Brian Tracy has taken lots of gambles in his life, though I doubt any of them have been at poker.
As a teenager, he crossed the Sahara Desert in a dilapidated jalopy. Using his endurance trials on the searing sands of the Sahara, he later risked financial security when he dumped a lucrative business career and ventured into the volatile profession of public speaking. Today, he is one of America’s leading authors of audio albums on psychology and management.
In The Psychology of Achievement, Tracy lists the mental laws you can use to transform any personal desert into an oasis of success.
Law of Belief. All of your actions are based on your beliefs. For example, when you are in an “Ican’twinforlosing” frame of mind, you act like a loser. But if you believe you are both skillful and lucky, you play like a winner. This is why Mike Caro admonishes poker players to believe they are lucky and to transfer that belief to their opponents.
Law of Substitution. Your conscious mind can hold only one dominant thought at a time. If that thought is negative (“I’m a loser”), substitute it with a positive one (“I’m a winner”). If you find yourself thinking, “I’ve been on a downhill slide for two weeks,” replace that thought by constantly repeating to yourself, “Today I am a winner. Good things are coming my way.” And they will.
Law of Attraction. We attract people and circumstances into our lives that are in harmony with our dominant thoughts. If your thoughts are negative, the people and conditions in your life also will be negative, and vice-versa. Always think of what you want; never think of what you don’t want. People are like magnets that pull into their sphere the things they are thinking about. Might as well make them the best things you can think of!
Law of Concentration. What you dwell on grows. That is, whatever you think about over and over evolves into your reality. Geniuses are able to concentrate for long periods of time on a single idea. If you concentrate all your thoughts on success and channel all your efforts toward your goal, you can write your own success story.
Law of Habit. Basically 95 percent of what we do is habit. If you’ve gotten into some self-destructive habits, you’ll continue being defeated until you change your habits. Motivational gurus say, “Keep on doing what you’ve been doing, and you’ll keep on getting what you’ve been getting.” Don’t like what you’ve been getting? Change what you’ve been doing.
Law of Expectation. You don’t get what you want – you get what you expect. Suppose you want a Mercedes, but you don’t expect to ever own one. You’d settle for a Hyundai Elantra. Guess what you’ll get? Suppose you want the ace of hearts on the river, but you expect a red five. Oops! Instead, why not simply expect what you want?
Law of Control. You feel good about yourself to the extent you are in control of your life. When you feel out of control, you don’t like yourself. This is why people who believe they are the puppets of fate are habitually depressed. Although you cannot always predict the events in your life, you can control your reactions to them.
You can take control of your life by taking Tracy’s advice: Believe you can. Substitute positives for negatives. Think only of what you desire. Concentrate your thoughts and efforts on your goals. Make positive changes in your habits. And expect the best. When you consciously practice these mental laws, your self-esteem will soar, along with your bankroll.
You will have the gambler’s edge.
Contact Dana T. Smith at [email protected].