You miss 100% of the shots you don’t takeWayne Gretzky
I get the point Wayne Gretzky was trying to make with this oft repeated quote. But, I think it ignores the subtlety that catchy maxims gloss over.
This idea that we should be prepared to take the shots or opportunities we’re given sets a false expectation. Is every opportunity worth pursuing? And if I don’t take the shot, will my opportunities in the future diminish?
What if the shot isn’t aligned with my purpose or overall vision for life?
A mentality where we believe we must take every opportunity is finite thinking, it’s a life of scarcity.
What if, instead, we just realize the shots for what they are – a decision point, a juncture, a choice.
And just because you choose to close yourself off to some, doesn’t mean you’re doomed to never get more.
If anything, these opportunities are a marker you are on the right path.
Success generally breeds more success. The real challenge is not grasping for every opportunity that presents itself. Rather, we must define what’s important to us so we can take the opportunities that align with our purpose.
Opportunities have trade-offs. Saying yes to one, closes you off to others. You cannot get something without giving up something else.
Without acknowledging this, you risk living a life reacting to whatever is presented versus one of your own design.
While it is true that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, a life of purpose necessitates we say no to many of them.