Something happened to me last summer, and it is still happening.
In June, a friend sent me an article about hockey written by two financial gurus. They explained that there is a traditional strategy in hockey called “pulling the goalie.” According to tradition, if your team is down by one goal with one minute left in the game, the coach will “pull the goalie,” sending the goalie on offense in the hope of scoring a tying goal, while risking the chance of being scored on with an open net.
These financial gurus decided to run a statistical analysis of this tradition.
Based upon existing data, they concluded that, on average, it actually takes somewhere between five or six minutes of game time for a team to score a goal with their goalie on offense. The tipping point, where the reward of pulling the goalie is offset by the risk of being scored upon with an open net, was around five minutes and forty seconds remaining in the game.
In other words, every hockey coach pulls the goalie way too late.
The bigger problem, though, is that even in the face of this empirical data, no coach will ever pull their goalie with almost six minutes to go in a game and down by one. Because if their team was scored upon at that point, the fans would be calling for their firing and the front office would probably do it. It is not socially acceptable to pull the goalie that early in the game, so no one does it.
The question, my friend asked me, was, “Where do you need to pull the goalie in your life right now—even if it feels risky, even if it upsets people—before it is too late?”
Today, I ask you the same question: where do you need to pull the goalie right now, before it is too late? Is it getting an evaluation for your child who is struggling in school? Is it getting counseling for your child who is struggling inside? Is it getting your own help before the shame becomes all-consuming? Is it asking your spouse to go to marital therapy? Is it being vulnerable before the intimacy fades for good? Is it starting the book you’ve always wanted to write, or the business you’ve always wanted to run? Is it remembering how to play, before those distant memories of childlikeness fade even further?
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