“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
I’m not sure who originally said this, but I think Wayne Gretzky is credited it for it the most. Whether he did or did not. The statement is true in the game of hockey, which Gretzky is considered to be one of the best at, or the best. And it also pertains to life.
I think there is another version of the quote that says “You will regret that of which you did not pursue, more than the things you did pursue.” For me this is the more relevant statement when it has come to my life.
I am not sure when it started, but I know as an adult I have always had this willingness to be willing to take a risk, even when it wasn’t the best risk to take. I know there are people saying as they read this, that you have to take calculated risks and not be dumb about it. But I am not sure where that line is drawn.
I believe most of us spend too much of our lives questioning, thinking, discussing, instead of doing. Look around at the meeting you are in today. How many times have you and your colleagues talked about this same issue? This same person who is an issue?
My guess is a lot, and you will continue to do this until someone says “I’ve had it.” “We can no longer allow this person control the culture of our organization.” “We can no longer be paralyzed by our indecisions and fear of the worst.” Until someone steps up and says this, you will continue to do what you have always done and you will continue to get what you have always gotten.
Two times in my life now, I gave up a very substantial six figure salary to go out on a limb and bet on myself. The first time, the risk was a little premature. The lessons I learned were priceless though.
The second time I did this, it was a success. When I say success, I mean in general it was successful, but it had a lot of bumps in the road. And the road continues to be bumpy. But that is just the reality of life if you are going to play in an uncertain game and you put all of your chips on the table.
The best lessons I have learned by going to zero dollars twice are lessons I couldn’t learn playing it safe. We all know how it ends. When I get to the end, I want to be able to say, you did it all. You have nothing left to try.
Where is it in your life you need to take a risk and prove to yourself you can do it? If for nothing else, to learn.
I am not saying you have to go to zero dollars to learn what you are capable of or to take a risk. I am saying you have to be willing to go to zero though. If you aren’t willing, the chances are you will never do anything that is too far out of you comfort zone to know.
Jim Rohn one of my first mentors said it this way. He said “The pain of discipline weighs ounces, and the pain of regrets weighs tons.” I don’t mind the discipline, but I don’t want the regrets.
To your success and your future.
This morning I was reading a book titled The CEO Next Door. I am only two chapters in to the book, but I already have a couple of pages of notes. This book includes research from over 17,000 assessments and over 2,600 real interviews of CEO candidates that were ultimately placed in to CEO positions. This book provides what they call the CEO Genome, the characteristics of successful CEO’s.
One of the key characteristics of successful CEO’s that they shared already in the book, that I think is more important today than ever before. Great CEO’s and great CEO candidates have the ability to make complex things seem simple. They communicate complex things in terms that people can understand and buy in to. They do this by making sure all stakeholders understand how something applies to them and then uses simple terms that are easily understood.
The ability to make things simple and communicate it in a way that is easily understood is really an art and is necessary for all areas of life. Everything seems more complex than ever before. So anyone who can communicate and make things seem simple is someone who can carve out a niche for themselves.
A few areas that I believe that too many people over complicate, that aren’t really that complicated. Losing weight and becoming more financially healthy. My mentor told me that there are about a half of dozen things that we can all do to have success in whatever it is that we seek to have success in.
Becoming healthier and losing weight: What are the things you can do that lead could lead you to success when applied.
- Exercise for 30 minutes a day
- Eat less
- Eat better foods
- drink more water
- Cut out the bad thing you know you need to cut out. (alcohol, sweets, etc.)
What if you want to become better financially? What would you need to do?
- Make more money
- Cut out unnecessary expenses
- Get rid of your debt.
- Dont buy things you can’t afford.
What if you want to be a better employee?
- Show up early
- Be willing to put in extra hours as needed.
- Be coachable
- Get a long with others.
- Learn how your position contributes to profitability and then do whatever that is repeatedly.
The blueprint is easy. It isn’t complicated. Quit over complicating things in your life and boil it down to the simplest of terms and the simplest of activities. Because the more simple the better. I understand the hard part is the execution of each of these things. But too many people get ahead of themselves and start over thinking the execution way before they even know what it is they need to do.
Make a calendar. Put on the calendar the 15 times this month you will exercise for 30 minutes a day. Secondly, figure out how you can cut out some of the bad foods you are eating and what you could replace them with.
If it is better financial health you want. The first question I ask is always, “How can you make more money?” That is easy. You can figure that out. The second question is “Are there things I should cut out? What are they?
And if you want to be a better employee. Ask yourself or others in your organization: “Where could I be better team-mate?” “Where else could I contribute to help our company or department be more successful?”
I know some of this seems like common sense. And guess what? It is. Common sense is common knowledge, but unfortunately it is not common practice. Where do you need to implement more practice and less talk?
Remember you are the CEO of your life. You have to take control of it. By making things simple for yourself, it will give you the motivation and path to make it happen.
To your success and your future.