I recently stumbled across a blog post on Facebook. It’s a long read (well, for today’s attention deprived audiences) but it’s well worth it. It really got me thinking about how I’m living my life, my attitude to new experiences and the reason I started this blog.
I’m currently sat in Madrid airport awaiting my connecting flight to go home. There are literally thousands of people walking past me. Families, Couples and traveling buddies alike sharing their experiences with one another. Then there’s the few like me, alone – wondering if their phone battery will last a YouTube binge cause that dude at the charging point doesn’t look like he’s ever going to unplug his phone, laptop and iPad – the selfish bastard.
Although I genuinely love these trips to different places for Poker, they can become quite lonely experiences if you aren’t proactive while you’re there, especially if you’re traveling by yourself.
If you looked at my Facebook or Blog from an outside perspective, it looks like I’m a jet setting part time Poker player up for traveling anywhere and experiencing everything. Although this is partly true, things are a bit more complicated.
I travel to these new places, play a little poker, enjoy myself at the table and come back home more or less the same person I left. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying any given holiday should change my perspective on life. I’m just saying that I’m not actively searching for new experiences in these places – well, not as much as I’d like.
Take Panama as an example.
I met a tonne of people at the tables that I got on with. Some of whom I shared conversations for hours. Some of which I’d bump into every other day, either in the tournament hall or the Sports Bar. Not once during the entire trip did I mention that I was traveling by myself.
Why? I suppose I didn’t want to be pitied. If they wanted to speak to me, they would. I just wouldn’t put them in a position where they felt like they had to speak to me.
And that’s the problem. Why do I get to make other peoples decisions for them? In hindsight its not about whether or not they talk to me, it’s about whether or not they want to talk to me. The difference is huge. Remove the possibility of rejection and you can’t be rejected – its genius!
It wasn’t really until the last couple of days of Panama when I was more proactive in meeting people and striking up conversations with ‘randomers’. Result? I ended up partying in a Panamanian underground club till 6am with some Pilots and Flight Attendants who had invited me out after meeting them in a bar – the best night of the Holiday.
Similarly in ‘normal’ life, I can find myself not being as proactive as I’d like. The fact of the matter is though, as in poker, this passive behavior gets you nowhere fast.
“But John, you moved to the south of Spain for a decent job. How can you possibly say you’ve got nowhere?” I hear you cry.
Ah, well this was handed to me on a silver platter – gift wrapped with a snickers on top (I don’t like cherries). I was incredibly fortunate to get the opportunity to do it. And I had to organise next to none of it. Looking back on it I can’t quite believe I had the audacity to tell others “I wonder why more people don’t move abroad. It’s so easy”. Makes me cringe writing that. The reality is I did nothing. Things tend to be easy when you have to do nothing. Reality is it’s a lot more difficult to do it all on your own, especially now with Brexit around the corner – but thats a can of worms I’d rather not open.
The positive is that I took the opportunity when it was presented and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Now you’re probably wondering why I’m sharing this on the web for all to see – something i’ve questioned many times. I started this blog simply for something to do if I was bored. At least that’s what I thought. What I’ve now realised is that I’m actually trying to develop myself. I made an unconscious decision to put myself out there for all to see and have now made a conscious decision to embrace it. I’m now out in the open and vulnerable. But for the first time I’m actually trying to create opportunities and experiences for myself instead of waiting for them just to be handed to me.
And the outcome? I’ve got some wonderful experiences coming up in the Poker world. Two months into my blog and I’m likely to feature on two twitch feeds in the near future. Will it pan out? Maybe not. However I’ve put myself out in the open and instead of being shot, I’ve been joined by others.
It’s genuinely surprising how many doors start opening in life when you actually start knocking instead of staring blankly at them wondering why they aren’t open.
Guess the general point of this post is to say that its OK to be shite at things. Shite at meeting people. Shite at blogs. Or just generally shite – If actually doing them will create opportunities you’d enjoy, why not?
Ramble ramble ramble…
Now go read that post I linked if you haven’t already. Its superb.