Full Tilt Boogie

poker misha

Sunday, 9:08pm
Reno, NV
Hit me.  Hit me again.  Again.  Arrrgh…” (Blackjack dude going down…)


One of the truly fun parts of being in business are the Life Lessons you get to learn.

Or, rather, you’re forced to learn (if you don’t want to spend your career blundering down the same blind alleys time after time).

Early on, I took notice of the various quirks people exhibited running a business… especially the entrepreneurs, who were unencumbered with the rule books that franchise owners and traditional corporations worked under.

Now, you’ll see startling examples of strangeness in any group of humans, doing anything, anywhere.  So the first lesson is probably to acknowledge that reality…

… and stop pretending we’re a race of logical, rational, functional beings going about the business of running a civilization efficiently and sanely.

We’re not.

And savvy, experienced biz veterans survive by learning to work within the limitations that come with dealing with other humans.

It’s actually one of the more fun parts of entering the biz world, once you get a handle on the basics of how spectacularly humans can screw something up.

Don’t get me wrong — I love people.  But I love them in spite of their near-consistent tendencies to botch things completely.  (I’m by no means above the fray).  (No one is.  Scratch the surface of the most “together” person you now, and you’ll find evidence of shocking weirdness.)

The reason little insights like these are so awesome, is that they can help you stay balanced… especially as deals go down and projects catch fire.

Some of the better lessons are cliches… but you’ve got to remember that they ARE cliches because they’re on-target (even though they may seem counter-intuitive).

For example, just yesterday I got to re-learn a fundamental lesson I’ve had to re-learn over and over again through the years:  No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.

Especially in business.  When you bend over backwards to help someone out… do not be surprised to have your selfless actions come back to bite you in the butt.

(In this latest episode, I over-delivered like crazy during a consultation with a rookie marketer… and just piled on the excellent advice, even dictating the exact copy he should use on his website.  Results: He asked for a refund for the consultation.  Just couldn’t fit all that primo advice into his newbie brain.)

(It’s like the old joke:  A woman approaches a firefighter who is drenched, shivering and huddled in a blanket.  “Are you the man who jumped into the freezing river to save my little boy when he fell through the ice?” she asks.  He nods.  And she says “Well, where are his mittens?”)

Another nugget: When you’re dealing with a client or potential biz associate…

… and he says “Money is no problem“…

… then you may rest assured that money is VERY much a problem.

In fact, every single time I’ve heard this comment uttered in my direction, it has been an omen of financial chaos to come. (And I’ve been doing this for decades now.)

To an experienced shrink (or an experienced cop), this is barely shrug-worthy, as far as revelations about human behaviors go.

Heck, ANY definitive statement offered by someone during a conversation with money on the line…

… elevates it to standard “mirror image” doubt.  (Fair warning given to freelancers, consultants, potential affiliates, people on the dating scene, and anyone making a bet: Take absolutely nothing said at face value in any conversation concerning moolah…

… and it’s a good starting point to consider the very real possibility that the opposite is true.)

People fudge the numbers in almost every instance when their ego or self-image is in play.  When discussing income with Players, you can pretty much cut any initial number offered up by the other guy in half, right off the top.  (When discussing past sexual partners — so I’ve been told — you can divide what a guy says by 3, and multiply what a woman says by 3.  Is this true?)

None of this means you get to run around yelling “GOTCHA!” at people, and challenging them on fiscal data (or intimate scorecards).

Not at all.

Rather, like a good poker player, you just keep your own math and your own insights safely inside your head…

… and do what you can to verify.  (That was a clever Bill Clinton phrase: “Trust, but verify“.)  (And he was talking about nuclear weapons treaties, I believe, not sexual dalliances.)  (It’s still a great operative phrase when you’re in a situation where you need to trust the other guy at least a bit in order to move ahead with the deal.)

Ah, poker.

