for those that accepted my theory about the lack of money in pool (see here) . . . read on. if not, run.
since i’ve postulated that there’s little or no financial reward in pool, we can now define what else we want from pool, seeing that money is no longer in the equation.
i think that for those that don’t define and accept what they want from pool, the journey can be a frustrating path. of course, this is also related to my post about brutal honesty (see here). i believe that once we define our role in pool (and vice versa), we can be much happier the next time we play. probably works in other areas of our lives.
personally, i play pool mainly for enjoyment and relaxation. while i seek improvement, i do it mostly for my selfish satisfaction. as such, i define pool as a hobby in my life, since i’m not looking for monetary reward from pool, nor am i performing charitable deeds with pool. i’ve no desire to turn pro (for a variety of reasons), nor have i the drive to become one. however, i do incessantly study pool for its knowledge, so i consider pool as a very serious hobby, one where i look to learn the minutest nuances. i’ve other serious hobbies as well; pool remains one of my major vices.
for this reason, i’m always happy to shoot (even though at times i may not look like it from the outside). i’ve defined pool as one of my sources of happiness, so i’m happy when i play. simple, no?
i think i think therefore i think i am, i think. (thank you, dr. armour.)
for those with a mean competitive streak or who are professional-bound, i imagine the approach is much different. i’m guessing there’ll be a lot less screwing around, and a lot more drills, tournaments and action games. if you accept this as your lot in pool, then you can also be happy while you plug countless hours into self-torture tough practices to hone your skills into a razor’s edge. ditto for social players, weekend warriors, and monday-morning quarterbacks. 🙂
to simplify, whatever you choose as your identify in pool, be happy in it. the next time you make or miss, you can take it all in stride.
there’s also the theory of cognitive dissonance. a person’s frustration derives from the discordance between the effort and the outcome (e.g., great effort for a small reward). to reconcile this discordancy in your brain, you rationalize to make your efforts seem worth the output. i’ve seen players do that: rationalizing about why they play. however, i think that when you rationalize, you’ve stopped being honest with yourself, which can lead to greater frustration down the road. i personally think it’s better to have that honest, painful look at your self so the hurt is minimized and temporary. for example, if you don’t have the talent to turn pro, it’s better to realize that fact early on than to trap yourself in illusory hopes, only to have your unrealistic goals shatter in the future. and vice versa. the last thing in pandora’s box is hope, a thing that cuts both ways. false hope can utterly destroy a person; we need to be mindful not to be trapped by it.
for those that don’t know what they want in pool, it may be helpful to get a clue. unless not knowing what you want in pool IS what you want. (this is the contrarian moment of zen.)
of course, i could’ve simplified this post by saying “be content with what you have” and “know what you want and be happy with it”, and save everyone loads of time. but then, this post wouldn’t be worth your price of admission.
wait, you got in free. s~*. well, you’ve read this. now go away while i hatch more pearly pearls of wily wisdom.