A few weeks ago, I worked a 6 hour shift at a hockey tournament, running the "chuck-a-puck" table. As hockey parents, my husband and I had to put in volunteer hours during the season or pony up a chunk of change; we opted for volunteering. I did all of my hours at one time at the chuck-a-puck table.
As I sat there bundled in my coat and scarf up against the icy coldness of the boards for four hockey games, I had a chance to examine the tendencies of the chuck-a-puck players.
I found it interesting how many of them were so precise in choosing their numbered pucks to be thrown onto the ice after the second period for a chance to win a pot of money. Others randomly took numbers, but some left nothing to chance when it came to their "lucky" numbers.
They based these picks on their kids' jerseys or their birthdays or family members' birthdays or professional players' numbers or some other numeric importance. Some were seriously thrown off if "their" numbers were already gone.
I kept track of these people and their chosen numbers. And you know what? Each person who won the pot of money was one who had systematically chosen his number.
I was surprised by this.
There are two elements of this event. You choose a puck with a number written on it. At the designated time, you throw your puck over the glass onto the center of the ice. So, you have to have a pretty good arm to get to the winner's circle. At each game, I sold between 30 and 60 pucks.
So, why would it matter if a man (all the winners were men) randomly picked up a puck, never even considering which number he had or if he methodically picked his lucky number? It shouldn't matter.
But it did seem to matter.
This made me think.
The winners of these chuck-a-puck contests were intentional about choosing their numbers. The felt confident about their chances of winning; they expected to win. Their goals were clear. They consistently chose the same numbers to accomplish their goals.
I know they were consistent because I asked them about their numbers. They readily shared their reasons for picking certain numbers and they always chose the same numbers. Chuck-a-puck might be unfamiliar to you, but these contests are a staple at hockey tournaments and games from mites to pros. These men knew the game and knew the numbers they wanted.
I am a staunch believer in setting goals and being consistent in your actions to reach those goals. Just as chuck-a-puck winners, you must have a clear goal to know what you want to accomplish, where you want to go and how you plan on getting there.
The goal is the roadmap; without it you are lost, wandering about, not knowing where to turn or how far you've come. Being consistent in working to reach that goal is what moves you down the road towards accomplishing that goal.
The third component to reaching the goal is believing in yourself and your abilities. The chuck-a-puck winners certainly had this going for them. They took the game seriously and believed they were choosing the winning puck and they believed in their abilities and strength to throw the puck over the glass into the center of the ice and be the winner.
The random number choosers, were not consistent and didn't truly believe they would win; they did it for their kids who begged for a dollar for a puck; they did it to support the local hockey association; they did it because they always do. It mattered not which numbers were chosen' they're all the same anyway to the random chooser. They put no forethought into their picks or their throws over the glass. It's just a game, right?
Well, in life, if you just randomly go along without a plan or end goal in mind you won't get very far. Randomness will pervade all you do because there is no point to your actions.
I was truly astonished by the results of the chuck-a-puck events, at first. But as I thought it over and looked at it from this perspective, the perspective of life as a whole, it all made sense. So, will these people intentionally picking numbers always win, every time? No. Sometimes they will win and sometimes they won't. And this is true of life as well, but these people will keep playing and will continue to be intentional in their choices and goals, confidently throwing those pucks over and over.
So, be confident, be intentional and know your goals. And that, my friends, is the moral of the story. Over and out…