Friday, July 28, 2017

The magnificent art of losing

I have to make a confession; I am guilty of a victimless crime, or should I say of a self-inflicting crime.
From time to time I am guilty of randomly and unreasonable killing time, which is not as bad or rewarding as killing the annoying people in my life but much more feasible.

I know killing time is a bad idea even if my ego is screaming in the back of my head “Noooo… I have a perfect excuse for it…”  But I and my ego have a very special relationship. I like to say things just to piss him off. I learned that technique from my beloved wife BTW.

Sometimes ago I downloaded this poker app for my phone that allows me to play poker online with other people.
So like I said from time to time when I feel tired, bored and totally uninspired to do anything productive I join of a bunch of strangers for a fun or nasty – depending – game of poker.

For those that are not familiar with the game of poker and in particular with the no limit Holdem poker a short note: Poker is both a game of skill and luck.

The luck part is that you can have absolutely zero skill or knowledge of the game and still win by simply being dealt the winning hand.
The skill part is that no matter what your dealt hand is you can play it in such way as to maximize your winnings and minimize the loss

Because of this dual nature of the game, there are professional poker players that are making a career and a very good living by playing poker.

As a beginner, when I started playing my focus was merely on winning, just like my philosophy in real life.
So I studied all the books on winning at poker I could get my hands on, and I practiced every chance I had, just like my philosophy in real life.

After acquiring some skills I could see my winning average has improved but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t make any significant progress. It looked like the winnings and losses were about the same and I was making just a very small gain at my game, just like my experience in real life.

So I started looking at the winning players, the ones that somehow were getting ahead winning more and more every time.
What were they doing differently?
The conclusion was quite surprising. They were not better than me at winning but they were definitively better than me at losing.

So the game of poker is not as much about winning but about minimizing and managing your loss.
Once I realized that and start applying it to my game my winnings started to pile up and now I am a happy millionaire. Too bad is not real money L

So why are we talking about poker anyway?
Well, it turns out that real life is a little bit like a game of poker.
We are all dealt hands, you may call them opportunities or circumstances, it really doesn’t matter if you understand the principle.
Some of the hands are winning hands, some of the hands are losing hands, and most are so, so.

Like in the game of poker in real life we all want to win.
We have different strategies and knowledge on how to win and we try to do our damn best.
Some of us get lucky, like the weekly winners of the lottery becoming millionaires overnight.
Some of us hit hard times like losing a job or a business.
Most of us just do so, so.

When we look at the big winners, the very successful people in life and business we tend to attribute that success to luck. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs were lucky, being in the right place at the right time. Right?
But there were millions of people at that time and place, me included. And they did not make it.

I am looking at my life, not at my wins but at my loses. What would my life be now if I avoided all loses?
What would your life be if you knew how to minimize and manage your losses?

I wish somebody would have teach me how to lose many years ago.
But there is nobody teaching that, and nobody has ever wrote a book title “The magnificent art of losing”
Who in their right mind would buy it? Would you?

No comments: