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Friday, October 9, 2015

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Harnessing your third factor

Tags: Health

I wanted to do an episode of “Hockey Bliss” on my show Finding Your Bliss. I started by aiming for an A-plus and was hoping to get Toronto Maple Leafs right-winger Phil Kessel on the program.

I think the words I was told were “dream on,” but I kept going, because I thought of all the kids, and one in particular who I’m related to, who I know love hockey. I thought it would be so cool to get a great hockey player on the show who would inspire other kids to aim for the stars.

I also tried a number of other A-list players and alumni, but it just wasn’t happening. If I did a show that focused on ballet, I know I could have whipped it together faster than a pirouette. But hockey is not really my sphere, although it is the sphere of so many people that I love. And there’s something else. I love hockey because of all the lessons it has to share.

Hockey is about sportsmanship and being part of a team. It’s about fair play and determination, hard work and focus, discipline and the desire to do well. Hockey is about being a nice guy or gal when you’re playing the game, both on and off the ice. Hockey is a great metaphor for life. Because I think if you really work at it and put in the practice (think of Wayne Gretsky taking shots in his backyard rink and skating for hours every day), you will succeed. If you shoot for the stars, you will score.

And what happens when you don’t win? What are the lessons that are even more profound when it doesn’t go your way? This is what I was pondering when it was midnight on the day before my script was due and the hockey show just wasn’t coming together. I tried everything, including connecting with every contact I have in the hockey world and even in the “anything that could be possibly be related to the hockey world.” Sometimes, it’s just not meant to be. But I’m not giving up yet, and I know that somehow and someway I am going to do the “Hockey Bliss” show.

One great thing this led me to was connecting with sports psychologist Peter Jensen, author of Ignite the Third Factor, an incredible book that not only has hockey lessons but also has life lessons for all of us. The book talks about the fact that there is a third factor beyond nature, and nurture, and that it is all up to you. How do you harness your own third factor when things don’t go your own way? The book looks at what is possible, not what isn’t. There is really no growth in life without adversity.

Says Jensen, “The world of sport is a terrific laboratory in that high pressure, continual change and uncertainty about the outcome. It’s easy to bring effort to any endeavour when things are going smoothly and we are accomplishing whatever it is we are working on.”

An accomplished athlete is able to ignite their third factor. And I would put forward as a coach, when you’re stuck on a chapter, or struggling with weight loss, or haven’t scored a goal in several games, that is when you have to harness your own third factor.

Well, I gotta go now. I have to get in touch with former Leafs captain Matt Sundin. Think he’ll take my call?

 Judy Librach is an Adler-trained coach. She can be reached at her website, or you can watch her TV show Finding Your Bliss, Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. on Rogers TV, Channel 10, Toronto.

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