It's crazy the things we learn as we get older.
The older I get and the more I experience, the more I realize that it's not all about the end game.
It's really all about the journey.
The journey is where we evolve, learn, and grow.
Think about it this way... how many of you reading this, or your son or daughter, had aspirations of playing at the highest level? Whether that was making it to the NHL, college hockey, or maybe even just junior hockey.
If you didn't end up making it that far, does that mean that the journey and the grind was a failure?
For me, when I was little I wanted to play in the NHL just like every other kid. Then, that dream shifted as I started to get older and moved to wanting to play college hockey at the Division I level.
My journey ultimately ended without achieving any of those things. I never made it to the NHL, and I didn't play Division I hockey.
I took my abilities as far as I could and ended up playing four years of Division III NCAA hockey.
But, I don't at all look at that time, energy, and effort as a waste.
Luckily for me, I learned that it ultimately was never really about the end game. It was about the journey that I went on chasing those dreams that ended up building my character, defining my work ethic, and molding me into who I am today.
I think to often we can get so wrapped up in the end result that we can lose sight of everything we're gaining along the way.
The journey is ultimately where you learn the life lessons that will help define your success in the future.
Without facing rejection, learning to overcome obstacles, or really understanding what it means to commit and work for something, I wouldn't be the person I am today.
The end result is just the end result. Whether you get there or not can't be the only deciding factor to base your success on.
Learn to embrace the journey and all that comes along with it.
I think this lesson is so valuable to hockey players.
If you're serious about the game, you have to be in for the long haul. It's definitely a journey to get to the places you want to go. People often see others who are at the top of the pecking order, whether that is the NHL or college hockey, and forget that they all had to go on a journey to get where they are too.
We all have a different path and a different journey to our success. And remember that everyone is going to face different obstacles and moments of adversity, but it's through those moments that we'll continue to grow and define our own individual success.