Nobody Cares...and that's a great thing.
Updated: May 22
Believe it or not, fewer people care than you think. You should care less, too.
So often, we get bogged down underneath the weight of our own ego. We try to impress. We try to show off. We try to look good and show everyone else why we matter. We put other people down sometimes too, to feel better about ourselves.
I'm guilty. You're guilty. Our ego is guilty.
What's the difference between a puck that crosses the goal line...and a puck that crosses the goal line that happens to go into the net?
How you react to it.
You don't care if the puck crosses the goal line and hits the wall, because that does nothing to your ego.
You do care, though, if the puck crosses the line and enters the net, because somewhere along the line your ego (and my ego) told us that we're not valuable when the puck crosses the line and goes in the net.
Does the puck know the difference?
Does the puck care?
The aim of goaltending is obviously to keep the darn little black disc out of the net. But why is it such a big deal if it goes in?
Because you get embarrassed. You feel shame. You feel guilt that you're letting your team down...all emotions generated by your ego, which wants to see only you succeed.
Of course, ego drives us to be better. We want to achieve!
But the nuance is knowing when to shut out the ego, because it must be silenced from time to time.
Because somewhere along the line your ego (and my ego) told us that we're not valuable when the puck crosses the line and goes in the net.
Your parents will still love you if the disc crosses the goal line and gets caught by the net.
Your teammates will judge you based on how good of a teammate and person you are to them...how you make them feel. So you won't lose friends unless you let your ego place your mistake and blame on them.
Your coach desires two things: the right attitude and the right effort. Mistakes happen, and coaches know that. Your ego wants you to think that each goal will lead to the end of the world. That you won't get another start unless you stop this puck. That your career will end if you don't get your team wins.
Focus on your process and shut out your ego. Understand that development is non-linear and can feel like an eternity at times.
Ok, so you give up a goal.
The puck doesn't care. Your equipment doesn't care. The game of hockey doesn't care. The kid playing across the country (or across the world) doesn't care.
Your ego is the one that cares.
Shut it down. Anything that is good for the team, you do. Anything that you can learn to make yourself better, you do. Anything that you can do to help your teammates, you do.
Your ego cares about who cleans up the locker room. "It should be the freshmen or the rookies!!!" Would picking up the trash and tidying up benefit the team as a whole? If yes, then do it. Shut the ego down.
"If you're too big to serve, you're too small to lead." I heard that somewhere sometime. And I think that's a good thing to remember.
I know there's a lot in here to think about. And I hope some of it resonates with you. It's hard to shut down your ego. But give it a try. Enter this weekend with humility.
Stay frosty, friends.