Last weekend, we experienced a Super Bowl game that looked like a done deal for the Atlanta Falcons, based on the first half. But it turned into an amazing comeback for the New England Patriots in the second half. And that created some incredible comeback success lessons for me.
Wearing the burgundy and gold football jersey of my favorite team, Dee and I attended the Super Bowl Party of dear friends. Since I didn’t have a dog in this fight, I could watch as an unbiased observer, rather than a biased fan. I became a student and studied everything about the game, from the pre-game hype, to the game strategies and even to the strategies of the advertisers to see how they planned to make the most of the $500K investment for a 30-second commercial.
I watched the game, but more importantly I studied each aspect of the experience and at the end, I left with a notebook of lessons!
Here are the biggest takeaways I got from this year’s Super Bowl game!
- The message I wrote in my book, A Setback Is A Setup For A Comeback, is absolutely true still. We’ll all have setbacks, but it does not have to be the end of the road, unless you give up! If you refuse to give up, a setback really is nothing but a setup for an amazing comeback!
- “It’s Not Over Until I Win!” Les Brown was absolutely right on target when he said that. People who win consistently, in life and business, win because they have a winner’s mindset! If you are going to win, you must know that there will be times when you have setbacks. You might get knocked to the canvas. But you must develop the mindset that you may be down, but you are not out until the referee reaches the count of 10! Winners know that as long as the referee has not reached ten, they can get up off that canvas and win! If you are going to succeed in life, you must develop a winner’s mindset and keep fighting until you win! Affirm daily…It’s Not Over Until I Win!
- Don’t Let A Bad Start, Stop You! In order to succeed at anything, you must start! Yet, sometimes when you start, things won’t initially go well. Winners keep going! You must not let a bad start, kill your dreams! You might have a fumble, a pass intercepted for a pick six, a missed extra point, a sack or dropped passes (dropped opportunities). Yet winners don’t let a bad start, stop them from living their dreams! They keep going and keep making it better!
- Don’t Panic! This lesson is from my book, Turn Setbacks Into Greenbacks.” When you have a setback, it is critical that you do not panic! Panic is taken from the Greek word to choke. When you panic you choke and stop acting and thinking clearly. In 1929, the stock market crashed and people panicked. Many jumped off of bridges – not realizing the market would eventually come back bigger and better than before. When things go bad, don’t go bad with them. Don’t panic!
- Decide To Defeat The Devastating D’s of Life. The devastating D’s are designed to make you panic and make you quit. Refuse to give in to them. The Devastating D’s are Divorce, Diagnosis, Disease, Downsizing, Death of a loved one, Disaster (Natural or Accidental). It takes faith to overcome the Devastating D’s. Start working on your faith now, before you need it. I have learned it is always best to dig your well before you are thirsty!
- Play To Win… Don’t Play to Keep From Losing! For many years I heard about the different types of fears that keep people from winning. One was the fear of failure, which I could understand, but the other was the fear of success, which I couldn’t understand. I could not understand why someone would be afraid to succeed. But when I grew in wisdom, I learned the fear of success most often comes in the form of having success and being so afraid of losing what you have accumulated that you take your foot off the accelerator. You start to play it safe. My friend, CBS Sports Anchor James Brown, shared with me when I interviewed him on my SiriusXM Show that “Winners understand you must work as hard to stay on top, as you did to get on top!” And he was right! Don’t play to keep from losing, always play to win! Keep your foot on the accelerator until the end!
- You’ve Got to Believe! If you are going to stage an amazing comeback after a serious setback, you must stay positive and you must keep on believing! If you keep believing you will keep achieving! If you let negative thinking creep in, it will negatively impact your actions, and negatively will impact your results! NY Met’s pitcher Tug McGraw coined the phrase for the 1973 Mets, and it has become a rallying cry for comeback stories ever since, my friend: “You have got to believe!”
- Keep Fighting for Your Dreams! In order to win, you must make the commitment to keep fighting. In order to keep fighting it takes heart! You must have the heart to stay in the fight until you win! I love the old saying, “It doesn’t matter the size of the dog in the fight, it only matters the size of the fight in the dog!” You must have heart to keep fighting, even when times are tough, keep fighting for your dreams!
- Focus on A Reason Bigger Than You. Tom Brady said he dedicated this game to his mother, who was dealing with a very serious illness. This gave him inspiration to keep fighting! Studies show that when you have a reason, outside of yourself, it can give you power beyond your own strength to keep fighting. Heavyweight boxer, Buster Douglas, fought Mike Tyson years ago in Tokyo. Tyson knocked Buster Douglas to the canvas and Douglas was just about out, but he remembered the promise he had made to his mother, who had died about a month earlier. He had promised her he would win the fight for her. He got knocked down and was almost out. The count was up to 9, and Douglas got up before the referee said “10!” Douglas fought with all his heart and went on to knock out Mike Tyson and win the World Heavyweight Championship! I recommend you get a reason in your mind and heart, bigger than you, to keep on fighting!
- Prepare for Luck. Luck is defined as “When preparation meets opportunity!” If you are going to win in business and life, you must prepare for luck. Start working on yourself in advance. Work on your thinking and on your stamina. Opportunities come to everyone, but many are not prepared when the opportunity arrives. The Patriots got lucky, when during the overtime period, they won the coin toss and got the ball first. They were motivated; they were prepared; they went down the field and scored the winning touchdown. The Falcons didn’t even get a chance – all because of a coin toss! When the opportunities come your way, be prepared!
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Dr. Willie Jolley is the author of several international best-selling books including It Only Takes A Minute To Change Your Life, A Setback Is A Setup For A Comeback, Turn Setbacks Into Greenbacks and An Attitude of Excellence, which was endorsed by Dr. Stephen Covey.
Dr. Jolley holds a Doctorate of Ministry Degree in Faith Driven Achievement from the California Graduate School of Theology, a Master Degree in Theology from Wesley Theological seminary and a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from The American University.