In the following interview with Darryll Fish we talk about a trip to Costa Rica, for the Envision Festival, and a meeting with a man called Charles Eisenstein that changed his perspective of life.
Fish talks about how our lives are centered around stories that we have often allowed others to create for us, how stories have held him back in the past, how he has used his own to help others, and the story he plans to create to be a better man moving forward.
Talk to me about the Envision Festival and your meeting with Charles Eisenstein.
“The guy who did the presentation is an author by the name of Charles Eisenstein. He has written a few books on how to improve the world, and how to improve the economy, or alternative methods of the economy, of markets trades we can use that are more efficient than the dollar system, different things like that. Thinking differently about the way the world works, because a lot of things are not working well at the moment.
“He talks about our lives being a story. Everything we do and everything that is happening in the universe is a story. A lot of the time we base our actions and thoughts on stories we have heard, and know of. It can be as small as a bad beat in a poker story, and as large as how the agricultural age came to be, and the evolution of technology.
“He talked about how, instead of relying on stories we already know and feel comfortable with, we should create new stories for some of these thought processes. We don’t have to go for the script that is out there, written by someone else, and probably not the best way we should live our lives. We need to be able to rewrite history for ourselves and the rest of the world; to make things better.”
What are some of the stories that have held you back in the past?
“I think the money thing is definitely something that applies to me. I grew up in a very humble home, didn’t have a lot of material goods, and didn’t experience the finer things in life. I told myself that when I grew up I would make money and buy things for myself, and create these experiences that I had lacked. I assumed this would make me happy.
“This is why I got into poker. It fitted the mould of the story I wanted to create for myself. It was about the money. Then I realized that money doesn’t deliver happiness. The story had to change. All you need is enough. The story started to recreate itself. It’s about happiness. Money helps, but it’s not the centrifugal force for happiness.”
Our stories also impact others.
“Yes, they do, but not always in a bad way. About a year ago I met a guy playing poker, and he recently said he had read one of my blogs about when I was suffering financially, and struggling, and how I got out of that mess. He said that reading that story inspired him, and even though life was tough that there is always more to the story. It doesn’t have to end in a finite way, it can be changed. I was touched that my words, and my story, were able to inspire him to find a better place for himself, and it was really nice to hear him say that.”
What other ways do you envisage helping people in the future?
“I would like to think I would live my life serving as much as I can, as often as I can. That’s pretty idealistic; life gets complicated and there is a lot of shit we have to deal with. I would love to help people all of the time but it’s not that easy. I would love to do more humanitarian work when I can, volunteering time to help good causes. When you see the gratitude in people’s hearts, when you help them, there is no better felling than that. Winning a poker tournament does not feel as good as helping just one person. That potentially leads to a domino effect. You help one person, they feel inspired to help another person, and that domino effect can help change the world.”
Is poker one of the most difficult careers to have when it comes to committing to philanthropy because of bankroll management issues?
“If you have a job that provides a super comfortable salary where you know you can set money aside for philanthropic endeavors, then it’s less stressful than having to win a poker tournament to have to rely on donating money. It’s not always easy to donate money. I can’t control if I can win a million bucks a year, but what matters is when you do you do what you can when you have the opportunity. Eventually it will manifest into action.
“It’s all about having it as part of an overall philosophy of life. If you have that in your head, then you will maybe have better results. Instead of saying I hope I win and not knowing what you are going to do with the money when you do.”