Starring in this week’s Pokerography series is Results by Jamie Smart and how his principles on life can improve your poker game.
Intelligence thrives in poker. But intelligence doesn’t mean shit if you don’t understand how the world works, and this is where Jamie Smart steps in.
Influenced by the late Sydney Banks and the Three Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought, Smart helps you to discover your authentic self through his principles around Clarity, and it’s through this discovery that you find the ability to beat the game of poker was always inside of you.
The Number One Result
The book opens with this question: “What’s the number one result that you believe would have the biggest positive impact on your life?” – Jamie Smart
I answered it.
“To become financially free.”
Is your answer the same?
Or Is it winning a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet? Improving your technical skills? How about creating more emotional control?
I guarantee, whatever it is, it changes by the time you finish the book.
“You’re going to be introduced to your operating system of your innate capacities and instincts for creating meaningful results and living a life you love.” – Jamie Smart.
We have software (thought, mind, consciousness), and hardware (internal organs, blood, tissue). Most of us understand the need to take care of our hardware. But not enough of us understand the critical importance of spending the same time working on our software.
To improve as a poker player spend your time learning how the mind works and using Smart’s principles to understand how the world works.
Who’s in Control?
“Look around the environment you’re in. Your experience of everything you can see, hear, feel, taste and smell is being generated from within you, moment to moment. Even the things you can see and hear out there are experiences being generated from within you.” – Jamie Smart.
Think about this passage of text when you are sitting at the poker table. Past conditioning, and what Jamie calls contaminated thinking, has led you to believe so much is out of your control.
You can’t control any of them.
But the feelings that emerge are created by your thought.
“You’re always living in a THOUGHT-generated perceptual reality and experiencing it is an actual reality.” – Jamie Smart.
You want to fade an ace, and the deck has other ideas.
How often do these feelings affect your game?
You created them.
“The primary obstacle to you creating the results that matter to you is the outside-in misunderstanding; the mistaken belief that you’re feeling something other than THOUGHT in the moment. As you realise this for yourself, you’ll start experiencing the unexpected yet inevitable results of living more closely to alignment with the reality you’re built for.” – Jamie Smart.
In recent years, the number of professional poker players visiting Burning Man has increased substantially. They ride their bikes out to the edges of the Playa, drop some acid, and watch the sun rise.
Jamie reminds us that the sun doesn’t rise; it’s an optical illusion created by the rotation of the earth. How many of us believe our security comes from the money we earn, the strength of our relationships, and the four walls that contain all of our stuff?
The rulebook of life spawns the illusion. It’s the same with worry, anxiety, and insecurity – all created by external sources, not emerging from the darkness of your innards.
100% of our feelings come from our moment by moment thought. We don’t create all of our thoughts. Some of them just turn up, like wanting to put an axe through someone’s head, or sleeping with your sister, and some are of our volition, either way they create feeling.
“Feelings are impersonal. Our feelings don’t know anything about our past, our future, our circumstances, other people or what we’re like. Our feelings are a mechanism that gives feedback on one thing; the totality of our THOUGHT-generated perceptual reality in this moment.” – Jamie Smart.
You are not what you think; you are the one doing the thinking.
You have to have a high level of emotional intelligence to prosper in poker. Technical ability alone doesn’t cut the mustard.
How do we cultivate this pixie dust?
“The skills of emotional intelligence emerge naturally when there’s nothing getting in the way. And what gets in the way? Contaminated thinking arising from the outside-in misunderstanding.” – Jamie Smart.
If we can learn that all that exists is thought in the moment, and that thought comes from within us, and that thought creates our feelings, and our feelings lead to our actions – if we can learn that, then emotional intelligence has the freedom to thrive.
And what happens when emotional intelligence thrives?
The State of Flow
There is a reason a poker player cannot provide you with the right answer when you ask him how they felt when winning the tournament.
They don’t realise they have skipped from the imaginary world into the world of the real.
There would have been prolonged periods of play when they were experiencing a state of flow. Flow arrives when we shut out the contaminated outside-in thinking (the imaginary world) that dominates your thoughts, and you suddenly become your most authentic self.
“When we’re caught up in contaminated thinking, we look to others, trying to figure out what to do. When you’ve got nothing on your mind, your innate leadership qualities emerge effortlessly.” – Jamie Smart.
The ability to find and stay in the zone is what Jamie Smart calls Clarity, and it is your natural state of being.
“You – misunderstanding = Clarity, freedom, fun, spontaneity, fulfillment, love, happiness, results.” – Jamie Smart.
I have had the luxury of interviewing some of the greatest poker players in the world. The ones who I remember have presence.
“Presence is a rare quality, but when someone has it, other people sit up and take notice.” – Jamie Smart
Yes, take notice.
But don’t copy. Be you. When you learn to allow the outside-in contaminated thinking to pass through, without attachment, space appears in your mind, and you can focus like never before.
“We’re always living in the feeling of the principle of THOUGHT taking form, moment to moment. THOUGHT creates your perceptual reality and CONSCIOUSNESS gives you an experience of the totality of your THOUGHT-generated perceptual reality in the moment. Your whole experience, moment to moment, is powered by the principle of MIND.” – Jamie Smart.
For some, Results produces an Archimedes moment, an enlightenment of sorts. For others, there’s a need for further learning and understanding.
I have touched upon these principles before, reading Stoic Philosophy, Buddhism, and most recently: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). But there is something about the way, Jamie packages this learning that is different.
I still don’t understand his principles in the way I would like, but I continue to learn through his website, training courses and mentorship.
Since reading the book, I look at the world differently. I’m not trying as hard. I’m slowing down. I keep repeating ‘thought in the moment’ like a mantra. And it’s helping me to keep my cool, and the more I reflect on the principles, the more control I feel.
Something is emerging from me, like Neo, pulled out of the Matrix. It’s hard to explain, because I have never felt it before, but think LuckyChewy, and you get the picture.
And my new answer: “Learning more about Jamie Smart’s principles.”