Here’s the big insight I just re-realized while watching The World Series of Poker (which got me going on this blog post in the first place):

I love poker.  First, it’s a game of chance with multiple layers of skill, and that appeals to me.  Second, there’s a HUGE amount of psychology to the higher levels of play…

… and that fascinates me.

Third: Like many things, poker is a sweet little drama that mimics life in general.

Winners and losers… hopes and dreams (both the crushed and realized types)… risks and rewards and dangers and traps… the glory and the agony behind every shuffle.

And not all of the insights are subtle, either.

In fact, the most FUN stuff is way up there with Shakespearean tragedy.

In the opening sessions of the 2010 WSP (on ESPN, and thanks, Chad, for keeping it interesting), we have been treated to SEVERAL of the so-called “best players in the world” getting bitch-slapped by Lady Luck.

It’s worth stalking the reruns to see how this plays out in real time.

And just like the wise dudes long ago noted, “pride goeth before a fall”.

You see these poker stars start out cocky (as well they should be, since they are the best in the world, and the rest of their tablemates are mere mortals).

Then they get rueful, as the losses mount… but they don’t panic.  Yet.

Instead, they double-down on their cockiness…

… and slip ever-so-gently into what card players call “Full Tilt”.

Often within a very short period of time, the cockiness is replaced by a seething rage…

… rage at the other players, at the universe, at the cards, at everything within reach.

And once in the damp, nightmarish embrace of a Full Tilt, they go completely bonkers. And start betting wildly and inappropriately, acting much like King Canute ordering the waves to stop breaking on the shore (good luck with that, Kingie)…

… actually challenging the cards to go against Everything Good And Right (which includes them, because they are the best in the world), which of course the cards would never do, right, because, really, the only fair and correct outcome here is for me, the Recognized Poker Hero, to overcome the odds that afflict lesser peasants and win, win, win…

It’s great theater watching the Full Tilt boogie in action.

Big ending, usually, too, with tears, the thrashings of now-impotent rage (cuz all their chips are gone), and that loooooooooong walk across the floor (with ESPN tailing you) to the Loser’s Exit.

The first time I saw this in a poker tournament, I instantly realized how RELEVANT the entire Full Tilt menu was to business.  And politics.  And even interpersonal relationships.

The one big certainty that the “best” at anything tend to forget… is that when you’re still playing, you’re only as good as your last action.

The best copywriters, entrepreneurs, marketers, affiliates, launch managers, deal makers and heart-breakers in the world…

… can, and do, fail on occasion.  There are no guarantees in life, ever…

… and resting on your laurels is probably the WORST “action plan” you could have going into a project.

The most vicious humiliation I’ve ever witnessed was hearing a legendary marketer reduced to explaining to people how good he was… despite the little disaster he’d just engineered with his lazy cockiness and refusal to perform the due diligence required of the job.

NOBODY gets rewarded in this world because of “who” you are.

Nope.  Right up until that last shuffle before lights-out, you are only as good as the way you play the game in front of you.

Veterans talk so much about self-awareness — and a general Zen-like attitude to dealing with life — because it’s the only defense against going on Full Tilt you’ve got.

Those pokers players do it, every year, like clockwork, on TV during the biggest games of their careers…

… because they’re only human.

And it is our nature, as humans, to fly off the tracks under stress.

However, it is NOT your “destiny” to go on Full Tilt.  It is one of many options we can choose to take.

It’s just that, unless you understand yourself on a deep level, you won’t realize you HAVE a choice when the weirdness descends and your brain goes “boing, boing, boing“.

Pay attention.  Learn your chops, get good at what you do, and soak up everything you can from the grizzled guys with experience.

And heed their warnings.

Cuz the next dance on your card may be one nasty little boogie.

I dunno.  What do YOU think?

(And isn’t that just the cutest damn photo up top you’ve ever seen?  Get it?  Dogs playing Texas Hold ‘Em poker with milk bones?  Staying in on a 2-7 against a blossoming royal?

