If you read my poker story, you know that the beginning of my career as a professional poker player was full of ups and downs, mistakes and heartbreaks and a general confusion on the direction that my life was going. These things can happen to everyone at all stages of life but those first few years after college seem to be a period full of anxiety for a lot of people, myself included. Once Jody and I were together and Ava was born things started coming together a little more for me. Not that I didn’t have anxiety (and still do), but I began to feel a sense of relief that I was moving in the right direction. However, I reached a point where I felt like I still wasn’t taking full advantage of all of the resources possible to improve my life. I began to look for inspiration in different places and learn as much as I possibly could about how to be the best I could be. I still think I’m far from that point but here are a list of some of the people/videos/books/and songs that I feel have helped inspire me. These are in no particular order.
1. Books and blogs by Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin and Tommy Angelo. Ferriss’ “Four Hour Work Week” and “Four Hour Body” were amazing and his blogs are a must read. Godin’s “Poke the Box” is the only book of his that I have read thus far but it is really good and was actually the inspiration behind me actually getting this blog up and running finally. Tommy Angelo’s “Eightfold Path to Poker Enlightenment” was instrumental in my development as a poker player. It’s not just for poker players though, everyone can benefit from reading the book or listening to the 8 episodes available on DeucesCracked.
2. Brian Bott. I was fortunate to have my friend Brian help me out with a nutrition and workout plan around October, 2010. He answered a ton of questions for me and got me on the right track to getting in shape. He is very dedicated to all things fitness and I’m fortunate that he was able to help me. I will post a full blog entry about my weight loss journey in a week or so.
3. This video.
4. Mark Cuban’s blog. In particular, the entries about Success and Motivation are must reads. They can be found here. I love reading about ultra successful people and how they got their start and how many times they had to fail before “making it”.
5. Dr. James Gaeta. I began seeing Dr. Gaeta about a year ago because I had an issue with my back. He addressed every issue that I’ve had and we’ve worked together to correct a bunch of things to make me much healthier. When I got my first set of blood work done with him, my triglycerides were through the roof as they had been for a few years. With a few changes in diet and a few supplements I was able to lower my triglycerides and work out a few other problems. Dr. Gaeta has always done two important things that it seems other doctors never do. 1. He listens to your problems and concerns. 2. If he doesn’t have an answer for you right then he will dig and research to find out the answer or work with you through trail and error to find something that solves the problem. I can say without a doubt that I feel 500x better today than I did two years ago thanks in large part to Dr. Gaeta.
6. This song. It puts me in a mood to accomplish anything and everything. (warning: very explicit lyrics)
-There are 3 or 4 people I see at the gym every morning going as hard as they possibly can. They inspire me to focus on exercising no matter how tired I am.
–Eric LeGrand, a fellow Scarlet Knight, who has the biggest smile and the best attitude despite being paralyzed from the neck down due to a collision on the football field. Eric has inspired me to smile as much as possible and to keep a positive attitude.
-My friend, Robert Lacorte, who is constantly putting himself out there whether it’s through short stories or through videos showing his journey to learn or accomplish different things. Robert has inspired me to be willing to try new things and to not be afraid to share them with the world.
-Another friend of mine, James DeMasi, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2008 at the same time his father was already battling the disease. James is now in remission but his father passed away in October 2008. James started a Light the Night team to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in 2009 and my wife and I joined the team in 2010. In 2011, behind James’ leadership we raised the most money in the Philadelphia Region. You can read more about that story here. James has inspired me to do as much as I can to give back to others.
8. Watching TED Videos. I’m obsessed with watching TED videos. There is so much information available to everyone today from people who really know what they are talking about. Dan Pink on motivation is one of my favorites. This Seth Godin talk is another good one.
9. Mentors. I’m fortunate to have a few people around me who have seen and done a lot of things. I also play poker on a daily basis with people from all walks of life, many of whom have run successful businesses and have a wealth of knowledge to share. I try to soak up as much information as possible from these people and their willingness to share it with me inspires me to take advantage of it and ask more questions.
10. My Family. The ultimate inspiration and motivation. The hardest part of my day without a doubt is leaving the house in the morning to go to play poker at Parx. Both girls get really upset and don’t want me to leave (ironically, I’m home today because Cameron is sick and kept getting really, really upset when I was trying to leave). The best part of the day is walking in the door at night when they come yelling and screaming my name. Every day when I play, I’m inspired to play my best and make the best possible decisions because I know that I need to in order to support them. My wife’s incredible ability to juggle so many tasks at once all while taking care of two crazy little girls amazes me. She helped me make better food choices which has made me a healthier and stronger person. Her belief in my abilities and her unwavering support of me inspires me to perform my best at all times.
Who or What inspires you?