My 15-yr old son, Zach, decided he wants to play hockey (inspired by the Vegas Golden Knights’ success).
He passionately wants to play.
He (and I) started playing street hockey twice a week.
Zach got a stick, a small goal and he practices in our cul-de-sac every afternoon… until after 10PM.
He’s going to the gym to get stronger and work on cardio.
Two weeks ago he’d never been on skates.
So, he enrolled in a beginners skating class where all the other skaters were little kids literally less than half his size… talk about embarrassment as the 6’ 1” kid falls with the little kids?
But in a total “man-move” he’s doing it anyway and in just three weeks on ice he skates gracefully forward and backward, does fast turnarounds, crossovers, and can jump traffic cones.
So, there’s NOTHING half-hearted going on for Zach with hockey.
During “free skate” at the ice rink we bring the family, rent skates, and Zach teaches me (read: laughs at me).
Now, my daughter, Seneca, while very physically capable, decided skating was not something she cared to excel at.
Her goal for free skate was… to not fall.
She went around a few times with choppy steps holding onto the wall, or to someone’s hand, took snack breaks, and finished having successfully avoided falling.
Me? I began with a fall on my butt so hard the refs (or whatever they’re called) came over to see if I was ok. (My derriere still hurts).
But I kept at it, fell a lot more, and by the end was doing crossovers and skating decently.
So, what’s the point???
Isn’t this the way life is?
If you live to avoid falling, risk little or nothing, take choppy steps and a lot of breaks… you may just arrive safely at the end of your life.
You will also avoid any of the joy or self-confidence that comes with growth and success, but you’ll be safe – probably.
On the other hand, if you want to compete on the highest levels the way Zach does, or even if you just want to learn and keep up, you must risk; you WILL fall; and you must get up and keep going.
When it comes to the things that matter…
Half-hearted doesn’t work.
Now, if it’s not something that’s important to you, fine. The problem is so many people are half-hearted toward important parts of their lives!
Like relationships, health, career, finances, even their spirituality.
Here’s the real problem with “half-hearted;” it’s seductive and insidious.
Half-heartedness creeps into our lives nearly undetected with a compromise here, an indulgence there, a second bowl of ice cream, a third hour of TV, a lowering of standards when no one’s looking… and voila… we’re spectators when we want to be participants.
This is why I implore people to make the choice to become Life Virtuosos, masters of the things that matter.
It’s not about being good at everything; it’s about being GREAT at the most important things.
For what it’s worth, Seneca also made the right decision: Skating is not something at which she cares to excel, so she participated with the family and reserves her whole-heartedness for the things that matter to her.
1. What important part of your life are you doing half-heartedly?
2. Where are you trying so hard not to fall that you’ve become stagnant and stuck?
3. Most importantly… what are you going to do to change that?
4. What if you approach the things that matter in your life – relationships, health, career – the way Zach is approaching hockey? I bet your results would be amazing.
Live truly, truly live.
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