Man, it was tough getting the little darlin’ to pose for that one…)

Stay frosty,


P.S. Just a reminder, too… that I’m speaking at James Schramko’s spectacular Web-focused seminar down in Sydney, Australia, in a few weeks.

I’m recommending you check it out, even if you have no intention of flying to Oz to catch the fiesta.  Click here for more info:

Your Excellent Australian Adventure

Schrak still has lots of awesome free videos up on that site (including a sizzling interview with me) on the truly essential secrets of making a biz work online these days.  (Cuz, you know the entire marketing scene has been going through earthquake-level changes for months now… and will continue to mutate until the ONLY way to really make the Web produce for you will be through the resources you discover now, during this period of adjustment.)

And if you can make it, do it.

The best resources you ever have will be the network you develop with like-minded entrepreneurs… especially those who are adept at making the fundamentals work (so you’re never dependent on gimmicks or fads or schemes where you’re a slave to anyone else).

That’s why I’m headed down under.  I had zero hesitation when Schrak asked me to attend.  This is the good stuff.

Just check it out.  There’s no obligation or anything.

Just enter your name and primary email address below and we'll send you the new report right away.

"11 Really Stupid Blunders You're Making With Your Biz & Career Right Now."

  • Marvin says:

    Spot on John… as usual. 🙂

    I, too, find it a lot more appealing (and sexy) when you just stay and work your butt on the sidelines as the unassuming bystander no one spares a second glance upon, but when the much awaited applause breaks, all the spot lights suddenly make a beeline for you – much to everyone’s surprise – or chagrin.

    The only reassurance real pros need is not the ego-stroking of people fawning over who you are and what you’ve done in the past – but the confidence brought about by doing your homework and busting your butt to deliver on the work at hand.

    Sidenote: Do you know where that ‘rookie marketer’ lives? I might drop by and whack some sense into his ‘newbie brain’… LOL! 😀

    • Rezbi says:

      Hey, take it easy. I’m not that bright and John’s stuff is way too advanced for me.

      Besides, I’m in the UK, so, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah.

      But seriously, it wasn’t me…


    • Gregg Zban says:

      Great commentary as usual John. You are one of the most informed and entertaining writers I’ve read.

      I could be wrong on this (due to a couple of cocktails) but I think it was President Reagan who said “Trust, but verify” when addressing the Soviet Union. Who knows….. anyway it’s another good read.


      • John Carlton says:

        Thanks for the note, Gregg.

        See comment #9 about the quote. Against my natural inclinations, I got on this thingamaging called “google”, where you can find arrogant know-it-alls operating out of “wiki” worlds, with answers to everything. The days of invigorating, futile, yet vastly entertaining bar-side arguments over details are gone forever, since we can now find definitive answers within seconds on any subject. I’m already nostalgic about being able to bullshit my way through a conversation without having wiki-facts thrown back at me…

        What are ya guzzling? I’m still a couple of hours away from a cold IPA with my name on it in the fridge…

        • Gregg Zban says:

          yea…I got ya. Friggin wiki made me look bad again. I couldn’t take my hand away from the ice cold coke zero (my attempt at being healthy) and jack d long enough to look it up. Besides, the one fingered hunt and peck would have guaranteed spillage on me keyboard.

          What the heck is an IPA dare I ask…. o’ “wizard of words”?

  • John Carlton says:

    The newbies cruisin’ for a bruisin’ are everywhere, aways, Marvin. Egos are dangerous things, especially when you start believing the hype surrounding yours.
    The true poker stars avoid too much exposure, you know. (Phil Helmuth, the “Poker Brat”, gets beat every time by rookies who’ve studied him on film and know his tells… because he squandered his talent for more fame. Ah, well, such are the dramas as the world turns…)

  • Hey JC,

    Another fine post.

    I love these hard-won insights into human nature.

    The naked human animal is a scary thing. Digging into anybody’s reasons for doing things (the REAL reasons, not just the excuses we make) is a huge eye-opener, especially for us copywriters.

