the Monk
Learning Tools: Your Pool Values

For some of us, success is painful because it does not fit in our own self image. Therefore, it causes a conflict. We are not comfortable with success. We feel at odds with it. We don't think we deserve this success. So we sabotage it. We pull the pin on ourselves. Success bring responsibility. All of a sudden we have to live up to our new image. If you have lost games that were easy to win, with the perfect layout in front of you, then you must consider the idea that you really don't want to win the game. We put all our efforts into doing the things we really want to do. And sometimes, winning can be painful.

When we win, another player gets hurt. Perhaps we don't like hurting other players. We have experienced the pain of losing. We know how much it hurts. A part of us does not want to inflict this pain on our opponent.

Sometimes it can be a simple case of not wanting the game to end. We love this game. We do not want all the balls in the pocket. We link pain with ending the game.

Our brain accumulates information. This information comes in our experiences. When we feel bad for our opponent, our brain logs that information. When we feel bad that the game is over, our brain logs that input. When we are uncomfortable with success, our brain sucks that up. Then, when we perform, our brain directs us to express our values. The brain does not want conflict. It does not debate. It operates out of our experiences. If it is painful to hurt others feelings, the brain will direct us not to hurt others feelings. It does not care about anything other than helping us avoid pain.

We must change our perspective. Change the way we value things. Give the brain a new script. Make losing more painful than feeling bad about our opponent.

My opponent expects me to get out when I have the chance. So I do not want to disappoint him. He does not expect me to hold back or feel sorry for me. He has paid his entry fee and deserves to see a good game. A good game is my value. That is my only value. I can find no joy in anything other than a good game. To turn in a poor performance is pain. That is what I want to avoid.

Success is an illusion. All I have in front of me is a shot. Success will come and go. Winning a tournament does not effect my self image because I do not place great value in success. It is an illusion. Other people may see me as successful, but I can only see the shot in front of me. Each game is a new beginning. When I come to the table, no matter what I have done in the past, I have shots to shoot. I do not put pressure on myself. There is no conflict.

The game is never over. The final ball has not been pocketed. I am a player therefore there is always another rack to be run.

Let go of your negative values. See the pain in holding on to them. When you can see the pain, you can move away from it. Change how you value things. There is no value in sympathy for your opponent. There is no value in trying to measure up to what others think of you and there is no value in not running out when you have the chance. Change what holds you back and you can move forward.

I hope you order my new book, I Came to Win and make that your overriding philosophy. When you measure everything you do with I Came to Win you will find joy and confidence in your life.

May all the rolls go your way,

The Monk, May, 2001

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