to get somewhere new.  You have to make the cycle linear.
 
If it's no fun, you're not doing it right.  -   JDW
Views: 529
Date Posted: Jun. 20, 7:06pm, 2 Comments
I took my 150-pound Caucasian Ovcharka to the vet's yesterday.  For his annual physical.  He is an amazing creature. 
My dog, not the vet.
Draws a crowd, a regular canine celebrity wherever he goes.
"doodahs_family-6x.jpg"
                                           WIFE AND POMERANIAN ACTUAL SIZE.
We are asked to wait in a small examining room.  So, we waited.
Two young women came in, both wearing smocks covered with cartoons of cuddly little animals .  Both women about the same size as Hagrid.  Maybe smaller.
Without much preamble, one put her arms around him and hugged him securely.
There's a sign in every vet's office: For Your Safety, Let Our Staff Restrain Your Animal.
For my safety?  Ha!  That always gives me a chuckle.  I can't restrain this animal and he loves me. 
Why do you think strangers can get it done? 
Anyway, I held his huge head, just in case.  I have measured his teeth, in excess of 3/4th of an inch long.
The other woman stuck a needle in the big dog's leg.
No problem, except no blood came out.  So, she got another needle.
Problem.  If you are going to stick Hagrid, let's just say, you are not going to get a lot of chances.
Hagrid has a very low "Don't Mess With Me" quotient.
Exit quickly the two young women, frightened by the deep, ominous growling.
Like rumbling thunder, heavy on the bass.
 
Enter the vet and his senior aide.
I have a room full of chemicals, the vet tells me.
A dart gun from the doorway would be my suggestion, I offer.
I come to this particular professional because he understands large dogs; he owns large dogs himself.
He begins by speaking confidently and calmly to Hagrid.
He has a dominant personality, especially with strangers, the vet explains.  Both me and my dog, I note.
The doctor decided on local anesthesia, delicately administered.  Some sleight of hand was involved.
And then there was no problem.
 
Well, there was the bill.
 
Moral Of The Story? 
Understand the problem before you attack it. 
When you do atttack the problem, use the right team with the right tools. 
Oh, and it's better if you do it right the first time.
Views: 518
Date Posted: Jun. 17, 10:16am, 0 Comments
 
First, I read the sports section.  Talking about top performers, football coach Skip Holtz said this: "From my standpoint, it's knowing what it takes to get to that level.  It's not all about talent.  The ones that make it at that level are the ones that have talent, that have character and work habits and what it takes to get there.
    "If you have talent, you're a flash-in-the-pan success.  To be able to have the stability and longevity is all about the morals and work habits and the values, what it takes to be the type of person, student and player that you want to be."
    Which got me thinking.
 
Then, I came across an article in the business section entitled 'Stretch Your Workers' by Joyce E.A. Russell.  Which got me thinking about how to improve my poker business.
 
Poker players are their own workers, their own employees.  It is imperative they learn to manage themselves.  So, what is your role as manager?
 
If you manage people, Ms. Russell tells us, your primary goal is to keep your employees engaged and productive.  Obviously, an engaged poker player will be more productive.  The goal then is to keep your employee - yourself - more engaged.  How?  You become more engaged by finding opportunities to develop your talents more fully.
 
Ms. Russell suggests creating development opportunities to push employees out of their comfort level.   These 'stretch' assignments require employees - that means you - to learn new skills.  The significant challenges become motivators leading to personal development.  The path is basically exploration, followed by discovery, then growth.  Rinse and repeat.
 
So, what is your role as a manager? 
 
ASSESS ASSIGNMENTS.  You begin by assessing the degree of challenge offered by your current assignment.  If you have become bored with NLH, perhaps it is time to explore PLO.  If you are currently playing two tables, you can try playing four.  If you are playing four tables, perhaps you could play just one table at 3x the stakes.  The key is to examine your situation and think about how your game today is contributing to your personal development.  Is it?  In today's increasingly difficult poker environment, if most of us can merely maintain our current level of success, we're not doing too badly.
 
OPEN DOORS.  Once you know where you are, go somewhere new.  But visit there briefly.  Take a trip to another scene.  Heck, try a different site or....  Whatever, but challenge yourself. 
 Do something - for a short time - which makes you uncomfortable.  Rush Poker might be just what you need in small doses.  Maybe cash games with deuce-seven.  Look for the complex, then solve that puzzle.
 
GIVE FEEDBACK.  Having stretched yourself, measure the results.  Measure quantitatively and qualitatively.  Measure not only your wins and losses but also how you felt as you tried to reach a new level.  An excellent tool is writing.  Writing is difficult for many of us, but it is exactly the difficulties which allow the greatest opportunity for growth.  Put your thoughts down and you enhance your understanding.
 
NURTURE LEARNING.  Sweat some players you respect.  Read another poker book.  Study a non-poker book which can help your game. (Thick Face, Black Heart by Chin-Ning Chu is currently sitting next to my recliner.)  Join a poker training web site.
 
MAKE IT INTERESTING.  Give yourself a prize.  Reward yourself for the effort.  In truth, you want the journey to be its own reward, but we all enjoy grabbing the brass ring.
 
MENTORING.  Avoid isolation.  Find somebody you can talk to.  About poker.  About life.  After all, life is a metaphor for poker.  And the better person you are, the better poker player you will be.
 
 
"Not all individuals learn equally well from challenging assignments," Russell notes, "and some resist or avoid new opportunities."  But those who seek out developmental feedback and who are motivated to build competence will grow and succeed.
 
To improve, it is not enough to change your game, you must change the way you approach the game.  Come at it from a different angle and you will get a new perspective. 
And a new perspective is another edge.
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