    And you know, since you made the post about Ego a while ago, I’ve developed a ghoulish fascination for watching the people around me let their Egos drag them through life. Even when the results are plain car-crash ugly.

    Interesting stuff my friend.


    • John Carlton says:

      Thanks for the note, Flashman. All the world’s a stage, and everyone’s ego is wrangling for a starring role (and don’t seem to mind if it’s tragedy or farce going down)…

  • The grizzled veteran presents another REAL lesson about business life (and life in general).


    John, you oughta’ write a book “The Life Lessons And Hard Knocks Of A Marketing Rebel,” filled with these kind of stories…just priceless.

    • John Carlton says:

      I’ve got a few books in the works here.

      But really, this blog is an ongoing book. The original novels — by Charles Dickens and Alexander Dumas — were all written in installments in publications first. It’s a classic way of doing it — the “sit down and write a novel” concept came later.

      So you’re sort of reading a book in progress…

  • Jason Parker says:

    Wow… you just made poker interesting to me for the 1st time… it’s normally kinda boring… No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: hit me like a ton of bricks because boy can you get your butt handed to you and it happens at least 50% of the time for me, but it’s still worth doing for those 1 in every 2 people… Cool tip on staying on your toes.

    • John Carlton says:

      I’ll tell ya, Jason, I hated Texas Hold ‘Em at first, too. I was a Draw and Stud enthusiast… but watching the drama of Hold ‘Em play out is just addictive. (Side note: Poker had sunk to such low participation in Nevada, that nearly all the “poker rooms” had vanished in the Reno casinos by 1999 or so. Then “the Moneymaker effect” occurred — a nobody rookie named Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker in Hold ‘Em — and it took off again. Now, online poker sites flourish, and every casino has a huge poker parlor running 24/7. The game has captured the world’s attention…)

  • Kevin Franz says:

    John – It’s posts like this that make me keep coming to your site. Great insights on life, not just copy writing. Somehow I’m motivated to set up a poker night with my buds . . .

    • John Carlton says:

      I just met up with my old college buddies a short time ago, and we played several hours of vicious poker… just picking up where we left off 30 years ago. There’s just something about cards that brings out the micro and macro elements of life, personality and gamesmanship in everyone who digs in.
      It really is “life”, played on a table…

  • To quote Bob Dylan, “When the Foot of Pride comes down, there’s nooooo going back”.

    Thought I caught a little HST in this post. I really miss Hunter’s writing. Did you enjoy his stuff?

    • John Carlton says:

      Loved early Hunter S Thompson stuff — “Hell’s Angels” especially, and most of his early work with Rolling Stone (where “Fear & Loathing” came from… in installments, I seem to recall…)…

      • I think it started off as an article that he just kept adding to. No one knows if it is hyped or made-up, and no one seems to care.

        My Dad met him in ’72, said he was crazy…:)

  • Richard says:

    Great read John, love that about over delivering as well, hate those favors that come back to haunt us.
    Good to hear your going to James, have know James for a long time and literally watched him start out to killing it!

    Any way thanks for the great and grizzly advice.

  • martin says:

    Money’s not a problem. How many times do we have to relearn that lesson. Great advice. However, Trust But Verify may have been used by Clinton, but it originated with Ronald Reagan.

  • Hal Hoadley says:

    Hey John, Thanks for esplainin the photo above – I didn’t get it at first. The canine perspective is so down to earth, laid back and have the best poker faces around. They study you intently before making their next move. They sniff you out, trying to find out where you’ve been and what may be your next move. They are very trusting, sometimes to a fault, but they always verify. They learned that from one of their own, who incidentally. had a room in the White House. Human business owners can take a page from our furry friends. Work within the limitations you are given, trust, but verify, and always sniff around before you commit. Play the hand you’re given at the time you receive it. And learn from experience.

  • All clients….

    I still have that infamous email you wrote framed over my desk.

