Above my desk lies a quote. “No regrets. Just lessons learned. Accept your past with no regrets, handle your present with confidence, and face your future with no fear.” A quote I stole from Toronto Maple Leafs Head Coach Sheldon Keefe who knows a few things about overcoming adversity. No matter what your opinion of the current world we live in I want to remind you opinions are not facts.”
No matter what your opinion of the current world we live in I want to remind you opinions are not facts.”
Unlike some the pandemic has provided me clarity; not panic. I needed to sit on the sidelines and see how this played out before I shared my thoughts. My Dad used to tell me that getting to work in sports and pursuing your passion is just the “sandbox of life.” I had no idea how his words would help me later in life. He used to always remind me “it takes all types.” Again, I had no idea what he was talking about.
Ironically, these messages have helped me in my personal life and career not the sandbox; although I do still spend my share of time in the sand traps on the golf course.
Today he is not able to articulate this message due to illness, but his words still ring true. I was a lucky kid. Able to play and not worry about the stresses of life. We had a vacation property to escape to in Invermere which has been an incredible blessing when I have needed to mute the noise of the city and world this past year.
In hockey I was taught to drive, push forward, sacrifice and most importantly lead by example. To be honest this gets you through some tough moments but in my opinion, it is a failed strategy. The most difficult thing for me to overcome is negative messaging from my past; and those who try and pull you back into who you used to be. I often turn to a book called The Psychology of Winning or I reach out to my mental coach in Edmonton.
Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner has not played much this season and recently expressed his feelings about his absence. Lehner dealt with substance abuse and mental health in the early stages of his hockey career and rumours were swirling he had perhaps relapsed. To his credit he faced the noise head on this week sharing he had a concussion. The organization like most hockey teams do not like to disclose player injuries for a variety of reasons. Lehner did not care because he knew could help others facing similar circumstances outside the game. I was taken back by his honest approach. To me it represented true leadership.
This leads me to what everyone desires in life. Success. It is not always about pushing forward sometimes its about persistence, hard work, sacrifice, discipline, passion, risk, overcoming fear and doubt and finally criticism. I stress the need to revaluate your current lifestyle and ask yourself if you are getting enough rest and are you eating healthy? Simple steps and a great place to start.
Can you recognize your triggers and are there some people in your life that you may need to mute? This does not mean canceling others it means recognizing what someone thinks of you are not facts only their opinion of where you fit in their world.
During a crisis people make excuses. It is a natural response. When the emotions have passed, I ask the question. What would you like to do instead? The answer will come to you almost immediately. Do that.
I have been able to help countless small businesses the past year and I will continue to. What drives me is helping others. Money does not impress me. How you treat others does. No matter what your opinion of the current world we live in I want to remind you opinions are not facts. I rarely watch TV and I meditate asking myself how I can help well before how I can make money.
When I coached minor hockey at a higher level then I ever played I was stunned by the noise from players, parents and most importantly internally within the organization. I was at the depths of my struggle and could hardly get to the rink each day. I did not want to quit and wanted to push through. I thought that was winning.
Yesterday a store manager tore a strip out of me. I had put our product on the wrong shelf in his store. It was an honest mistake but when I returned to the store, he was ready to lay into me even though he had already vented over the phone to myself and my business partner. It reminded me of a hockey. The idea of motivating with fear and being angry to motivate others makes me laugh. Its an old school method and frankly it does not work on this next generation anyway.
You may disagree but when was the last time someone yelled at you and you walked away feeling better. I have always used a method of understanding; give a staff member two points of positive feedback and then address the negative. Countless times in the corporate world I think how I would have handled this differently on the ice.
At 41 it felt like I had been called to the Principals office which was not an unfamiliar feeling for me. I sat listened to him and thought of the past year. My cancelled wedding. Another failed relationship. My Dads illness and the health struggles those closest to me continued to battle and overcome. The struggles and miles I had put on to build my business. Then I reminded myself that not everything is connected; I challenge you to use negative past circumstances as a way to stay in the now and deal with the present. I fixed the situation in store and moved on. I had to remind myself that opinions are not facts and people make mistakes. Using fear as a motivator is still prevalent in the workplace which actually spurs entrepreneurial efforts.
The world is changing quickly and the only thing you have total control over are your emotions and how you react to situations. When you see something, you disagree with think the opposite to what your past opinion may have been. Hold doors for people. Understand the struggle others may be facing in the moment and reflect instead of judging. Its called emotional intelligence.
The “type” I have always respected are those who can accept failure and start again. It begins with a healthy mindset not a healthy body like athletes were taught in the past. I am forced to do it everyday.
I will leave you with a final question. “If you could do anything what would it be?”
Do that. Live your Truth. It will set you free.