It's good to be back on US soil after two months in Europe. I absolutely love everything about Europe, but nearing the end of my journey I started to get exhausted from the travel. It's always good to get back home and take a short break to regroup and get the mind and body feeling good again.
For the past week of being home, I have been considering my exit from poker. Each day I come up with something new. But today I am questioning why I am questioning my future. I've determined that there is something about being in my hometown that makes me feel like I have to do what everyone is doing (get a "real" job, buy a house, find a wife, have kids, ect...).
However, the past couple of days I have the fire lit under me again. I'm ready to compete, and put all my hard work to the test. Poker has been the one thing over the past 15 years that I haven't given up. I have spent thousands of hours studying this game and thousands of hours playing this game. Constantly, I am learning and thinking about how I can play hands/spots better and exploit my opponents.
The passion is still there. I absolutely love poker. I still strive to be the best. I still love the competition.
People laughed behind my back when they found out that I was playing poker for a living. They will never understand. I hope they continue to doubt me, because it's one of the main reasons I am able to succeeded. I find it sad that people waste their energy rooting against me and waiting for me to fail instead of finding ways to change their life for the better, but to each their own. Most people have given up on their dream, I have not.
If I come off a bit arrogant sometimes, it's because I worked really hard for this. I typically put in 80 hours a week in some form, just to make sure I have enough money for the month to pay the bills. I didn't have natural talent like so many of the successful poker players. I had to work really hard for this. I am proud of my success and will continue to strive for more.
My goals haven't change even though my surroundings are trying to talk me into change. I will be a champion. I will win World Series of Poker Rings. I will win a major tournament. I will continue to travel to the world while fulfilling my dream. But even if I don't get those things, I will never give up on this dream!
You can not stop me!
If you are unhappy with your current situation, here are a few things I hope will help.
Don't let the people closet to you scare you away from what you are doing. They don't understand what you are trying to accomplish and so often they try to talk you out of something because they themselves were never able to take a risk and even attempt to accomplish their goals.
Stay focused. This is what you want. There are going to be moments of pain. It will not be easy. You will not get to the end goal if you're distracted. You have to work on your goal everyday. If you truly want it, there is no reason to take a day off. Don't take baby steps, take leaps. But understand that even with taking leaps, this goal will take time. be prepared for the long haul
If the main fear for accomplishing your goal is the financial burden, find ways to simplify your life. Don't buy the $7 Starbucks everyday. Get rid of subscription services like Netflix (it's going to distract you from your goal anyways). Sell your vehicle. Live in a cheaper apartment/house or live free and travel around from different cheap AirBnb's. Move to a cheaper country. If you work digitally, you can live in places like Thailand for under $500 a month.
People will judge you. As soon as you start reaching for something that seems unobtainable to others, they will judge you. They will wait for you to fail. Use this as motivation and tell yourself, "I must succeed".
But Chris, It's easy for you to say...
Just stop. There is a way. It's easy to come up with excuses why you can't do something. That's what 99% of people do and that's why they get stuck working some job they hate with no life fulfillment. You are different. You're the 1% that will find a way.
Don't make it all about money. I hate the cliche, but it's true, money will not make you happy. You need to find something that you truly enjoy. If you make $20,000 a year from it or $200,000 a year from it, it shouldn't matter. Remember, this is what you want. The financial aspect is just the payoff for your passion.
Chris 'Professional Homeless Poker Player' Perkins