    • John Carlton says:

      “All clients suck.” Ah, yes, wisdom from the front-line trenches of advertising.
      And when you write for yourself, YOU’RE the worst client you’ll ever have, too. That’s a shocking revelation to everyone the first time.
      Clients suck because there is an inherent hostility to the relationship — they want the most work for the least money, basically, and you want the most money for the least work. There are happy mediums, always — otherwise, no one would ever hire anyone, for anything, ever.
      But it pays to understand the push-pull of the relationship going in, so you’re not bamboozled, and the client doesn’t end up feeling snookered.
      Thanks for the note, Doc.

  • Tim says:

    John, as a beginning marketer, I am still learning the emotions, wants and desires within the market place (as well as within myself) but the picture of sitting at a poker table trying to “read” the actions of player is very strong. There are many ‘tells’ there but in internet marketing, there are no ‘tells’ to work from, it is all based on our ideas and creative imagination to find out what works or does not. Thanks for your insight – will return to obtain further ‘word pictures’ to improve my marketing work.

  • Sandy Moore says:

    We are all human and react in different ways. Your nugget about “Money is no problem” is very true. However, I find a lot of people I deal with mainly say money is a problem and when it comes to the crunch they generally have more than they say they have to invest. As humans no one wants to let on before hand as they like to keep their winning hand up their sleeve just as they do in poker! Forever testing the water before jumping in.
    Great Post with a lemon twist! 🙂

    • robert says:

      [I find a lot of people I deal with mainly say money is a problem and when it comes to the crunch they generally have more than they say they have to invest.]

      Dan Kennedy’s most recent newsletter talks about this. People DO have the money, they only spend it on what they WANT.

      And, like John says, it’s not always logical. What they SHOULD spend their money on and where they actually blow it are often vastly different.

  • Great post John. I’ve spent the last year working on going pro in poker (live not online) and I’m not there yet. Here’s just three of the things I’ve learned:
    1. The game magnifies your mental deficiencies by magnitudes
    2. You can’t let your mind drift at all. As you said – your only as good as your last hand and you need to concentrate on what is going on now. Remember what happened in the past – learn from it- but don’t dwell there.
    3. You may not be superstitious when you start playing poker but after a year of experiencing variance – the idea of “poker gods” and “lady luck” start to take on new significance.

  • Colin says:

    I’ve always wondered why it is always “Lady Luck”???
    Maybe in the good old days when we lived by a strict “Code” it was thought we would behave better if “Lady Luck” struck us down…now if “Manly Luck” was to strike me down then I’d get back up and try and tear him a new…

    Anyway call them customers, clients or Patients it seems to be a Lucky Day when one of them doesn’t try an surprise me with some new variation of human nature…

  • Mor says:

    I love the line, “Cuz the next dance on your card may be one nasty little boogie.” It’s great. Kind of reminds me of one of my favorite authors – Tom Robbins.
    Also, Marvin (1st post) is so right. I have had the privilege to learn from some of the top people in the music industry, and amid an industry full of ego these are the nicest and most humble people you meet at the very top – who love what they do and keep doing a fantastic job every time (giving each project their great talent and a lot of hard work and dedication, never resting even after doing it for many decades).
    Good stuff.

  • Hi John

    Love your post – can soo relate to it (and I don’t know how to play poker)

    Life is a series of cycles – how we respond to something – good, bad, evil or even plain ugly and dirty is what makes or breaks us.

    I have gone through a patch where my copy stunk – I was in limbo, as my life was like a full-tilt
    (not quite at the edge). I stopped and remembered to breathe.

    You know its now worth getting sooo worked up over!

    Love this bit:
    Pay attention. Learn your chops, get good at what you do, and soak up everything you can from the grizzled guys with experience.

    And heed their warnings.

