“Chasing the Puck”

I came across a quote that caused me to pause and reflect about the way I’m living my life and conducting my business affairs.

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” — Wayne Gretzky

As I tried to put these words into personal context, my mind flashed back to days of watching small kids play soccer. For those who haven’t seen such a sight, imagine a clump of 10-15 kids chasing a soccer ball in a seemingly random fashion. In a game it’s amusing — in life, it’s tragic.

I came to the conclusion that a “chase the puck” approach to life is a major contributing factor to an unsuccessful, stressful, unfulfilled life. The alternative is to make a habit of intercepting the puck. That is, to observe the puck’s speed and direction, choose a spot in the puck’s path, and get to that spot as the puck arrives. If you believe Mr. Gretzky’s quotation is an apt metaphor for life, you might draw the same comparison I did regarding tell-tale signs that someone has been chasing the puck rather than intercepting the puck.

“Chasing The Puck” “Intercepting the Puck”
Dwells on the painful past Envisions and dreams of a better future
Never has enough time Has time enough for what matters most
Lack of money, growing debt Budgets, saves, invests, delays gratification
Bitter about mishaps Thankful for blessings
Reactive – waits for things to happen Proactive – influences what happens
Pessimistic Optimistic
Results: limited success, stress, regrets Results: Abundant success and personal fulfillment

Success Starts With a Dream

“Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk.” — J.C. Penney

Success is a Daily Decision

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” — Thomas Edison

“This is as true in everyday life as it is in battle: We are given one life, and the decision is ours whether to wait for circumstances to make up our mind or whether to act and, in acting, to live.” — Omar Bradley

“Change before you have to.” — Jack Welch

Success Requires the Proper Mindset

“Either do or do not; there is no try.” — George Lucas

“I’ve never been poor, only broke. Being poor is a frame of mind. Being broke is only a temporary situation.” — Mike Todd

“Achievement is largely the product of steadily raising one’s levels of aspiration and expectation.” — Jack Nicklaus

Success Requires Knowledge

“In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future.” — Eric Hoffer

“Instead of waiting for someone to take you under their wing, go out there and find a good wing to climb under.” — Dave Thomas

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” — Galileo Galilei

Limits to Success

“Every man dies. Not every man lives. The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow are the “buts” you use today.” — Les Brown

God Bless,

— CC

© Copyright July 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com


There are winners and losers in life. Contrary to popular opinion, winning is not a lottery based on privilege, birthright, luck or special talents. There are way too many real-life “Horatio Alger stories” that prove otherwise. The number of “train wrecks” among the rich and famous makes the same point. Winning comes from having the right attitudes and making the right choices.

Winners are made in the kiln called “adversity.” It is the intense heat of adversity that strengthens and refines. Each time people conquer adversities, they are made stronger for the next trial and reminded that losing is NOT about falling down. Rather, losing is defined as “not getting up.” For winners, losing is not an option.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” — Bible, James 1:2-3

There are four types of people — three of them are winners.

Innovator: a person who is driven to do what has never been done before.

Orville and Wilbur Wright had a vision – powered flight. No one had ever done it, but these brothers believed they would be the first. So, they devoted their every spare moment to discover how. Innovators ignore the critics and slavishly chase their dreams. When innovators stumble, their dreams inspire them to get back up and try again. Along the way they might successfully discover hundreds of ways that do not work before they find one that does. But, innovators never give up.

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” — Walt Disney

“The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.” — Arthur C. Clarke (1917 – )

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” — Anonymous

Leader: a person who does what needs to be done even when he does not feel like doing it.

Leaders believe that anything that has been done before can be repeated and improved upon. They embrace the challenge to be the sequel to someone else’s legacy through their own innovations. By adding new value through the improvements they contribute, leaders raise the bar. Leaders attract followers and teach followers also to have success through a winner’s mindset, discipline, focus and hard work.

“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” — Ray Kroc

“Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves.” — Stephen Covey, The 8th Habit

“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” — Tom Peters

Follower: a person who trusts and emulates a leader. A wise follower pursues his dreams by finding a good opportunity and choosing a good leader to follow.

The rest is a game of “Follow the Leader.” Followers do what that leader does, in order to go where the leader is going. Good followers are actually leaders in training, even if they don’t realize it. They just need confidence through experience to become leaders.

“Even sheep should have brains enough not to follow the wolf.” — Joseph Goodfield

“Remember that it is far better to follow well than to lead indifferently.” — John G. Vance

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” — Woody Allen

Loser — a person who consistently sees life as an empty glass will, when presented with an opportunity, make excuses, imagine all of the worst things that can happen and succumb to the fears of his/her imagination.

Such people justify their lack of achievement by blaming something or someone. Losers also have ideas and dreams, but they either lack virtue or have allowed themselves to be held captive to the negative opinions of others. Losers give up too often and too easily, but losers seldom start anyway because they fear failure above everything else.

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” — Thomas A. Edison

“If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down.” — Mary Pickford

Anyone can be a winner by choosing to win every moment of every day. The formula is simple, even though it’s not always easy.

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright July 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com


What does the word “success” mean to you? Whatever images you conjure up, I think it’s true that we all talk, hope, and imagine it differently. Even so, recognizing success is pretty easy.

“You’ve achieved success in your field when you don’t know whether what you’re doing is work or play.” — Warren Beatty

Success comes in big and small packages. It can be a solo accomplishment, but it usually requires a team effort featuring “blood, sweat and tears.”

Blood: “The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” — Charles Du Bos

Sweat: “The only place where success comes before work is a dictionary.” — Vidal Sassoon

Tears: “I have failed many times, and that’s why I am a success.” — Michael Jordan

Opportunity is the starting line for success. In addition to business and career opportunities there are opportunities to make a friend, save a life, spread some sunshine and show kindness. Some of these you will read about in places like Guidepost and Readers’ Digest magazines.

“The opportunity for brotherhood presents itself every time you meet a human being.” — Jane Wyman

Every day provides a new opportunity to learn, quit smoking, improve, eat less, start over, start exercising, save or invest money, read, or just try something new.

“Opportunity never sleeps.” — Vince Bovenzi

While one person might miss an opportunity, there is always someone else who is ready for it.

“While we stop to think, we often miss our opportunity.” — Publilius Syrus (~100 BC)

“Seize opportunity by the beard, for it is bald behind.” — Bulgarian Proverb

“Many of us have heard opportunity knocking at our door, but by the time we unhooked the chain, pushed back the bolt, turned two locks, and shut off the burglar alarm – it was gone.” — Author Unknown

Besides not recognizing opportunity, people will more often than not back away from it for a variety of reasons.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” — Thomas A. Edison

“Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death.” — James F. Byrnes

“Many an opportunity is lost because a man is out looking for four-leaf clovers.” — Unknown

“Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.” — Unknown

“He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had failed.” — William James

“Not many people are willing to give failure a second opportunity. They fail once and it is all over. The bitter pill of failure is often more than most people can handle. If you are willing to accept failure and learn from it, if you are willing to consider failure as a blessing in disguise and bounce back, you have got the essential of harnessing one of the most powerful success forces.” — Joseph Sugarman

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright June 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com