Often, the average person views the world around him as a place where everyone else seems destined to succeed, while he struggles to survive.   Government, businesses, rich folks, etc., all of these “others” too often carry an “air” of invincibility, while the individual has been trained, taught and educated to see himself as weak, prone to failure, and full of mistakes. I’ve spent the large majority of my professional life trying to point out that this common mentality – is not “de facto” reality, but instead is the result of our “de mente” conditioning.  A person’s state of mind, and his view of himself in the world – is the single most significant source of  his faith in the idea that his own life is meaningful and has purpose.  To this end, the goals a person chooses, the passion and intensity with which a person pursues a meaningful and purposeful course in life – is determined by what he believes about himself and others.

Some have said that this past week’s Superbowl will go down as the most entertaining and gratifying game in history.  I’m not sure if that is true, but I do know that for many watching the game, the ending was inspiring.

I don’t mean to take insult the New England Patriots; for sure they deserved to play in the Super bowl. But with their 18-0 win/loss record and all the lead up media coverage suggesting that they were perhaps the best football team to ever play the game, did anyone else notice that from the first play of the game, they didn’t look like they really wanted to win. I know that might sounds funny, but really, have you watched any of the film from the game?  Whether it was how they acted after each play or the expressions on their faces, it seemed to me, from the first play of the game onward that the Patriots just lacked “something.”

I think this is often the case with ourselves.  There are some days, no matter how well we’ve done in the past (and often we’re worried that we haven’t done that well in the past) when it comes to “game time” we don’t put our best foot forward.  Usually, its because we have something else on our mind.  Isn’t that interesting.  Right at the time when we ought to be focused, determined, and at our best – our minds are someplace else.  Why is that?

Well, this isn’t the place for a full exploration of that topic, but suffice it to say that the Patriots were obviously not on their game.  And, the New York Giants on the other hand, seemed inspired from the beginning.

If you watched the game, you noticed that the Giants made repeated mistakes – right and left, and these were quite obvious for all to see. Nevertheless, despite their weaknesses—their tenacity and their commitment created something special, it just seemed evident by their poise and constant readiness, even right after they failed or made a mistake.

As I watched the situation unfold, I thought to myself, “Is it possible that the Giants might pull this off?”  But, now, after having given it some thought, I can see this same scenario in our daily lives.  How often have you felt discouraged, off your game, or like life’s deck of cards just seemed stacked against you.  Well, if you’re willing to take a lesson from this past Superbowl, take a good look in the mirror.  Why not ask yourself, “Is it possible that I could actually pull this off?”  Or, “Is it possible that I could actually do this, accomplish this, and walk away the victor?”

Somewhere, somehow, someone got inside the heads of the New York Giants before this game because this is exactly what they did.  Somehow, and I guarantee you that this is not just hyperbole, someone came along and had a good long talk with the team and had them spend a few minutes looking in the mirror, adjusting their attitude with questions just like these.  You watch, in time, stories will come out – and you’ll see.

Certainly, the attitude and internal belief of the New York Giants is what enabled them to overcome the supposedly invincible Patriots.  The Giant’s last drive, kept alive by David Tyree’s hand & helmet catch doesn’t happen any other way.  Remember, this guy was a backup’s – backup.  The determination and constant belief in the face of adversity (as demonstrated by the New York Giants) should remind us all that the reason you “keep hanging on” in life is not just so you can say you kept hanging on, its so you can win!

For those with eyes to see (and of course, you probably have to like football to some degree), the New York Giant’s showed a generation last Sunday night that it is possible to beat the invincible.  A person’s state of mind, and his view of himself in the world – is the single most significant source of  his faith in the idea that his own life is meaningful and has purpose.  Next time you feel like you’re up against impossible odds, or that you’re just not “in a good spot” – I invite you to take a few minutes and look in the mirror and ask yourself a few of the questions I’ve outlined above.  Isn’t it possible?  So often, I fear, we forget to ask – and miss opportunities to accomplish wonderful things and make a meaningful difference in the world around us.

Anyway, so that is what I was thinking about during the Superbowl.  You?

Super Bowl XLII

David Tyree’s Amazing Catch in Super Bowl XLII