If I had to sum up this blog post in one sentence I would say, "Do not be results oriented!" This particular concept is very hard for most people to grasp immediately. After all, we are extremely results oriented creatures. We are mostly taught from birth that positive and skillful endeavors should directly lead to immediate positive results.
If a skilled carpenter with years of experience takes a day and builds a table, assuming he has all of the necessary tools and materials, he will come out with a nice sturdy product nearly 100% of the time. Now take the skilled winning poker player in a hand against a huge fish. In position the skilled player flops two pair and value bets three streets. After pushing all-in on the river, the fish calls and flips up a winning straight after hitting his gut shot on the river. Ouch right? It really hurts to lose this way. But get used to it. This will happen thousands of times during your career. Maybe not this exact situation, but one very similar will occur often.
You will "get sucked out on" many times over your career. But should you question your play? Yes, of course, we should always analyze what we do. But if our conclusion is that we played the hand well, we should never dwell on it. Allowing a past hand, whether positive or negative, to affect future hands is the definition of tilt. And yes, you can be on positive tilt from the energy received from a positive result. Anything that makes you play less than optimal is tilt.
The ultimate solution to dealing with so-called "bad beats" is to develop a sort of indifference about the entire endeavor. In all facets of your poker game, you must have a Zen-like ability to distance yourself from the dollar amounts on the table, while at the same time focus on the action and make laser-like deductions based on the information at hand.
When planning a hand, you do not think in terms of the results of this particular hand right now but rather the net profitability of the situation every time it arises over the course of a career. In other words, is the average profit per hand played this way plus or negative? Every decision has either a "+" or a "-" to it and that is called EV or expected value. The key is to try and make only +EV plays. Not only do you have to make +EV plays, you have to make higher +EV plays then your opponents in similar situations.
You should always be asking yourself long term questions during hands. He has this a lot, he has this sometimes, he does this some with this... etc. You should base decisions on the opponents entire range, not just the top, bottom, or middle of it.
Confused? If so, there are numerous articles and books concerning the math of EV. Go seek them out. The intent of my book is to shape your fundamentals such that +EV plays will come naturally without actually needing to think too much about it. Don't get too caught up in the numbers, it can slow down your progress.
My goal in telling you to think long term is to realize that even if you lose a hand, as long as the play is profitable long term then this particular result means nothing. So never beat yourself up just because you are losing right now. You must keep your mind clear and not let results affect decisions.