Le Freak, C’est Chic


That’s basically what happened at the Super Bowl, where the experienced Denver Broncos got shaken up by the underdog Seattle Seahawks scoring in the first 12 seconds of the game when Seattle swiped the ball in the opening snap before Broncos QB Manning could pass, throw or even catch the thing.

The Broncos never recovered.

This isn’t a game recap—there are others far more knowledgeable than I all over the interwebs publishing just that. I am a sports fan by relationship proxy; my dad covered the Chicago Blackhawks for many years, and my current love is a former linebacker and loyal football fan.

This is about the way a little thing—okay, even a BIG little thing—can throw you off your whole game. If you let it.

There is only one way to escape failure, and that’s to never even try in the first place. American businessman Thomas J. Watson is credited with saying, “If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.” But if you prefer a name-brand quote, here’s the sexy one from Michael Jordan (or, more likely, from Nike’s advertising agency’s copywriting team):

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

Read more here.

The Seahawks aren’t the best football team in the nation. The Broncos are not “second best,” or, as many bummed out fans currently feel, the worst. But even if one or both were true, neither is the point. The real take-away here is this: go for the win, but be prepared to suck. Because suckage is a given. It’s an inherent part of the game.

My love likes to say “every hello is a goodbye in embyro.” In the same spirit, I say that every action taken contains an immeasurable but very real blend of risk of failure plus chance at greatness.

You don’t want to look dumb? You don’t want to feel embarrassed? You don’t want to risk failing? Then give up. Give up right now and go home.

The rest of you, the ones who are willing to take a chance on magic, on brilliance, on blazing success? Go on out there and get back in the game.

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