The purpose of life is the life of purpose

We shared Christmas with 11 grandchildren 12 and under. It was surprisingly well organized with each age category grouping themselves as to their interests and compatibility. The older boys played on the rink, computer and their high tempo video games. The bigger girls had a dance routine that they danced to while they watched the TV monitor for instructions. When they tired of dance they would go out to the rink in the back of the house and the big boys would come in. The little guys ran around, played on the ice and did their version of the big kid activity. At one of these video games Jake a 3 year old challenged me to a game of tennis. It was my first attempt at the game, as I tried to co-ordinate my thumbs around the buttons that would send the ball back over the net. Not Jake; he used both thumbs and body contortions to return the ball into my court. His ball would go from side to side, mine went over the middle of the net. Needless to say Jake won easily. His mother said, “Jake likes to win and he gets really upset if he loses.” Which brings me to the reason I started this story.

Everyone knows what it’s like to win and most everyone wants to win. Many times people win at an endeavor without the faintest idea why they won. The characteristic I like in people especially team members is the attitude that they hate to lose. When you hate to lose, you recognize and study your adversary. You watch what he does well, then you emulate or devise a strategic plan to negate that ability. The people who hate to lose are those people who are prepared to pay the price to win or succeed. I’m not saying you should go out and trample a 3 year old, but I am saying when you are competing in a sport or in the world of commerce, to succeed you must focus, concentrate and initiate action to win.

Ryan Walters an ex NHLer and now a sports broadcaster talks about a time he played for Jacques Lemaire. Ryan was having trouble scoring. Jacques said to Ryan, “Quit looking at the goalies pads and look past the pads for holes.” After this prolonged drought, Ryan started scoring by looking past the pads for opportunities. His scoring touch returned. 90 % of elite athletes in a sport have the same or similar skill level.

Brian Walter also mentioned in his book, whether you like it or not you do talk to yourself. If it’s positive there will be mainly a positive outcome. If they are negative thoughts or reinforcements, the outcome will be negative. No person, no family, no business can afford the luxury of negative thought.

When I coached hockey, I used to say to my team, “Life is like a hockey game.” The only difference is that the hockey game is over in 60 minutes and you know if you won or lost. In life it’s over in 80 or so years. The same principles and life’s rule apply. Have a positive mental attitude, study your craft, practice, give an honest days work for an honest days pay. Don’t throw the loonie away, using the same principle as don’t throw the puck away. I promise you in the long run you will be amongst those who have had a good, prosperous, happy and satisfying life. Or as Robert Byrne would say, “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”

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