Keeping the inner child alive

Do you remember those nights you couldn't sleep when you were a kid? Right before Christmas, before your own birthday, before your parents took you to your favorite theme park?

I remember waking up earlier than anyone else and the alarm clock, jumping right out of bed super excited to start playing with my new toys. On the contrary I don't even remember being overly tired or exhausted due to the lack of sleep on those days. My excitement and motivation would not let me feel anything like that at all - my mum even told me I would sometimes forget to eat and drink while playing with my new toys.

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Ever since my childhood I have felt this form of excitement only again right before I was about to play cards - first it was the case with Magic: The Gathering, then came ooker. The night before a scheduled flight to a city where the next tournament was to be held, I would always feel so psyched and have trouble sleeping just like that little kid back in the days. I usually set three different alarm clocks to make sure I wouldn't miss my flight and - needless to say - every single time I woke up before all three went off. This habit has carried over to poker, for instance, the night before an upcoming Vegas trip.

During my studies at university while working part-time jobs to cover my living and study expenses, I remember never getting up early unless I needed to. I would usually lie in bed and not bother getting up until the very last minute, enjoying the sweet idleness instead. Poker and coaching turned this around completely over the years and slowly made me an early riser.

By now, I even hate getting up later than 7am because I have all these motivating and creative thoughts in my head about working on my game, grinding, coaching, or making videos. I look forward to getting up every day now, even in times of downswings and rough patches I feel the drive to get up, work out, have breakfast, and put my head back into the ring again. I'm not sure if this would be the case had I taken up a follow-up job at university, school or the industry - and I actually don't want to bother finding out.

Right now I'm simply more than happy and grateful that my job manages to keep this side of me--the little, excited inner child--alive.