In the last few months, studying the mindset has become more important than ever. Lead by whys0serious, our members have started to learn more about their habits, their aggressivity and so much more.
We invited whys0serious to talk with us about all the work that he's been doing lately.
whys0serious: Hello and thank you for the invitation.
whys0serious: Mindset is a big part of poker and sports in general. If you think about areas like emotional control, motivation, discipline, attitude, focus, peak-performance, dealing with stress, finding optimal work-life balance - these are really important skills if you want to be not only a successful poker player but also ... a happy and a mentally healthy poker player.
You can find many examples in sports where some talented player reaches records on training but when it comes to competitions he cannot achieve the same result. And in poker is the same. I met many talented poker players, their strategy and hand reading skills were pretty high, but they were also losing a lot of money because of poor emotional control or they made low volume because of some fears or motivation problems. So, in some cases, mindset is even more important than strategic skills. But of course, it's a very individual matter.
whys0serious: There are two important variables in poker. First is quality. You can achieve that by constantly improving your skills. But strategic skill is nothing when you make a poor volume. Overall what makes money is quality multiplied by volume. And of course - because many players are their own bosses - it's a big trap. Because if you cannot manage your time wisely then it's very easy to get distracted (especially in today's world that 'attacks' us with different stimuli in many situations). If you postpone one time and a second time ... it strengthens your habit. What's more - very often it becomes a strategy of dealing with anxiety. So, every time you feel anxious, instead of facing your discomfort and start playing - you are looking for some distraction that will make you feel good. At this moment cycle closes, because when you finish ie. watching some movie - you realise that you have many things to do and it's even worse. So that's why I decided to make the first course about it. It's a very common problem today - not only in a poker world.
whys0serious: Yes I had. I was too perfectionist about my work. High standards and expectations were generating a lot of anxiety. In such situations, it's easy to get into procrastination habit, because it becomes a strategy of dealing with discomfort. I remember for example writing my master's thesis - it was very hard experience but that was the first time when I decided to change it.
whys0serious: Doing. It's a pretty high challenge to start doing what you previously postponed. It generates a lot of discomfort and still, you have to face it. But with some repeatable routine and not giving up (and forgiving myself some relapses) - I finally built some discipline and in consequence, my productivity has grown.
whys0serious: Meditation is the training of experiencing the present moment as it is. Jon Kabat-Zinn defines it as a: "[..]paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally." So, first of all, you train yourself in acceptance because you don't judge. Secondly - by observing your thoughts you learn that you don't have to believe in every single thought that appears in your mind. 'It's just a thought' you notice. And if you will learn that correlation between emotions and thought it's easier for you to 'detach' when you experience chaos in your mind. And the last thing is that you become more self-aware and it's easier to control your emotional state.
whys0serious: It's hard to evaluate such a big amount of players. For sure I see that the materials that I've made help the players. At the very beginning of my work in Smart Spin, I was receiving many similar tickets about very common issues. So far, my video productions touch the most common problems. This way I can focus on players with more difficult problems. I also give private coachings and here I can clearly see if players are improving their mindset. I did some surveys during that time and the amount of players that use warm-up routine, meditate or work on their mindset grows in time.
whys0serious: Well, for sure I can say that I'm not slowing down. This year I started my postgraduate studies (cognitive-behavioral therapy), so I constantly improve as a psychologist and therapist. In consequence, I have many things to share with the players. For sure they can expect courses about fear, financial intelligence, dealing with mood issues, perfectionism and a lot more.
whys0serious: I'm fine. Thanks. Lately I have a pretty good balance between work, improvement and rest. I'm happy in general.
whys0serious: When I wake up, I start my day with yoga/stretching excercises, meditation, shower and then I have breakfast during which I read or write some words in my journal. It all takes like 1h.
I work 5 days a week (3 days in the morning, 2 days in the evening - so I can enjoy the different times of the day).
One weekend per month I spend at a university in another city and in the other ones I cut myself off from the computer and work and I try to spend them actively. For example, at the beggining of December, I took 2 day hiking (alone) to get some small mental reset.
I spend my free time with my fiancée, I read books, I love swimming, sauna and this summer I fell in love with cycling. Once a week I work outside my flat, I go to some cafe and engage into a deep, creative work process. This is the time when I generate new ideas, create videos and improve my own work.
whys0serious: The paradox is that my discipline improved when I fixed my perfectionism problem. I was a big perfectionist in the past and because of that, my productivity was very low. Now I can be productive and creative because I don't add myself extra pressure. I rest properly, I have a 'chilled' attitude towards life and there is still some time for Netflix or video games sometimes, so don't think I do only 'productive' things.
whys0serious: Of course. Things like Netflix or other similar activities are often presented in bad light or meaning due to the fact that they are very often related to procrastination. But when you don't neglect your plans and goals, you keep a proper balance - it's totally ok to watch some tv series. I love ie. Dark or Stranger Things and I don't think it was wasted time to watch it.
Thank you very much for sharing, whys0serious!
We are looking forward to seeing the next mindset courses!