It was early 2007, in the past year I had blown through almost all of my $90,000 in savings and lost all motivation to work. What was the point of working hard for chump change after experiencing the thrill of effortlessly pulling in $30,000 a month? But once you’ve burnt through all your savings, you lose the luxury of having those sorts of thoughts. A new instinct kicks in: survival.
I’d made all that money in an extraordinary and unrepeatable fashion. My friend had discovered an online blackjack glitch that drastically altered the odds in our favor. Over the three months that it took the casino to find and fix the glitch, I exploited it for the aforementioned $90,000 and declared myself financially independent. One year of reckless spending later: 22 year old me finally realized how little $90,000 actually was.
From a traditional standpoint my prospects were dim. I hadn’t had a job in over two years, lacked any in-demand skills, and didn’t even have a high school diploma or GED. But the list of reasons that made me borderline unemployable also gave me my edge. The reason I allowed myself to fall into this situation was because I deeply believed in my ability to carve my own path through this world. It didn’t matter how much importance others put on graduating high school and going to college, to me it was a whole lot of work for a few pieces of paper that would only encourage me to conform to the world the way it was. But I didn’t come here to conform, I came here to create.
I didn’t have a plan for what to do after not graduating high school, and when others asked, I simply told them to have faith. When traveling into the unknown, one cannot know where his next inspiration will come from. All he can do is be open to it. Watching the 2003 World Series of Poker on TV probably wasn’t a seminal moment in most people’s lives, but for me it opened a doorway to possibility. I saw how different players succeeded with different styles, and most importantly how there were no barriers to entry. It didn’t matter who you were or where you came from, all you had to do to make money was figure out how to win.
That summer I deposited $100 into PartyPoker.com, and after one year of playing small tournaments for fun I’d turned it into over $2,000. Then a friend convinced me to try cash games instead of tournaments and I really hit my stride. Within a few months I’d doubled my stakes twice and started making more money playing poker part time than I did at my full time job. So I quit to play poker full time.
As a pro throughout 2005 my drive to play was highly inconsistent, and I only worked enough to make the money I wanted (usually 10-20 hours a week). Then, after making that windfall of cash from the blackjack glitch, the money motivation that drove me to poker fell off a cliff. I took almost all of 2006 off from poker and got into personal development, hoping to find some other passion to pursue. While I found out a lot about myself, it didn’t pay the bills. So when I found myself down to my last few thousand in early 2007 and owing close to 10k in taxes from 2006, I turned back to poker and tasked it with bailing me out of the hole I’d dug for myself.
After I returned to poker, something strange happened. I was losing. Consistently. You see, while I was off focusing on personal development, the poker world got slapped with the “Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act” of ’06 that caused the two biggest online poker sites to close their doors to the US. Before this, anyone who was decent at the game could make money off the millions of others who were not. It was a world full of gazelles grazing in lush green pastures, with so few lions around that you felt like the top of the food chain. But that new bill passed through like a drought devastating those green pastures, and the entire poker ecosystem shifted in response. I had returned to poker expecting to feed myself, only to discover that I was now on the menu. I was a gazelle in a world overrun by lions.
Success Is Not a Solo Pursuit
So here I was, losing money at the only thing I knew how to make money with, completely lacking a backup plan, and unable to figure out what I needed to change to start winning again. I no longer had a margin for error, so I scraped together all the extra money I could find and hired a poker coach. I knew enough to know my old way wasn’t enough to win anymore, so instead of trying to re-learn the game on my own I decided to learn directly from someone who’d already figured it out. Within a few sessions my confidence was back and I started making money right away. It only took being on the brink of bankruptcy to get me to ask for help, but I’m incredibly glad I did. Over the next year I would go on to hire five other poker coaches and soon found myself making over $100/hr as a high school dropout still in his early 20s.
It wasn’t until I started writing this article that I stumbled across a concise way to describe why it was so easy for me to go from losing money to making bank in such a short period of time. It was from an article on How to Bypass Resistance that concluded:
“All growth passes through three stages. First, envision the change as possible. Second, invite support for your change by meeting people who are already living as you desire. Third, realize you’re already one of those people — and that you love it!”
Even though I didn’t know this formula at the time, it was the exact model I followed:
First, it was easy for me to envision making a living off poker, there were millions of dollars exchanging hands every day. Second, since I needed the money, there was no time to baby my ego by trying to make it “all on my own.” By hiring coaches who were already making a full time living off the game, I got to spend one-on-one time with people who proved to me it was still possible. Third, once I actually worked with them I realized that there was nothing they could do that I couldn’t. I was ready to be just as good as they were and love making all that money in the process!
Now It’s Your Turn
Are your desires so unique that no one else on Earth has ever lived them? Or are there examples of what you desire already pulsing throughout the planet? And living them is merely an exercise in giving yourself access to what’s already here?
I want to invite you to take some time to envision the change you desire and really activate the vibration of where you want to be. Then share your desire with someone you think can help you find people and resources that will help you easily allow that vibration to become a regular part of your now experience. By surrounding yourself with success stories and beginning to see all the ways in which your desire IS possible, you’ll feel closer to what you want even before your reality has changed. And since your reality is just a reflection of your vibration, feeling closer to your desire will actually bring you closer to it!
Don’t worry about trying to make too much progress too quickly, just allow yourself to be exposed to new possibilities. Law of Attraction is working to bring you everything you desire, we’re just creating a space for it to come in through your crack of least resistance. And every time you expose yourself to new ideas, you give yourself another chance to move your energy and allow in something new!