    Cuz the next dance on your card may be one nasty little boogie”

    Thank you heaps and keep the words flowing 🙂

    all the best


  • Bioniclily says:

    I love poker too! I even get up early to watch it on tv. It’s on a 2am. I just saw Phil H shoot a video of everyone at the table and put it on twitter with his smart phone, WOW
    I can see your point about the poker analogy.
    I just love when these guys have shit for cards and win a big pot. The bluff, I see this everyday, some people just bullshit their way thru life and have no worries. No worries until someone figures out your bluff. Then it’s time to go play hide and go seek

  • Adil says:

    Brilliant post mate,

    As always another golden nugget distilled into my young writing brain from a grizzled vet.

    So true about what you said about money, I’ve had people ask for “samples” of my work, sometimes get me to write copy for them and them no pay me, other times just take the samples and try haphazardly to cut and paste it together….

    I wonder if they’ll ever realise how much of a bitch karma can be at times.

    All in all thanks for this lesson on “Trust but Verify”.



    P.S. still gotta send you something at some point as a thank you

  • The way we play is a mirror image of how we work. Realizing this helped me question and improve the way I work.
    Markus Trauernicht

  • “Often within a very short period of time, the cockiness is replaced by a seething rage…
    … rage at the other players, at the universe, at the cards, at everything within reach.”

    Experienced the exact same thing during real estate negotiations this past week. Buyer started taking everything out on me because she wasn’t getting what she wanted. I completely understand the brain going “boing, boing, boing”.

    Great post, John!

  • Frank says:

    It’s like matchplay in golf. Unless you are aware that what you did in the previous rounds is irrelevant to today’s round you have every chance of getting crushed.

    You blow out the first two guys and you get into this mindset that this matchplay thing is easy. Then all of a sudden you play the next match and it’s not going the way the other two went. Next minute you’re knocked out not knowing what the heck happened.

    Got to block out the past and focus on today. Deal with it in the context of today not yesterday.

  • patricia says:

    Hi John,
    Good points to rememer….as you noted, a Zen attitude with all things in life is wonderful, however being mere mortals, it’s not something we can always adhere to. And suffer the consequences as a result!
    By the way, King Canute only did the “stop the wave” thing to prove to his subjects that it was not he that had ultimate power in life, that there was a greater power than his and they should pay tribute where it was due.
    Thanks for the wonderful writing and post!

  • Dana says:

    Great stuff once again.
    “you’re only as good as your last action. The best copywriters, entrepreneurs, marketers, affiliates, launch managers, deal makers and heart-breakers in the world…”

    This is so true, and so terrible at the same time. The example that comes to me, being a football fan, is Brett Favre. Everyone talks about his interception last year against the Saints. Did it suck, ya, but he has all the records he holds because he lays it on the line like that. He’s not afraid to take risk, and unfortunately when you take enough risks, some of them are going to come back and bite you square in the ass…CHOMP! But that’s better than sitting on the “sidelines of life,” watching everyone else have fun and try to make the most of their lives.

    And then you have Gary Larson of “The Far Side,” who just walked away from his comic. He wanted to quit before he wasn’t funny anymore and he did. However, I think he should’ve kept it going. His arsenal would be bigger than ever for stuff to write about these days.

    But as long as one just goes about their business, learns from the lessons of life and uses them to propel themselves and others onward and upward, it won’t really matter what others think…unless you let it.

  • robert says:

    My personal favorite:

    A person lays this line on you within 5 minutes of meeting them:

    “I’m a Christian.”

    I’ve never seen anyone ACT like a Christian after telling me that they are one when I first meet them.

    I *always* grab my wallet when I hear this line, and I usually have to turn my head and cough to stifle my reflexive guffaw.

  • ken ca|houn says:

    Good points – reinventing oneself as necessary to stay in the game and get ahead vs resting on laurels is key to success. I learn more about human nature at 1st base at the Bellagio playing blackjack than just about anywhere else, gotta give poker a go someday too.

