Monday, November 4, 2013

Reference Groups and Happiness- A Blog Post I Almost Wrote

Bellarmine University baseball team 1999 photo
Luckily for Bellarmine University freshman girls, this sleazy douchebag was on the road every weekend after January.

I can not emphasize how much I loved this article, which is part of the November issue of the Two Plus Two Magazine.  It was something that I had actually been wanting to write for a long time, yet now it's unnecessary because Mr. Newall already did it, and plagiarized my thoughts almost word for word!

This article paraphrases a discussion that I have had many times with players, almost exclusively with students who have not yet had their first taste of what a poker pro would "success", as in, they are finally now a pro, not just a good amateur.  Most are under the impression that if they can list "Pro Poker Player" on their resume or make $x/hr they will find their happiness within this game.  As Mr. Newall will explain, this happiness is not static, but rather, more like a Sword of Damocles dangling over your head at all times.  

Before letting you get on with the article, I might perhaps better be able to explain the concept with a simple anecdote concerning a discussion I had a few years back with an older guy who is a friend of mine about playing college baseball.  As you may know by now, I did play 2 years at Bellarmine University with a small scholarship, which was a huge goal all throughout high school in Massachusetts, where scholarships for ball players were very rare unless you played Division I or went out of New England.  However, I underwent some technical and psychological hurdles in my performance en route to college which led to being a much inferior player than I had been previously, and thus, was in the bottom tier of talent amongst my new teammates.  My friend was in a similar situation, except that he didn't get a scholarship, he made his college team as a walk-on in tryouts.  So after chatting about our respective roles on our teams for a bit, I put a simple question to him that should bring this concept to light:

"Which would you prefer: getting cut from the team during tryouts or being the worst player on your team?", to which he said without a thought, "Getting cut."


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