Every morning I wake up and read. I spend between three and five hours reading about what is happening in the hockey world, business, and things that impact athletic and personal success. Two cups of coffee and breakfast to go along with my reading and I am ready to take on the day. Usually armed with a new piece of information to use based on my reading.
Today, I read a Harvard University study concerning profiles of successful people, and the things that influenced their successes.
In an abridged interpretation, the study found that every person is the average of the five people that they have in their closest peer group.
While it may sound over simplified, I looked at my own group of five, and then at the groups of five of some of my clients at different levels. I spoke to some family members about this as well and asked them their opinions and thoughts.
While it may sound simple, everyone agreed in principle that this group of five average was about right.
I know when I was young and struggling to get my company going, that I didnt start having success until I started spending time and befriending people who were more successful than me. When I realized that trying to reinvent the wheel was a waste of time, and learning from those who have already been to where I wanted to go was a much more efficient way of moving forward.
My own peer group has a few people who work in hockey and a few who work in fields completely unrelated to hockey. One person who has had an incredible influence on me is an extemely successful cardboard box and paper products company owner. Another is a Hockey Hall of Fame Coach, while one is a AAA coach and scout, one is a retired NCAA coach, and another is a highly successful commercial wholesale and retail food distributor.
Each of these people I learn from. Some in big ways some in small ways, yet each has their own measurement of success.
For young players, and players who are not satisfied with their current level of play, you might want to take a look at who your five person peer group is.
If you go to the gym for two hours and half of the time you and your friends are texting or talking, are your friends helping you get ahead?
If you have a Friday off, and you go out boozing with the boys instead of resting at home, reading, studying film, or spending time with your family, are your friends helping you get ahead?
Are you finding yourself hanging out with guys at your own level instead of guys at higher levels? Are you learning from people who may not work in hockey?
Are you making things up as you go along because you either know everything, or think you know what you should be doing?
Do you get caught up in the rumor mill and all the talk about which teams are interested in you, which camps you are going to, and then how the coaches all screwed you over because of politics?
Outside of top level players, very few of the other players really know what they are doing. They think they know, but they dont.
You cant copy someones workout if you dont know their nutrition plan and you do not have the same body type. You are not carbon copies of anyone else.
Your environment is just as important to your success as the natural talent you were born with. The people you surround yourself with, will impact your way of thinking and seeing things in the world. No different than when any other animal is born, environement contributes to development.
When you are ready to start changing your environment, and your upward mobility, I look forward to hearing from you.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser