“You Miss 100% of the Shots You Never Take.”

If you watch hockey as much as I do, and I don’t, then you would probably have no clue that it was Wayne Gretzky who said this quote.  The interpretation of this quote is more than simple: if you don’t take the shot, then obviously you wont score.  It is physically impossible to make a shot that you never took.  To incorporate this outside of hockey and into your personal development, we intertwine this quote in the sense of wanting to take action, but not. No action, no reaction.

Not Even Trying

Has there ever been a time you wanted to do something, but got very nervous and didn’t go through with it? Maybe something like not taking an open shot during a basketball game and instead passing it to your teammate. How about picking up the phone to make a sales call, but rather thinking about what else you can do right now so you wouldn’t have to dial the number. Has anything like this every happened to you? If you aren’t willing to admit, I sure am.

I used to be the type of person who would pass the ball to my team mate even though I was wide open to take the shot only so I wouldn’t feel embarrassed if I missed it. I would also be the type of person who would rather not speak up because I was afraid to be rejected by the response I get. This made my life very mediocre, boring, and unfulfilled.

Who Cares?

Finally, I reached a breaking point and decided that if I don’t make a change, I will continue to be unhappy.  I started doing sales and overcame my fear of getting “no’s”, failing, embarrassment, rejection, and almost everything else that gave me a negative mindset.  And ever year after I turned 18 (no significance to that particular number) I decided I would change myself and adapt to how I need to be to become successful. My new mindset had the “who cares” motto attached to it.

  • Who cares if someone doesn’t like me?
  • Who cares if people think I am not good at something?
  • Who cares if I get embarrassed?
  • Who cares if I miss a shot?
  • Who cares if someone tells me no?
  • Who cares if I make a mistake?

Many things in life are uncertain, but one thing that is for certain is that you will fail over and over again. Sometimes you will fail only once before you succeed and other times you will fail 9,999 times before you succeed. In the words of Thomas Edison, “I didn’t fail, I learned 9999 ways that wouldn’t work”. Talk about a powerful mindset. If you were to gain control of your mindset in that way, would you see better results?

What You Can Do Right Now!

Success depends on the results you are able to get. No results, no success. If you already know that most of the time you must fail in order to see results, shouldn’t you fail forward as fast as you can? Are you still scared? If you are, why? Rejection and embarrassment are all in the same category as failure. If you are scared to fail like how I was when I was younger, your mindset will remain undeveloped and you will find yourself missing out on a lot of what the world has to offer. I know I did.  Luckily, I was able to turn myself around when I did so that I can finally begin to set myself up for a healthy and successful future.

Here is how you should start:

1. If you notice an opportunity, go with your first thought and move forward with it.

With this type of mindset, I could of scored a lot of points when I was playing basketball. Sure I might of missed some, but 3/10 is much better than 0/0. Have you ever passed up on an opportunity that ended up going mainstream or big time? Life in general is a risk. If you play it safe the rest of your life, I assure you that most of your dreams or wishes will never come true.

2. Fail forward fast.

I’ll probably get a lot of heat for this one, but you must fail in order to learn, grow, and gain experience. Everyone fails at something in their life and that’s perfectly normal. It will only make you stronger. Sometimes people fail over and over again i.e Thomas Edison, and it’s their persistence which finally leads them to some success.

3. Be comfortable being uncomfortable

I’ve said this several times before in my previous blog posts, and I will continue saying it future blog posts. Do things your uncomfortable with to radically change your mindset. If you find yourself taking a step back from something, take one leap forward.

4. Talent

If you want to be good at something, it takes practice and many years of it. This also means many years of loosing, failing, embarrassment, etc.  Look at any successful person’s track record and you will find yourself in a pool of failure

This entire article was to show you that if you don’t try something, you won’t ever know whether you can do something or not.

Not taking the shot is the same as missing the shot, so instead, how about you just take it?

32 thoughts on ““You Miss 100% of the Shots You Never Take.”

          1. dave

            do you really believe this shit? i agree that you have to fail to succeed, but thats it. you dont have to write this huge fucking thing with gay little ways to make your life better that dont even make sense!

