By Mike Aux-Tinee
A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be. – Wayne Gretzky
I came across this quote by Wayne Gretzky and thought it was pretty cool. Of course, if you ever wanted to be a hockey player; taking his advice would be a great idea.
But what if you, like me, are not and will never be a hockey player? Should you just give the quote a, humm… that’s interesting and just move on? I actually thought about doing that and was just about to click the back button when a little voice in my head screamed out… “Are you sure about doing that? Isn’t one of your mottos: “If someone successful is giving advice, you should listen”
I hate to admit it, but that little voice is correct and it did make me stop and think. “Why am I in such a hurry to pass over this? Would I do the same if it was Donald Trump, Warren Buffet or any other successful person?” Probably not. So to silence the peanut gallery, I held off and spent some time thinking about what the greatest hockey player has to say and how his advice may really apply to my life… and since you are reading this, yours too.
So, let’s break it down.. shall we? And here is what I came up with.
Thinking about the first line, “A good hockey player plays where the puck is.” is good advice all on it’s own. Hey, you can’t be in the game unless you are playing where everyone else is too.
There is so much to be gained; friends, contacts and you may learn something new. All of these things can help out on any future endeavor. So what, if you get a little roughed up, that’s called experience. The next time you get into the same situation, keep your head up and watch out so you don’t have the same thing happen again. Otherwise, that’s called not learning your lesson and shame on you.
Also, playing where the puck is, gives you the chance to get control of it and then you have your chance to shine. Not a bad thing especially if there is something you are working towards; a better job, a pay raise or maybe acknowledgement by someone who is important.
Also, being where everyone else is, you are able to watch others with more experience and how they handle situations. That is an incredible and valuable learning experience. Can you imagine if you could sit for a day and watch Warren Buffett as he goes through his process on where he is going to make his next investments? Then you can take what you have learned and adopt those strategies. Not too bad for being a fly on the wall.
Onto the second line, “A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” I think this can be a bit intimidating. But when you give it some more thought, it is a brilliant piece of advice!
Look at it like this, if everyone is where the action is and you decide to jump in, you have now become the last person to arrive on the scene. Remembering what I said above, if there is something you are trying to achieve, it may not happen because the goodies have already been claimed or the person doling them out has lost interest and moved on…. think early bird!
Now, knowing where the puck is going to be requires a lot of experience, a broad overview and some guts to take on more risk than your are comfortable with. The upsides to taking risk is the payoff if you are correct, but the down sides… well… if you are wrong… you could lose everything and that is not always appealing. We are not creatures who like to take risks when the potential loss is greater when compared to the gain.
But as the old saying goes, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
And that is what we are all trying to do, gain something that will make our lives better. Whether we are trying to get out of debt, a better job or just to quell the little voices in our head.
We should not be so quick to dismiss what someone has to say before we have time to think about it and how it may apply to our life. If I had done that, I would have missed out on a very inspirational quote that is more than meets the eye.