Windows vs Mirrors

Life is all about outlook. Do things happen to you or do you make things happen? The concept of windows vs mirrors is all about how you view events. Mirrors reflect back to you – how could I have changed the outcome? Windows are used to see outside – who else other than me is responsible for what happened?

I had a conversation a few nights ago that reminded me of the importance of outlook. I was baffled when I heard “I hate (blank) because he and his team stole state championships from me.” This outlook is everything that is wrong with the world today. Championships are not deserved, they are earned. Obviously not enough was done by the losing team to prevent what happened – there was a lack of work ethic/attention to detail/execution/talent/teaching/learning etc that caused the team to not win a championship. Whatever it was, championships are never “stolen”.

Too many people today have a mindset of “deserving” something. In my opinion, nothing is ever “deserved”. Everything in life is earned. You earn a job, you earn a paycheck, you earn results, etc. Even people on vacation don’t “deserve” a vacation – they earn it (hence most company’s policies towards 90 day probationary periods for new hires). Part of this “deserving” mindset may come from advertisements and commercials we see today – how many include the phrase “you deserve”?

Earning things in life is what makes life worthwhile. Things that are earned are much more valuable to the recipient than things that are taken for granted because they are “deserved”. Life is about the journey, not the destination. If it wasn’t challenging and didn’t require hard work and dedication, it wouldn’t be worth living. Approach life with a window mentality – earn everything you get and look to yourself to create the success you wish to have.


2 Responses to Windows vs Mirrors

  1. Karl Enroth says:

    I enjoy reading your weekly posts and drills. Your “Windows vs. Mirrors” blog especially hit home for me.I coached college hockey for 7 years after grad school, 2 years at Amherst College and 5 years as Head coach at Western New England College . I left coaching briefly to follow a different career path and to be closer to my girl friend in Maine. Five years ago I returned to coaching as varsity hockey coach at Camden Hills Regional H.S. in Maine. i was amazed at how many kids felt entitled and in general made excuses when things did not go their way.Camden Hills was a relatively new hockey program with some decent talent so we had some success but after two years i knew we had to change the culture.

    Basically it came down to really earning things and being “hockey tough” developing what you refer to as a “window mentality”. We basically instituted and developed a “no excuses mindset” and used quotes like “take nothing for granted, earn everything” and “success does not come to you, you go get it and earn it”. We made the playoffs last year (2011-12) but lost half our team. to either graduation or junior hockey and prep school transfers. This past season we had 10 freshmen and 2 first year players out of 20 players and people around us thought or assumed it would be a rebuilding year. Before the season started the coaching staff reminded the players on the team that it did not matter what other people thought or why some good players left our hockey program. Your hockey moment waits for no one. Moments are EARNED, GRABBED, SEIZED out of opportunity and being PREPARED. Basically the message was to the team to play extremely hard for one another and start PREPARING and EARNING its own success. Because our veteran returning players were so mentally tough they became strong representatives and leaders of the team culture incorporating the freshman players as to how things are done. In 2012-13 Camden Hills Regional High School won the Kennebec Valley Athletic Association Hockey Championship, Team Sportsmanship Award in Maine Class B West, and made it the Maine Regional finals in the Maine playoffs. Basically the team accepted the challenge of being prepared and relentless, earning it’s success.

    Looking back at this season and reading your post “Windows vs Mirrors”. No mirrors were used as to what if we had not lost so and so to junior hockey or so and so to prep school. It was a window mentality of earning everything and looking inward as to what each individual could do to help the team succeed.

    Keep up the good work and the informative information coming.


    Karl Enroth
    Head Coach- Ice Hockey
    Camden Hills Regional High School
    Camden. Me.


    • Chris says:


      Thanks for your thoughtful response to my post. It is truly amazing what happens when teams take nothing for granted and work to earn everything. Teams may have a gap in talent, but it is the team that works the hardest and keeps getting after it that usually wins out in the end. In all of my experience it was never the most talented teams that won. Amazing to hear what your team accomplished this year – keep up the good work. If you ever want to meet up to talk hockey, please let me know.


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