Over the past year or so I’ve gotten into playing and studying poker. Lately I’ve been even more focused on improving my online game, so poker is something I think about often throughout the day. I think there’s plenty of lessons to be learned from poker that can be applied to your daily life. One of my favorites, and one that has been popping up in my life as of late, comes from the concept of tilt.
Tilt is a term that refers to a poker player’s emotions causing them to make poor decisions they otherwise wouldn’t make. This typically happens when a poker player becomes frustrated over bad luck, another player, or themselves. Playing an optimal poker game requires great discipline over long periods of time. Even when bad luck strikes, which it will, you must continue making decisions that are profitable. When frustration sneaks into the picture, and a player starts to make unjustified decisions, the losses can be catastrophic.
A common tip on how to avoid tilt is to accept that every poker player will eventually run into good and bad luck. This is known as variance, the fluctuating amounts of money you will make and lose overtime. However, if you stay focused and continue to make plays that are profitable, over time you will make money. Accepting the inevitable downswings of poker, is a great way to get past them.
I have begun to notice moments in my life where I’m close to going on tilt, or perhaps already have. These moments pop up frequently while I’m on the road. There are so many pet peeves I have related to bad drivers I couldn’t even begin to list them in this article. I’m sure you’re already making a short list in your head of the things that get you heated while driving. Since my recent part time job requires me to be in my car for long periods of time, lately I’ve been becoming more frustrated at actions on the road I deem to be egregious.
But, looking at the situation for what it is, what can I really do about other drivers? They’ve always been here, and they always will be here. Sometimes traffic is terrible, and sometimes it’s smooth. There’s drivers that I love, and there’s some that I hate. Like variance in poker, it’s something that I can’t change, so why make a reckless decision over it? I wonder how many car crashes happened due to frustration over another driver. I’ve definitely caught myself going a little too fast, or switching lanes a bit too aggressively, after getting upset at another car.
Now I’m able to recognize tilt coming more frequently than before. Understanding this poker concept has helped me avoid making bad decisions that could be costly. And in the future, I’m sure I will begin to notice tilt in other aspects of my life too.
Thanks for reading :).