I was watching the Sharks hockey game this evening when the color announcer (Drew Remenda for those in-the-know) gave his Keys to the Game. What the team needed to do, according to Remenda, was demonstrate Intensity, Consistency, and Expectancy. I generally ignore whatever he says because he really can annoy, as well as say the most absurd things and present them as absolutes (plus he worships at the alter of Crosby, so on principle I MUST distrust him). Then he made an aside about it spelling “ICE.” Okay, appropriate for a hockey game, if cheesy.
However, because he said the acronym, the three words stuck. As the game went from bad to worse and I was unconsciously looking for anything else on which to ruminate, I realized that those three words – intensity, consistency, and expectancy – are exactly what I need to remember and apply to my endeavors to reach my goals as well.
It’s good to get the vision and keep it in front of you. It’s good to speak it out and to believe it. It’s great to work toward it. But without those three words, it’s likely the goal will be a long time in coming.
For me lately, because of unforeseeable and rather exigent circumstances, I’ve found myself faced with setback after setback to even get on the road to where I want to be, much less there. In that state, everything seems more strenuous and it’s difficult to keep my energies positive and my vision focused. In other words, my hope wanes and I get smacked across the face with the glaring reality of where I am so that my eyes have no room to see where I am going. When that happens, it’s hard to take a step forward because you can’t see that it IS forward.
It reminds me of when I raced triathlons. In the swim portion, it was important to keep an eye on the next buoy. If I didn’t take a peek every few strokes the current could take me off in some other direction. So focusing on my current situation is like never taking my eyes out of the water. I may keep moving in the direction I think is right, but by the time I run out of energy I could have swum in a circle and gotten no where, or worse, ended up farther back than where I started.
Beyond that clear vision, that focusing intensely on my goal, I need to be consistent in my work toward achieving it. Letting myself not do that work one day because of distractions is bad, but it’s far worse when I don’t do it because I’m discouraged. That’s exactly when consistency is the key. If a hockey player allows his game to suffer because he is upset about a call, he won’t be playing much the rest of that game… and won’t achieve his goal – nor be helping his team to achieve their collective goal.
I’ve realized, however, that these first two don’t work without an expectancy. I get worn out on the work when I don’t have an expectancy to reach my goal. The sheer amount of stuff I have to tackle is overwhelming – paralyzing. But to do it and not think that it’s getting me any closer causes all motivation to wane, no matter how diligent of a person I am.
Honestly, I have to say that ICE is something I want to make a part of my way of life; my being. In the trauma of the last few years, the subsequent difficulties that piled on both physically and emotionally, and the general stress of daily life in the midst of turmoil, I think these three little words are good to keep as fixtures in my internal living room.
My only concern is if I can stay as conditioned in the areas I need to as the hockey players do physically for their sport. I want to, but I’ve never been one for routine and consistency does tend to lean on it quite a bit. However, I think I do have the power to change – I have done it many times – and while I will never embrace routine as a dear friend, I think I can learn to tolerate and even welcome it in when it serves my purpose… as a means to my desired end.
So thanks, Drew, for the Keys to My Future. (You don't know how much it rankles me to say that, as he really does get on my nerves.) I'll keep "icing" my bum areas to make them work better.
Intensity * Consistency * Expectancy