In order for me to maintain any kind of sanity after my beloved Atlanta Falcons’ heartbreaking Super Bowl loss to the Evil Empire that is the New England Patriots, I must find a lesson or two from the game.
Finding the lessons won’t make me feel any better, but it’s how I cope.
You don’t have too look far to find lessons, but two items stick out like a Macon-born UGA fan in a South Boston bar.
No Matter How Good Things Are Going, Watch Yo’Self
First, no matter how well things are going, you are always a few bad decisions away from destroying an opportunity. Because I don’t want to depress myself, I won’t dive too deeply into how unlikely it is for a team that is up by 25 points in the third quarter of a football game to go on to lose.
I do remember this stat that flashed onto the screen: teams leading by 19 or more at the start of the 4th quarter were 93-0 in post-season football play. 93-0.
93-0. Leave it to the Falcons to be the first team to do something. A bad something. I love you guys, but come on! (I know players – you hurt more than I do).
If you watched the game or listened to any commentary after the game, you’ll know that the Falcons made a couple bad decisions that made it that much easier for Tom Brady and his Patriots to climb back into the game.
Literally two bad plays stood between putting the game just enough out of reach that a win should have been inevitable for the Falcons.
And this is how life can be at times. Things can be moving along swimmingly and just a couple poor decisions at just the right time can sink you.
The key? Never coast. It’s vital to always keep your eye on whatever your ultimate goal is – relationally, spiritually, financially, or personally. Where are you trying to get to? Is it going well? Then that’s awesome! But do not coast.
No Matter How Bad Things Are Going, There’s Hope…
On the other side of the coin, you’d think the New England Patriots would have been a lost cause. They were losing 21-3 at the end of the first half. The Falcons increased the lead to 28-3 before the Patriots scored a touchdown and missed an extra point to draw to within 19 going into the fourth quarter.
Surely they were done? Stick a fork in ‘em and all that, right?
Of course not. The Falcons love to contribute to the legendary status of other teams and players and Super Bowl LI (51 for those non-Greeks) was no exception.
See… if you have quality leadership, or if you can lead yourself, and you have breath, you can always, always, always fight your way back into the game.
Love him or hate him, Tom Brady can detach and lead himself and lead others.
Whatever the game is.
“How?” You ask? How do you come from 25 points down in some area in life where you’ve always been beaten and claw your way back?
First, you have to decide that the game isn’t over. This thing that seems to have conquered you is not going to conquer you anymore.
Second, and even more important, you start executing. Even thought the Patriots had struggled, Brady’s message: execute the next play.
I’m going to guess that if there is an area of consistent struggle in your life, that you’ve studied, researched, started, stopped, worked, given up, tried, didn’t see results within the first 15 1/2 hours and screamed, “Nothing works for me!”
Not necessarily true. It’s consistent execution of what you know you should do over time. When problems come up as you execute, you deal with them as part of the process.
I do not care if it’s a health issue – mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, financial, or a relationship issue, or a personal growth/goal issue.
You might be down late in the game, but you can pull out your inner Tom Brady (the good, ice-in-the-veins, execute when the game’s on the line part of the guy) and start moving the ball down the field.
You execute one one, small play. Then another. And then another. You have a process and you trust it. It goes a bit awry, review and edit the process (or your execution), and keep going.
So…. things going well? Don’t rest. Take a break, perhaps, but do not rest and coast.
Things not going so well? Game’s not over. You’re reading this, you got some time. Start executing.
There… that’s how I cope when my teams lose. Obvious lessons, but good ones, nonetheless.
Need a little help to create a plan that will help you not drift and start executing? Check out the book Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy. It’ll help walk you through creating and executing a plan so that you can continue strong where you’re strong and begin strengthening those areas in your life where you’re a bit weak. Click here: Living Forward (Amazon affiliate link).