Recently, I came across an article by Patrick Lencioni in which he applied ten rules for business success to improving one's family life.
Speaking personally, the optimal poker experience cannot exist without a supportive personal environment.
Victory is best shared, while defeat is a bitter pill to be swallowed alone.
1. Identify your core values.
I strive to continually improve my skills. I will not cheat. I do not abuse other players.
2. Establish a single top priority.
If everything is important, then nothing is important. If you are going to accomplish one big goal as a poker player in the next few months, what will it be?
I am going to be far healthier. Lose weight, build muscle, increase flexibility, improve diet, drink less booze and drink more water.
3. Keep your values and top priority visible.
A Post-it note on your computer will work.
4. Don't make snap decisions.
There is no rush. Think your move through.
5. Understand your opportunity cost.
Taking one course of action typically precludes you from taking another action. The inability to pursue the other course is your opportunity cost.
How does this decision impact other possibilities?
6. Assess which balls bounce and which balls break.
Imagine you are a juggler. You have several balls in the air, some are glass, some are rubber. Which balls do you focus on catching??
7. Don't confuse long-term strategies and short-term tactics.
This is an excellent method of tilt control. You want to win the tournament, not prove to the guy on the left he can't outplay you.
8. Meet often to review your progress.
Study hand histories after every session, especially the losing ones.
9. Get out of the "office" from time to time.
If you grind without respite, you'll end up nothing but a nub. Take some time away from the tables.
10. Welcome productive conflict.
"When executives can't argue," Lencioni write, "they can't make good decision and commit to them."
Get involved in the numerous poker forums. Ignore the flamers - worthless on so many levels - and seek heated discussion with others anxious to learn.
Add any one of these "rules" to your game today and you will be a better player tommorow. - JDW