He asked me what he should do.
I said I don't know.
He just graduated from college. Had a good job. A beautiful girlfriend. But he felt somehow stuck. I don't know why we all seem to get stuck these days. Or why he got stuck. It seems like a big trend.
Maybe we get stuck because all of this follow-your-passion and make-your-dreams-come-true BS out there. Because people want us to believe that we're special. Because that's what we want to hear. Because that's what we want to spend money on. On people telling us how special we are.
But here's the truth. We're not. No one is special. We're all the same. Maybe the same kind of special. But no one is better than anyone. We're all the same kind of special. We all deserve the same things.
I didn't know the guy. And I never met him before. And will probably never meet him. But that's ok. He sent me a message on Facebook. I replied. And here's what I wrote...
“I think the most important question you'd have to ask yourself is this: Do I want my life to be easy, convenient and maybe boring every once in a while or do I want my life to be hard and challenging? It's your call...”
That's basically the question I ask myself over and over again. Because no matter what you do, when you get off the beaten track you'll encounter obstacles. And challenges. All the time. It won't be easy. It will be a constant challenge. And you'll feel like giving up 99% of the time.
It's a choice you'd have to make. Sooner rather than later. And it depends a lot on what kind of person you really are deep down inside. It depends on what you want to your life to look like when you think about it and reflect on it while you take those last few breaths. Before it's all over.
Do you want to say “Man that was a comfortable life where I had everything I wanted. Everything was so easy. ” Or will you say “Wow, that was a super challenging life but I somehow made it work out, despite or maybe because of all the challenging moments in my life.”
Look. Both are totally ok. Every way of living life is ok. No matter what. No matter what other people say or think. If you prefer an easy and convenient life, no problem. If you prioritize other things, no problem. As long as you stick to it and do your thing. No matter what.
About 20 years ago my dad went to New York for business. Which was kind of a big deal for me because New York and America seemed so far away for me. It was probably also a big deal for him. I asked him to bring me something nice from New York.
And he did. He got me a New York Rangers jersey with the number 99 on it. It said Gretzky. I had no clue what the New York Rangers were or who Wayne Gretzky was back then (he's one of the greatest hockey players of all time).
And ever since I went to two games of the New York Rangers. One in Madison Square Garden and one in Montreal.
I even worked in New York for a while. At Wall Street #16. I could see the New York Stock Exchange from the building I worked at.
And one time at a New York Rangers game about 8 years ago when I was there on vacation, I even caught a puck. I have it at my home. It's a beautiful memory of totally unrelated things that all became somehow related over the next couple of years.
Every time I look at it I have to think about one of the greatest Wayne Gretzky quotes that nicely relates to this and to pretty much everything else in life...
“A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”
I think that's what life is all about. You need to develop an instinct for where you think your puck is going to be. And not where it is right now. And even more importantly you should never skate to where you think other people want you to skate to.
Don't try to skate to where you think society wants you to skate to. Don't try to skate to where you think people who are giving you advice online want you to skate to. Don't try to skate to where you think I advise you to skate to. Because people like me don't know you. Only you do.
No one knows where your puck is going to be. Where it has to be. Only you know.
So try to develop that instinct. Try to develop that instinct of knowing where your puck is going to. To become the world's greatest player in this game called life. Your life.
But you can only develop that instinct by getting out there and getting as many games under your belt as possible.
Studying a few games might help. But most of the time the only thing that will really help you to develop that skill is to get those skates out of that closet, to get on that ice and skate and play for as long and as much as you can.
You'll be wrong 99% of the time. And that's ok. As long as you don't give up and keep skating. Because that's the only way you'll be able to develop that instinct. That instinct you need to be able to skate to where you have to be. In life. In business. Heck, in everything...