The Hockey Volunteer

Thank you for your support of "The Hockey Volunteer"TM. This initiative has now become THE HOCKEY FOUNDATION. Please visit and support "sharing happiness & changing lives, one puck at a time."

This blog can also been found on that site.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Words of Wisdom & the Importance of Karma


In case it wasn't obvious already, my previous post was a bit more personal and philosophical than its predecessors. I had toiled over whether or not I should remove/edit this post many times, and after a handful of discussions, analysis, and reflection, decided to leave what I wrote as is.

This blog is a reflection of me in the moment, and this project is as much about the people I am sharing happiness through hockey with, as it is a journey of self discovery, reflection (there's that word again), and confidence.

With that in mind, I wanted to share with you a few quotes that have been incredibly important and helpful to me throughout this journey (and prior), as well as the story behind the inspiration.

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander tim, for that's the stuff life is made of."
- Benjamin Franklin

  • Benjamin Franklin has been a long-time hero of mine - someone I consider the quintessential American (I wrote a paper on this topic in college). I stumbled across this quote not long after departure from NYI, at a time when I was looking for inspiration and motivation. Along comes a quote from one of the most important men in US history (if not world history) that promotes making the most of your time and working hard, and it immediately motivated me to get to work and not let the comforts of normalcy get in the way of opportunities of the present and the future. This quote is pure Carpe Diem - sieze the moment - and doesn't conflict with the philosophy of karma. In fact, it works side by side, and in my opinion, it says that our fate lies in our determination, focus and intention. If all of those are positive, good things will come, and what can be more karmic than that!?

Ikigai: That which makes one's life worth living
- Japanese word/philosophy
  • I am still trying to figure out where I saw this word and it's translation. What I can tell you is that in the research I've done, there is a true sense of "Ikigai" in Japan, but there is also a fascination with it. Studies have been conducted on whether ikigai is a major motivation in Japanese (and other) culture - but I didn't read the results, because quite honestly, I don't care. For me, ikigai absolutely rang true and vibrated through my soul. When I talk about passion, my impression and opinion is that it is similar to what the Japanese consider ikigai. Passion is pursuing and enjoying that which makes one's life worth living, and hockey is that passion for me (as you well know by now). It was just one more karmic indicator that I was shooting at the right net.
(side story: I was playing in a men's league game about 1.5 years ago, and had joked with my new goalie earlier in the season that I have a tendency of deflecting shots towards my own net when I'm playing defense...not intentionally, of course. We were teasing him and saying that at some point in the season I would score on him - not realizing that this would happen. In that game, the goalie passed the puck me on the boards in the defensive zone, and I was facing the goal line on my end of the ice. For some odd reason, I felt I needed to get rid of the puck quickly, and tried to shoot it behind the net, around the boards. I missed. My target, that is. Because I shot the puck into my own net from 15-20 feet away, as the goalie was skating back to his crease. Confused, I slammed my head (in a helmet) against the boards, trying to figure out what I was trying to accomplish and why it went so wrong. We won the game by a lot, and it's only men's league, so in the end, who cares? But my prophecy came true - which is an indicator of "The Secret", something that also ties into karma. I scored on my goalie, as blatantly as if I was on the opposing team!)

Continuing on...

"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thought break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormany forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be."
- Patanjali (Ancient Indian organizer of Yoga Sutras & Philosopher)
  • This quote floored me! For some time, I had been preaching about passion and idealism, and then I stumbled across this quote - while in Delhi. The office that I spend a lot of time at in Delhi is next to Patel Chowk Metro Station in Central Delhi, the station that houses the Metro Museum. On my first day, I walked through this exhibit briefly, and figured I had seen everything that needed to be seen just by passing it. A few days later, I made plans to meet a friend in the station, and ended up waiting for about an hour inside the station. So I decided to really take in the full details of the Delhi Metro. Around 40 minutes in, I stumble across this quote, which had been used to motivate the developers/construction workers/employees of the system. It felt as if it was written for me! In just one paragraph, written at some point in the past by and Indian I had never heard of, the human condition - my condition - was on display for all to see. For me, "The Hockey Volunteer" is my extraordinary project. It is my calling. We all have that in us, and when we find it, everything changes. Our lives change. We become focused, determined, resourceful, energized, and ultimately: happy. Talk about karma!
Back to relevant updates shortly.

Until then, make sure you check out pictures of hockey in Ladakh (and tourism in India, if you're so inclined). I have also posted new pictures on Flickr taken by others in Ladakh, including some pictures by Russ Taylor ( Please check them all out. Don't forget Akshay Kumar's pictures from the 4th National Ice Hockey Tournament.

1 comment:

Michael K said...

Hi Adam --

Here's a great one for you --


Until one is committed
there is hesitency, the chance to draw back,
always ineffectiveness.

Concerning all acts of iniative (and creation)
there is one elementary truth,
the ignorence of which kills countless ideas
and splendid plans:
that the moment one definitely commits oneself,
then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one
that would have otherwise never have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one's favor all manner
of unforseen incidents and meetings
and material assistance,
which no man could have dreamt
would have come his way.
I have learned a deep respect
For oneof Goethe's couplets:

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can...begin it.
Boldness has genious, power and magic in it."

W.N. Murray
The Scottish Himalayan Expidition

Keep on puck-truckin' up those shinny-soul-soaring mountains!



Listen to my broadcast from  Saturday, 1/10 with the guys from Hockey Night on Long Island: 
Listen to Hockey Night on Long Island on internet talk radio

Special thanks to the Allan and Rolly at Nasty Hockey Show for being strong advocates for this program, and putting together this broadcast. Please check it out!
Awesome quote from their website: "I’ll match your contributions up to a total of $200. Just leave a comment on this blog with what you have donated."
Thank you guys!
Special thanks to Sarah Elizabeth Foster of for doing this interview, supporting the cause, and donating! (NOTE: I mention in the video I'll be leaving by the New Year. My departure date is now set at 1/12/09!)