My current role in life is to help others discover the greatness within them and use this to make an impact in the world, but I took a very different path before this one. After graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Applied Sports Science and becoming a personal trainer I then set out to travel the world. On returning from my travels I proved to myself that anything is possible by turning my hobby into an eight year career as a professional poker player. During my time playing poker I discovered how to stay focused, motivated and present in a very challenging and often stressful environment.
Poker was my dream career, I got to travel the world playing the game that I loved. The pinnacle for me was getting to play in the main event at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. It was something I used to watch on TV, imagining how exciting it must be to compete against the best in the world under the lights and cameras. Years later that became a reality.
After a few years my dream career started to challenge me. When I wasn't travelling to play I would often spend hours playing poker online, as a social person I found this very isolating and lonely. Stuck with only my own thoughts for company my life was determined by how I was thinking and how poker was going. Poker is psychologically demanding, with thousands of dollars at stake everyday and luck often riding on the turn of a card, it was extremely testing. Poker pushed me to the limit mentally and unfortunately my negative mindset was often holding me back. After big losing days where I would lose thousands of dollars of my own money I would make things worse by then beating myself up for it. Despite being a winning poker player and living my dream job I was being my own worst enemy and often miserable.
Something had to change, a few years ago after hitting rock bottom following a six month losing streak I decided to take action. I quit poker and took a job in recruitment for a month. It was a new challenge and I loved being in the office environment surrounded by people all day, but after a few weeks I asked myself this question, "do I see myself here in 5 years time?" The hours were long and it just didn't feel like the right fit for me, so I had to make a very difficult decision to quit. Quitting wasn't easy, I felt like I was letting the team down and it was embarrassing, but often the toughest decisions can lead to the greatest rewards.
I went back to poker and the next month I eclipsed my biggest month by three times. I played long hours and didn't give up when I had a bad day, I just got back up and got to it. I worked harder than ever before and pushed myself to limits I never knew I had. Over the next year I stopped talking about things and started doing things. I stepped up my meditation and mindfulness practice, I set huge goals and followed through. I made a bunch of mistakes but I learned from each of them. I made an Instagram page and started positing a video and a quote everyday because I wanted to inspire others to become the best version of themselves. To start with nothing really happened, but as the months rolled on people started to notice and eventually some of the biggest influencers online started to share my posts.
The next year after a lot of deliberation I made another tough decision. I decided to go back to university to study a Masters in Psychology. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but completing it and passing with distinction gave me a sense of achievement and a wealth of knowledge that I could use to improve the lives of others. I set up my own business and trusted myself. Over this time I had turned my mindset around from pessimistic thoughts of not being good enough to knowing I can handle anything. My consuming goal in life is to help others that are ready to move forward in their lives begin to change their perception and in turn change their life.