Tag Archives: hockey

The Price of Entry

IMG_1749About a year ago, I took my daughter to a Devils game.  To be honest, she didn’t seem overly interested in the game.  It appeared that she was more excited by the cotton candy and Devil horns.  I was extremely surprised when she said at the end of the game “I want to play hockey.”  At that point we had only taken her ice skating a handful of times.  I told her that I fully supported the idea of her playing hockey but that there were some steps she needed to go through first.  She needed to spend this winter improving her skating and starting to learn how to play the game.  This past weekend she had her first hockey tournament.

This is not a story about some miraculous discovery of talent that blossomed over the past year.  My daughter spends a large amount of time on the ice.  Literally, she falls down more than anyone on her team, usually during the handshakes at the end of the game.  Her team lost all of their games this past weekend by an average margin of over 10 goals.  They did not score once.  I loved every minute watching her play!  Not because she played great, she didn’t.  Not because she gave it everything she had, she didn’t.  I loved it because she went out there to pay the price of entry: FAILURE.

This is the thing that stops most people.  They don’t want to feel bad or look foolish, so they move on quickly from things that invite failure into their lives.  The truth is that failure is the “ante” that we all must put in to play the poker games of life.  We must risk failure in order to play.  It’s unfortunate that we’ve become so completely risk averse that people don’t want to play unless they’re guaranteed to win.  The joy in a “for sure” victory is relatively hollow.  It is only in those times where we truly risk failure that we are living fully.  Taking the chance to learn from missteps, blunders and shortcomings is a major ingredient of later success.  The leap is a prerequisite.

IMG_2824So as you go out into the world today and do whatever it is that makes you feel alive, do it with the joy of a 9 year old girl.  One who had such a big smile on her face most of the weekend that no one would have ever known her team lost by large margins.  I do not believe that you should want to fail.  I just believe that you should be willing to RISK IT!

Fail forward!

Pete

The Championship Photo

ChampionshipPhotoIn this country and around the world Champions are lauded for their accomplishments.  Usually the scene of victory is filled with a trophy to be kissed, confetti falling, champagne popping and players/fans rejoicing.  The reason that this scene is so easy to recreate in one’s mind is that it is pervasive throughout sport.  Depending on the particular sport, one could be even more specific about the scene.  Regardless of which championship is one there is an invisible specter that is ever-present but has seemingly been forgotten by many who are watching.  The fruits of the labor are on full display but the labor often gets overlooked.  In a world where instant gratification is becoming more of the norm will we be seduced by the empty triumph of getting the small reward now or choose the labor that creates real results?  The answer is that both will happen.

There will be many people who get swept up in the power of the “Now Economy”.  They will take the short term rewards and overlook some of the long term consequences.  It is not a surprising phenomena that people take the easier path.  On a biochemical level, our reward system is easily seduced by the immediate regardless of its hollowness.  It takes time and training to override this system.

The greatest of all time were able to train themselves to be long term greedy.  Rather than giving in to the temptation of the moment, they put in the work now in order to reap the benefits later.  Often that was months or even years later.  The prize at the end may have been what drove them but the process of attaining greatness is won daily.

Each of us has the power within to choose.  There probably won’t be a championship trophy at the end for most of us.  Our accomplishments won’t be on ESPN.  It will almost all happen on the inside.  The triumph will be over self and circumstance with only a few fans (friends and family) there to celebrate.  Will you be able to hold your head high based on what you have done?  Or will you be looking down at the path of shortcuts that you took to run yourself in circles?  You have the power to choose and you’re choosing right now.  Choose wisely!

Pete