    I like seeing how people react under pressure, when money’s on the line. The number one rule, and this is true of traders as well, in seeing hundreds of players come and go is, virtually nobody seems to follow the freaking rules. There’s rules to success. I sit there for hours at first base, breaking even, up a little, down a little, during dealer shift changes, the players come and go and don’t play by strict best-case rules like they should (I do.). I ask the pit bosses and dealers, all over vegas, ‘why don’t they play by the rules?” (#1 basic strategy error is they stand on 15s/16s btw). They shrug and say, “they want to use their instinct”… which is another way of saying, and this is true of human nature, most people don’t do what it takes to follow the rules of success to make it.

    While that makes it easier on us who do follow rules to outcompete and build empires, it still leaves me shaking my head… why don’t people do what it takes, the work ethic/discipline/learning from the best/taking action to implement, that it takes to succeed? I still don’t understand. insights anyone? I’m really baffled about why the majority of people don’t do the hard, specific things they need to, to become successful. Baffles the heck outta me (and I’ve got two degrees in psych and none of it clarifies… fear of success? self esteem? why don’t they follow the rules?)…

    Anyways good points John re not resting on one’s laurels, cuz “you’re only as good as your last hand”.


    • John Carlton says:

      It’s all about the sizzling hormones in the human brain, Ken. “Logic” and “rational thinking” are very modern concepts, always swimming upstream against the more “natural” instincts… and remember, even a couple of hundred years ago the smart dudes and dudettes amongst us got burned at the stake…
      … cuz the majority of idiots are threatened (even today) by critical thinking, analysis of ideas, and the scientific method.
      More for us, my friend, more for us…

      • ken ca|houn says:

        Thanks John… your words as always are like you put it colorfully awhile back, a ‘brain-cleanse’… much needed and appreciated. right re Scientific method and specifics are where it’s at, leaves more for those who do it right. Thanks for all you do, as always. Ever a student of the game.

  • Kevin Rogers says:

    Another monster post, me Lord.

    Great reminder to ride the big waves as they come, but never take your eye off the horizon.

    There’s always a sand bar (or even a great white) just drooling for a slice of your skin.


    • John Carlton says:

      Thanks for the note, as always, K-man… and nice visuals.
      However, I gotta ask: Have you ever been on a surfboard, Chi-town Boy? I’ve tried twice — as a confirmed bodysurfer, though, I eschewed skags and wood, preferring the intimacy of being gently embraced by the wave just before smashing face-first into the mud.
      But I’ll tell ya, there were moments with the sun glowing like a green angel through the curl as you nestled into the break, where it got about as spiritual as I’ve ever experienced life…

  • As usual, I love it!
    John, you always bring valuable insights and actionable applications for real life.

    Parenthetically, I posted a somewhat related post to my blog. I’d be uber-flattered if you checked it out at http://donnie-bryant.com/blog/when-ego-gets-in-the-way.

    Don’t worry, there’s a link back to this post at the end.

    Thanks for the great material, John.

  • Mathias says:

    Damn it, one more great post, and they just keep commin. Today i walked down the main street in my hometown, just going for a walk, get some fresh air you know… And as i walked it suddently dawned upon me… all these people. Teenagers hooked on cellphones, girltalking on cafees, business-suits high on status. Old women trying to catch up with the youngsters because they wanna feel young again.

    The consumer-world can seem scary, bizarre and crazy. and its filled with all kinds of weird fantasies and irrational behavior reinforced over and over again.

    But behind all that, if you know what to look for, you’ll find that there are predictable patterns to why people do what they do. Principles of human behavior that will help you navigate through this wicked consumer-jungle, so that you can present yourself as the authority over people’s world.
    They are looking for someone to fulfill their fantasizes god damn it, be that guy

    Understand your costumer/client. know how to deal with him. Because he’s not very good at dealing with himself.

  • […] P.S. John Carlton recently wrote a similarly-themed post on his blog. He took the Texas Hold’em Poker angle. Great stuff. Take a look at “Full Tilt Boogie.” […]

  • >