You Miss 100% of The Shots You Don’t Take

This quote by Wayne Gretzky is one of my favorite motivational ideas. When I feel a bit frustrated with my journey, I often think of these words, and they calm me. Why? Because I know I am taking my shots. I may not be successful, but I am trying. The path I am walking is the path I want.

I thought of this yesterday. I had just spent a bunch of hours in the practice room. But I didn’t think I had gotten to where I wanted to go with what I was working on. I was tired. But then I thought of this quote and I chilled out. I felt satisfied with the work I had done. You know why? Because I’m doing the work! And the work is going to take me in the direction I want. So, rather than be frustrated that I wasn’t there yet, I thought of the Gretzky quote and I felt happy because I’m moving in the direction that has meaning to me.

Here is the quote again: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Think about it for a minute (after all, this is “The Thinking Drummer” series you’re reading). It’s a pretty heavy-duty notion. What you don’t do could be way more important than what you are doing. Really. If you’re not doing what makes you happy or what excites you, then you’re not taking your shot. Therefore, you can be absolutely certain that you’re going to miss. Game over.

So, since we’re all about drumming here, I ask you, “do you want to play drums?” Or, “Are you doing what you want to be doing with your drumming and your drumming career?”

Are you? Are you practicing? Are you playing shows? Are you playing with musicians that are good? Are you taking lessons? Are you eliminating your weak points and evaluating your progress as a player? Are you playing gigs you want to be playing? What are you doing to change any of the things about your drumming or your drumming career that you don’t like?

These questions are for more serious players, but the same goes for those of us who are playing drums for fun only. Frequently, adults come to BANG and tell us, “I’ve always wanted to play the drums, but I never did.” We, of course, want to help them do that. That’s why we’re here. So, even if you just want to do something new for fun, why don’t you do it? If you don’t, you’re missing out.

My overall point? The Gretzky quote has serious power. Simply put, if you don’t try to do something, whatever it is, nothing will happen. That’s certain. So, if there is something that you really want, why wouldn’t you try? Our lives are short. This is it. Why not pursue what excites you?

To me, it’s a no-brainer.

Think about it, and you may decide that you’re not doing something that you should be doing.

For more on this idea, check out this earlier article (brace yourself because it’s an even more heavy-duty way of thinking about this than the Gretzky quote!):“The Funeral Exercise”