  1. zobrac

    Whether we like it or not, almost if not all the people in this world is guilty of fear of failure. As for me, I’m so much guilty of fear of embarrassment and fear of no. I know that I have lost a lot by this fear; this is for me to overcome.

    You have a really good point there; comparing life to hockey. “If you don’t take a shot, you miss 100% of the shot.” Sure it is better to take a shot even though there’s only 1-5% probability that you will get it than to not take a shot after all with perfect-zero probability.

    This one’s a very good article. It’ll be best to remember what Wayne Gretzky said, “You Miss 100% of the Shots You Never Take.” This is a very powerful sentence that I’ll be keeping until I change my mindset.

    Thanks AJ.

    1. AJ Kumar Post author

      Great Zobrac.

      Yeah the biggest thing you should take out of this article is that not taking the shot (or whatever this situation is…) is the same as taking it an missing it. So why not just take it, right ?

      And yes it is very common for people to fear failure, even with people that have already become successful in their endeavors. It’s a continuous process…

    1. AJ Kumar Post author

      Hey bud,

      I can understand what you’re trying to say here, but failing in life is just being realistic. Of course I’m not say just try and fail on purpose. Do it 100%, but understand that even the best people in the world have failed over and over again. This post is about how not trying is the same as trying and failing. So why not make the attempt…

      “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
      Michael Jordan

      Thanks for the articles, they share very valid points 🙂

  2. tom

    Isn’t there a fine line to consider though? You can’t just jump at anything and try it, it may be costing you time, money and even opportunity.

    1. AJ Kumar Post author

      Well what I mean specifically is for something that you want to do, but don’t because you’re scared, fearful, etc.
      For example, for me it was that I was afraid to shoot the ball because I might miss. By me not talking the shot though, is the same as me taking it and missing it. So why not just take it because now there’s a 50% chance I might make it 🙂

  3. Kathlyn

    Nice post – especially the point about failing. I was thinking on this a while back and realized that the only things I really excel at are things I’ve let myself do very, very badly while pushing myself to really try something outside of my current experience. I taught myself how to cook and I do it well now, but only after a lot of disappointment and making a lot of things that could barely be choked down. The stuff I’m mediocre at is pretty much the same all the time – not good not bad, because I’ve been too intimidated (for whatever reason) to challenge myself.

    Thanks for the reminder!

    1. AJ Kumar Post author

      I’m glad it helps Kathlyn! It’s all about failing forward as fast as you can…and it looks like succeeded in that 🙂

      Great recipes by the way!

  4. Kristina Evey

    How powerful those few words are – You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. When we let ourselves put fear as our reason for not doing something or taking a risk, we have done worse than failing, because there is no opportunity to learn from that failure. By taking the chance and failing, we can learn what didn’t work, we integrate that into our thinking, and change our approach for next time. It’s all about progress, not perfection.

  5. Ace

    Its only when one gives up that those attempts are failures. I simply consider them as set-backs or learning experience.

  6. unmesh

    I agree….this quote is related to the lottery..” You have to be in it to win it.” Well I think thats how it goes. But its apply to what you are saying AJ

  7. AJ Kumar

    Yeah, this is true. Lottery is probably not the best example because its a game of such extreme luck. Other things in life are dependent on you and the amount of work you put in.

  8. HN

    thanks a lot. I'm very afraid of failure and this is helping me but it's so hard to change my mindset. I can feel the stubborness of it and all those fears inside. But I thank you for the article. I hope to improve upon myself =)

  9. Darrell Moesch

    Hi, What ever happens to the lottery winners after they run out of money? I am sure that after so many years of living high on the hog, they have horror stories. Any links to any stories would be useful. What about the people who take annuities. I am sure when the 18th or 19th year comes around, they start worrying because they only have a couple more years of money. Are there any lawsuits against the lottery commision for really stupid reasons like them not being able to take care of themselves after the money is gone?

  10. Alfred Lacefield

    They say, you have to love money and have a passion for simple mathematics for winning lottery. I do! ))Next, you should to study the odds of winning. My question is how? Any suggestions are appreciated?

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  14. rmill

    …this is NOT from W. Gretsky(quote)…it is from a famous baseball who said”you miss the HITs you dont take.Said simply if you dont swing(be in the game) you’ll never know.


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