I’m fully convinced that this is true.
In order to illustrate this issue let me give an example. Friday night I was playing online poker. A tournament window popped up about to start. I had forgotten I had registered for this tournament since I had registered for it an hour earlier, when I was more alert. I was no longer as alert as I had been and the tournament window popping up was a bummer. Why? I had just been getting ready to go to bed. I wanted to go to bed. It was 12:30am, I was tired, and I wanted to sleep. My next day’s activities included driving 2 hours to Aurora’s birthday party, driving home, and then a poker surprise party for one of the husband’s in the homeschooling circle.
I actually didn’t WANT to play, but it was a good chunk of my Frequent Player Points (500 to be precise, which I earned over about two weeks or so playing online), and I didn’t want to just blow them off. I played the tournament.
FOUR HOURS LATER ….
I, along with three others in the tournament, qualify for the seat. It was a satellite tournament, which means the winners from the satellite tournament earn a registration in a bigger tournament. The bigger tournament wasn’t until Sunday, but the point is that I didn’t even want to start the tournament because I wanted to go to sleep. My wish at the time wasn’t "I wish to win this tournament" it was "I wish I could go to bed." And what’d I get? I (and three others) won the tournament.
It was a pretty big seat, too. I unregistered from the next tournament, and the entry fee was deposited into my account balance on that poker site. It represented about a 30% increase in my bankroll.
I believe a factor in winning this tournament was because I wasn’t invested in the outcome, and I could look at the poker decisions I was making entirely on their own. I didn’t think "if I’m wrong when I raise this, I’ll lose and I won’t get the $$ at the end of the tournament!" I was thinking, "Is raising this a good poker decision?" I wasn’t self-destructive, TRYING to lose. But I was able to put the tournament results on the back burner and make good, smart poker choices.
One of the reasons I love poker is that it is such a microcosm of life. Your immediate future is completely determined by the turn of a card, but in the long run and with good decisions, your long-term future is yours to control and determine.