First of all, I'm a Minnesota Wild fan. Let's just get that out of the way before I start praising Alexander Ovechkin for his outrageous work ethic and undeniable skills on the ice.
The captain of the Washington Capitals just notched his sixth 50-goal season of his career — 'nough said.
Ovechkin is a rockstar, and you could learn a thing or two about life from the Russian-born hockey winger and all-around badass mofo:
1. Follow Your Dreams
According to an article in the Washington Post, Ovechkin has been infatuated with hockey since he was able to walk.
He first spotted a toy hockey stick at 2 years old and absolutely refused to let go. He's been playing the game since he was a wee tike, and made his debut with the Dynamo Moscow at age 16.
When I was 16, I was skipping first period and wasting a lot of money in the Starbucks drive-through. In any case, the guy knew what he wanted, and he didn't give up on it.
Too many times, we lose our passion as we get older and start to realize how difficult it may be to achieve our dreams.
Hard work is something that doesn't come naturally to everyone, but if you can train yourself to work at your dreams and not lose sight, you'll be much more likely to get where you want to go.
Needless to say, achieving your passions requires lots of hard work, but I bet if we asked Ovechkin, he'd say it's well worth it.
2. Know Your Worth
When signing with the Capitals in August 2005, Ovechkin got the rookie maximum of nearly $1 million per season and had performance-based bonuses that inflated his salary to nearly $4 million.
Talk about a confident guy. He knew he was going to kick ass, and he wasn't afraid to ask for what he deserved.
If we weren't so afraid of stepping on toes or just settling for whatever we get, life could be a bit brighter. Not to mention, your hard work is worth a lot more than you may think.
Don't let anyone convince you that you aren't worth what you want. This goes for careers, relationships, friendships and anything else you could settle for second-best at.
If you work hard, you're worth the highest regard. Don't be afraid to say "peace out" if someone isn't treating you right or giving you what you deserve.
3. Ignore the Haters
Washington Capitals Coach Barry Trotz, apparently, was a little bit nervous about coaching Ovechkin. He admitted to "miscasting" the star player and assuming he was going to be difficult and rebellious.
Well, not only did Ovechkin turn the very presumptuous (sorry, Barry) coach's mind around, but he also kicked ass for the team and proved he was essential for the Caps.
Listen here, haters gonna hate (hate, hate, hate) and in life, they are probably doing it to get a rise out of you. Stay focused and don't worry about what anyone else thinks.
Our society is laden with the notion that it's okay to pre-judge people based on appearance or reputation. Don't ever let it distract you and definitely don't feed into it.
4. Don't Let Fear Get In The Way of Achieving Your Goals
Trotz said this to USA Today about Ovechkin: "I call him fearless ... he is not scared of any player in the league."
If it isn't obvious, Ovechkin does not let fear play a part in his game. This, I think, may be a key to his success.
Trotz went on to talk about all the other things Ovechkin doesn't give a sh*t about, saying, "He is not scared of criticism. He is not scared of accountability. He is not scared of coaching."
So, basically, the guy can't be shook.
This is the way we should look at goals; being scared shouldn't even play a part. Fear is so often a barrier between us and our goals, and we worry about things when they haven't even happened yet.
Well, next time you're watching Ovechkin on the ice, take note of how he plays. There's no fear of what's coming; he's just focused on the goal.
5. If and When You Fall, Get The Eff Back Up
During the 2010 Winter Olympics, Ovechkin and the Russian team lost in the quarterfinals. Then, the same year, the Caps were eliminated in the first round of the NHL finals. Talk about a blow to the ego.
Despite all of this, Ovechkin never let his head hang. The guy has an average of 50 goals per season for goodness sake! He's been quoted as saying, "We must forget this game and move forward to the next." Talk about mad focus.
Falling is inevitable. The difference between getting to where you want to be and staying still is what you do after you fall. If something seems out of reach, it's probably because you've stopped reaching. Get back out there, little Ovechkins.