Edmonton Oiler hockey fans have had a tough few years, with little to cheer about. Their draft picks were supposed to have made the team a winner years ago, but it never happened. Then on the 29th October 2015 they beat one of the top teams in the league, after being down 3-0.
They played awesome.
Draisaitl, a rooky brought up that very day from the minors to play, was pretty sketchy on his first few shifts. Then reportedly he got some advice from a senior player—advice that seemed to light both him and his team on fire.
“Just play,” was the gist of that advice. “‘Let go. Relax... You’re a good player. Just play.” Draisaitl did just that and got the winning goal during the final minutes of the game.
“I think the first couple shifts I wasn’t really playing my game,” said Draisaitl, following the game. “I was thinking a little too much. Hallsy came over and told me to just play. It’s true that you play your best when you just go and play, have fun, go out there and try and do your best.”
That was such empowering advice and not just for novice hockey players who are over-thinking the game, feeling a little less than perfect as they skate alongside their NHL idols, afraid of doing something wrong, something stupid, something that will hurt the team. Trying to remember how to do everything right.
It’s advice we would all do well to heed.
We have to tap into our self-confidence and get out there and play and have fun. We have to know at a very deep level that we can play the game that we’ve chosen...and then release our inhibitions and do it.
|The first books in the BackTracker series|
That’s how my writing career began in earnest. I just said to hell with rules and regulations and grammar and research and punctuation. Just let me tell my story. I cast aside my reluctance to write my characters’ embarrassing moments and my tendency to shun revealing the gutsy dark realism that was my characters’ lives. I let go of all censorship. And THE TRAZ, FATAL ERROR, FIREWALLS and several more sequels in the BackTracker series were the result.
Admittedly, my self-esteem initially was not up to snuff. I had no one to tell me that I was a good player, no overt reason to believe I was. So the only way I could convince myself to ‘just play’ was to keep my stories well hidden from anyone’s eyes but mine. Satisfied that no one was going to read my words and laugh, or think poorly of me, or judge my sanity, morals, or story-telling abilities, I did as Draisaitl did, I let it all go and I just played. I had fun.
Many times in life, we are that point where we should do that. We should quit consciously striving, and plotting and scheming and dreaming. We should put aside our thinking, give up trying to control everything, and just intuitively follow our calling.
We should trust that the universe is a safe place to be, and go out there and play. We should believe in ourselves and in our world. When we let go and play, we release not only our innate talents, but we allow the world to enjoy them along with us.
When we’re empowered to do what we do best, the entire universe benefits.
You are good at your game. Let go. Just play.