That was a great game.
It was a grand opera -- the two protagonists were epic! One a story of redemption, the other a tale of a young hero emerging from the shadow of his previous king.
Earlier this week I was reading an article by one of my favorite HBS professors on Four Winning Lessons from the Super Bowl and it set me to thinking about this day that has men and women buzzing about everything from crushing defenses to new TV ads (by the way, my favorite was this one from VW!). Since nothing seems more important than football on this one day, and I believe finding "the One" is the most important thing you can do every day, then there must be some overlap between the two. Ladies, this isn't just for the men, even if you don't know your "wildcat" from your "pick six", these are top performers with a singular focus on one thing -- that Super Bowl trophy.
Here are my FOUR LESSONS IN LOVE FROM THE SUPER BOWL.
Have a Game Plan: the coaches of these two teams can "picture" the game unfolding and can envision how all the parts go together. With the help of a team of experts (much like matchmakers are experts) they can see how everything comes together for success. Can you "see" your success? Do you know how the combination of the women/men you meet, the way you present yourself, and the way a relationship might unfold will lead you to your "success"? If not, it may be time to expand your set of "coaches".
Have Short Term Goals: A lot of what these teams do is achieve 10 yards at a time. There are longer term goals like scoring a touchdown and shutting down the opponent's running game, but a lot of their focus is about the next 30 feet they need to cover. Have you broken down your pursuit of "the One" into shorter-term goals? Are you thinking in terms of "meet three new people in the next ten days" or "upgrade my wardrobe into the 21st century within 30 days"? Creating short term goals increases your speed of progress and creates momentum for your pursuit.
Start Your Best Players: it is obvious why a football coach does this, but too often I don't find that the singles I meet follow this simple idea. In the thrill/pressure of a new date, it is easy to fall into the traps of bashing exes, commiserating over being "back in the game" or sharing dating horror stories. These aren't your best players. There is a safety and comfort in this common ground, but these are not your best players. If you love to travel, be prepared on a date to talk about cool places you've been and some places you'd like to go next. If you collect classic cars because you love their stories, bring that passion to your next date. Start your best players.
Take Your Penalties and Move On. Some times plays don't go how you planned and you get a fifteen yard penalty. NFL players have the great ability to complain in the moment, and then put it behind them to make the most of the next play. If you have a bad date, lament it and move on. If you've had bad experiences in the past, take the lessons they generated and make the most of your next relationship.
With the football season now over a lot of us may have a lot more free time on our hands -- let's take the lessons the Super Bowl gave us and find "the One" before the next season kicks off!