Just a quick thought this morning as the Sharks go up against the Canucks down 3-1 in the series (this means they have to win 3 games in a row to stay alive, for you non-sports fans). A lot of techies don't really get the love I have for sports, but perhaps it is as simple as the opportunity to believe in something improbable, something unlikely. It's a unique feeling when you believe in something and, against all odds, it comes to be true.
In hockey in particular, I love that you can actually see the effort and passion put forward by the players - when someone is playing or skating with a ton of heart, it's something you can see. You can see the desperation, effort, and passion.
At the same time, belief in the improbable doesn't mean ignoring the facts - it means focusing intensely on the facts that do matter. Knowing what you need to do, knowing your opponent, knowing your strategy; all of these are crucial if you want to win.
Like anything else, believing in the improbable is a skill. It's a balance of head and heart, it's a decision and a choice. I've made a habit in my life of believing in the improbable, whether it be in my startup, my skiing, or whatever. I expect to be continually delighted when these beliefs come to pass.