For most teens and young adults trying to find their place in the world, quotes, phrases, pieces of advice take on special meaning.
They help to guide us and give us wisdom in a large, and often scary and confusing world.
Growing up, I kept all of the stories and quotes I heard that had an impact on me in a special journal.
It was a blue hard cover book, about the size of an iPad mini, and I carried that book everywhere with me.
Anytime I read or heard something that was profound and resonated with me, I took out that book and recorded it in there so I wouldn’t forget it.
I read and re-read the passages in that book so many times that many of the pages were dirty and worn, but the wisdom I recorded helped to shape my brain and make the person I am today.
Unfortunately that book is lost.
Blown off the roof of a car I recklessly set on top of as I was in a hurry to be somewhere.
The loss of that little blue book hit me like a punch to the gut once I realized that it was gone, and to this day I still regret its loss.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” was one of the first entries in that book.
It is attributed to hockey legend Wayne Gretzky in a 1983 interview with Bob MacKenzie for the Hockey News.
The full quote is, “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take. Even though there is only a 1-5% probability of scoring”
The quote was in response to the question “You have taken a lot of shots this year” At the time, Gretzky was on pace to record 400 shots on goal, and become the second person in league history to do so. Unfortunately he fell short of that mark.
I don’t remember when or where I first heard this quote, but it hit me hard when I heard it, at a time I needed to hear it.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
If you don’t take a chance, if you don’t try, you will always fail.
We all have that phrase or quote, or piece of advice someone gave to us, that stays with us through the years.
This quote, now a popular internet meme, was just a sentence in a newspaper read years ago.
Gretzky wasn’t trying to be profound when he said it. He was just stating fact.