You Have to Play the Hand That’s Dealt
Any poker player knows that he will go through some streaks where he seems to win every hand, and some stretches where he can not get a good hand. But, either way the biggest part of the game of poker and the game of life is playing the hand that you are dealt. Some guys are born with every opportunity in the world. Some men are born with nothing but a dream. You decide how far you can go in your life by making the most of what you have.
To quote the song immortalized by Kenny Rogers, You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run.” Rogers was singing about knowing when you are winning in a hand and knowing when you are losing a poker match. And, your position in the game should dictate what your next action is. Similarly, situations in real life call for different actions depending on what you perceive. You have to know when to leave a predicament and know when it is worth pursuing.
Play Your Opponents Not the Cards
Occasionally, a game of poker comes down to reading your opponents instead of their cards. Everyone gives cues into their hand in a poker game. Your ability to beat your opponents depends on how observant you are. In the workplace, politics sit behind almost every position that is above you. You have to work hard at your vocation, however your success in your career depends on how well you can navigate the office hierarchy.
Sometimes It Does Not Matter How Good You Are
Sometimes, you are better than the guy who is across from you, you know what he has in his hands, and your cards are better. Then, by chance, he draws the card that beats you. You have set him up to get him here, he fell for your trap, but he draws the one card that can beat you. In life, sometimes you do everything in your power to succeed and it does not matter. You planned ahead, you even had a couple of backup plans that all fell through, and you lost.
Never Show Your Hand
Showing your hand in poker is the ultimate sin. It strips you of your edge in poker matches against opponents because showing your foes your cards tells them exactly when you were bluffing and not bluffing. The bluff is a poker player’s most important weapon. It allows you to bully weaker players when they have better hands and less chips than you and it can even unsettle stronger players. You should never show your trump card unwarranted. There are people at the card table and in your daily life that will exploit you if they know the extent of your capabilities. A person who has to guess if you are more talented, backed by superior forces, or more grounded than they are is less likely to confront or persuade you. They will accede to your will.