Mental Resilience, Cognitive Canaries & High-Stakes Decision Making with Retired Poker Pro Chris Sparks

"There are no adverse conditions, just opportunities to differentiate yourself through proper training, mindset, and preparation... all personal development is a Trojan horse to contemplate the existential." – Chris Sparks
Chris Sparks is a one-of-a-kind human; he's a retired professional poker pro who was once ranked one of the top 20 players in the world.

But in recent years, he has applied himself to coaching and running workshops on decision-making, systems thinking, and peak performance. And as you'll hear in this conversation, he is not only brilliant but also wise.

Before we hit record, I said to Chris let's record a masterclass in mindset for staying calm and making good decisions in high-stress environments ~ and he didn't really disappoint.

Our conversation ranged from talking about tools he used to stay calm or shift his state during high-stakes poker games and how he eliminated mental distractions in critical moments. He shared some meta-principles that he learnt through poker but applies to life more broadly—as well as how his approach and philosophy around productivity have shifted over the years.

I deeply enjoyed this conversation with Chris, and I have a sense that you will too. I'll also mention that Chris has what he calls a 'performance assessment', which I've linked in the show notes ~ that provides a series of excellent questions to reflect on.


📝 Take the Forcing Function Self-Assessment
💬  Find Chris on Twitter @SparksRemarks
🎙️  Listen to Chris' Podcast
👨‍🎓  Signup for Chris' Feb 2023 course on 'Team Performance Training'

🫁 Episode Sponsor // NSM

This episode of Curious Humans is brought to by the one and only 'Nervous System Mastery' ~ which is my flagship 5-week Bootcamp designed to equip you with evidence-backed Protocols to Cultivate Greater Agency Over Your Physical, Mental & Emotional State.

The 2022 cohort will be running this November ~ and applications are now officially open until midnight on October 28th. My sense is that if this conversation resonates with you, then you'd likely be a great fit for our upcoming cohort.

This NSM curriculum represents my attempt to distil everything that I've learnt in recent years about how to create the conditions for our nervous system's flourishing & previous students have shared how partaking not only improved their sleep and quality of relationships but also tap into deeper states of joy, clarity and confidence in their lives.

We've already had over 250 applications, and places will be limited ~ so if you're intrigued at all, you can find more details and apply to join this year's cohort over at

Mental Resilience, Cognitive Canaries & High-Stakes Decision Making with Retired Poker Pro Chris Sparks
Broadcast by