Sunday, September 7, 2014

Poll Hall Pool Player For Life - Thoughts from a Guest

I read this the other day from David Sapolis (aka Blackjack) on his Facebook page.  David is a personal coach and instructor from El Paso.

There is no reason for me to re-write something so well-said.

It's something I hadn't thought of before AT ALL.  Thought it was interesting and wanted to share about "pool hall pool players":

"Be very careful about the people you hang around - the people that you allow into your life - and the people that you allow into your social circle. In pool, and in life... your success or failure will accurately reflect the people that you have surrounded yourself with. Remember that.

I know a lot of players - and I am sure that you have people just like this at your pool hall - that have the ability to run rack after rack after rack, solving every layout and every little puzzle on the table with relative ease ... yet when it comes to the game of life, they seem unable to get anywhere. Away from the table, they're lost, ineffective, and their lives (for the most part) they were very unstable personally, professionally, and financially. They probably started out their lives motivated and with the best of intentions - but somehow they got lost along the way down at the pool hall. That's my nice way of saying that as a result of their lifestyle - their lives - their relationships - and their finances didn't amount to squat. Despite their flashes of brilliance at the pool table against mediocre players for laughable stakes - they had gotten absolutely nowhere. 

As a pool player - no matter who you are - or - how good you shoot - nowhere is always a very bad place to be. It doesn't matter whether you're there permanently - or just on vacation - nowhere is a horrible place to visit - a awful place to end up -.and an even worse place to get stuck. If you're already there - or if you think that you might be there - the best thing to do is to immediately latch on to some good sense - or something or someone positive - move forward in a straight line at a fast pace and don't ever look back.

At the age of 23, I looked around the pool room and saw 25 examples of everything I didn't want to be in 25 years. Luckily, I learned early on that there is much more to life than being able to run balls on a pool table. Think about it.

My pool hall was no different than most pool halls ... and when I looked around the room - most of the guys I saw were in their mid-late 40's - they were gambling every single day - and amazingly ... they had absolutely nothing to show for it. Most of the time, they were asking me (or anybody else they could find) to borrow money as they chased the same fifty-dollar bill that they had chased the day before. 

If any of them had jobs, they were crappy jobs - low or no responsibility - low paying, one step above entry level, dead end jobs. I would learn that in some cases, they actually sought out these crappy jobs to be able to continue on with whatever bad habits they had allowed into their lives. Absolutely everything in their lives was consumed by their habits, and their habits stunted their growth in life as well as their game. None of them were successful. None of them were rich. None of them were champions.They were all trapped on an endless hamster's wheel - chasing the illusion of a big pay day that would never come.

I made a conscious decision that I would do everything in my power to not end up like that some day. I immediately latched on to some good sense - I surrounded myself with smart, successful, positive people - and I moved forward in a straight line at a fast pace and I never looked back.

I strongly caution you against being consumed by the game of pool to the point where you sacrifice your education, your relationships, and your professional progress. I believe that anything that is good will enhance the quality of your life. If the game is causing problems in your life - then I believe that is your signal to take a step back and reevaluate your priorities. It is okay to have the game high on your list of priorities - but remember - life, family, friends, education, career ... they must come first. Those are the things that will sustain you when the balls start looking fuzzy." ~Blackjack's Random Thoughts, 12-08-2007, Mental Game Mastery.

Addendum from Blackjack:  "About 10 years ago, somebody from the forums invited me to their home for pool lessons. After the lesson, we got to talking about things and he told me how he wished he could play like the pros and how he wished he could be out on the road - able to play for big money and in all of the big tournaments - he just went on and on as if he was missing out on something. He had a good marriage - a nice house - 3 new cars out in his driveway - his kids were getting ready to graduate college - he had done extremely well in life - and I remember thinking to myself - is this guy nuts? I just shook my head and told him - you're blessed and you're not missing anything except the headaches that come with all of that."


1 comment:

Babylon Brother said...

This commentary on "life in a pool hall" really is forceful. How many young lives are wasted by the allure of the "six-pocket solution." There are so many good ... sometimes great ... pool players just marking time until the day comes when they have no money, no life and ... no hope. So sad.