Poker Mindset #2 – Nobody owes you anything

Poker Mindset Series Overview

Nobody owes you anything & the flaws of the entitlement mentality

Do you think that…

- It’s the job of your country to provide everybody with a job
- The rich should pay more in taxes than people with average income (in %)
- You have a right to succeed in life
- Everybody should have a free education
- Everybody should get a guaranteed income and vacation, even if unemployed
- You have a right to be happy
- The world has favored others more than yourself and for this reason they owe you some sort of payback (if yes, where do you draw the line?)

If you’ve answered any statements with yes, I believe that you possess a lot of what is called the “entitlement mentality”. I want to make clear that there is a difference between “do I think it would be cool if I can get benefits” and “do I think I am OWED those benefits”. It’s a huge difference between thankfully receiving and EXPECTING to receive.
Although it seems like it, this is not intended to be a political discussion. I guess it’s unavoidable since many topics go hand in hand with each other. Just get used to it ;)
I’m not trying to create a false dichotomy, thus, don’t wanna be drawing a necessary logical conjunction between agreeing to the mindset of “nobody owes you anything”  and a libertarian view on politics.
But at the moment I just can’t help myself to see them deeply connected to each other.

Why I love the “Nobody owes you anything mindset”

This mindset radically cuts out the lazy part of oneself that only wants to receive. “In giving there is more blessing than receiving” (ACTS 20:35). It’s way more fun and way more rewarding to give and create compared to receive and use.  If nobody owes you anything and you don’t have those ridiculous expectations from everybody, you can also be happier when you do in fact receive something.

And similar to Stoicism, you shift your mindset from complaining to accepting/ataraxia. Maybe you are already tired of me always complaining about complaining. But this is important to me, because forums are filled with this mindset and I believe it’s a major cause that hinders growth as a poker player and person.

—-> Try out for 14 days to NEVER complain
—-> Try out for 14 days to not expect and ask for anything (do everything on your own. Cook your meal, do your laundry. Do as much as you can on your own… But maybe not to generate your own electricity 8) )
—-> After those days, you will see how it feels to be thankful. You will see more clearly where and how other people help you and appreciate it more

This exercise is actually helpful in many ways. One example in my own life would be to clean my room/house and do my laundry. I think my mom quit doing this when I was around 13/14 (prolly even before) and I got into lots of fights with her because I thought she owed me this favor. I was by no means a sexist and didn’t think she had to do it cuz she is a woman. At that time I was way more “gender correct” than I am today 8) .

For some reason I felt it was her “job” and I expected this from her.  Like going to school and vacuum cleaning the house was my “job”. It’s the diabolic sense of entitlement underlying my stupid thoughts.

Of course this way of thinking is fucked up, no doubt, but it got enforced by every other kid my age, whose moms would do all the stuff. So clearly, I felt my mom had to do that or at minimum, it was not completely out of line to expect this.
For the record, my mom hates that stuff as much as I do ;), but we both love a clean place…

Basically I learned to do my laundry, ironing and cleaning. I hated it. Every time. Up to this day. The hate isn’t that strong anymore as today I usually hire somebody to do it for me.
And once in a while I get over it and do it myself if I have to. But whenever a cleaning lady does a good job (which they usually do), you will see me paying around 150% of the price, because I respect and appreciate their work so much.
I’m not a very noble person, most of my lessons I got forced to learn.
“Nobody owes you anything” is one of them.  Long term I have to say it did help me though.

Nobody owes you anything and poker:

Not only in personal life, but also in poker, this mindset is of great help.
Don’t expect others to follow the rules.
Don’t expect others to behave the way you think is correct. They don’t owe you this. Get over the fact that your view of the world (and morals/ethics) is not shared by everybody else.
Expect to get cheated.
Expect to get taken advantage of. And if there are people out there who share your view (whatever that is), be grateful, but don’t take it for granted.
Don’t expect your value bets to get paid off.
Don’t expect good results only because you’ve invested 253429870 hours.
Don’t expect a fold only because you have never 4bet the last 15k hands.

Be thankful if it does work, but don’t feel the poker gods owe you anything.

I don’t expect this article to help you, but if it does, even better :))))))

Other parts of the Poker Mindset Series:

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