Did you catch my Super Bowl prediction this year? If you missed that blog post, check out my thoughts on Sunday’s big game. Overall, I think I nailed it pretty well and there’s a couple of powerful lessons from this prediction. Seriously, this is worth a read even for you non-sports fans! Keep in mind, the actual game score was 43-8. Here is my original post in [black] with actual events recorded in [red] to show how accurate I was!
“As many of you know, I’m not a fan of either the Broncos or the Seahawks. I hold a certain amount of contempt for both these teams, and for significantly different reasons. However, since they are playing in the 2014 Super Bowl, I will try to set aside my prejudices and make a prediction for the game.
“First off, out of the gate, let me tell you that I think the Hawks will win, and they will win big. Sports is all about momentum and mojo, and right now, the Seahawks have it. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they won by over 30 points [Seattle won by 35!], despite playing against the #1 quarterback (maybe of all time!), because this great Hawk defense (though not the best ever, regardless of what every Hawk fan will try to you!) is very opportunistic. I will predict 3 to 4 turnovers in this game [4 turnovers by the Broncos], at least two of those by Manning himself [Peyton threw two pics!].
“Secondly, I’m confident the Broncos will repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot (or is it feet?). I expect at least two costly offensive mistakes resulting in Seattle points [Both the opening game safety and pic 6 were costly offensive mistakes giving Seattle 9 points!].
“Thirdly, Seattle isn’t as strong as their record suggests. A casual look at the regular season shows they easily (yes, easily!) could have been 3-5 after 8 games (instead of 7-1). As such, they can’t win this game if it’s an offensive shoot out. However, since I do believe it’s going to be a blowout, they are going to have to score some points from all sides of the game. Here’s my take: expect at least one defensives touchdown (pic six?)[nailed it!], one special team’s score [the second half started with a kick-off return for a touch down!] and one other non-traditional scoring play (a returned fumble or maybe a safety). [wrong on the fumble, spot-on about the safety!] I expect those plays to come early in the game [safety was first play of the game, pic six was also in the first half!], as Seattle will try to apply pressure out of the gate, making it possible for them to score more traditionally late in the game [two of Seattle's three “traditional” scores came in the 3rd and 4th quarters] when they are grinding out the clock.
“Fourthly, Russell Wilson is a very good QB. He is not great, even if they win a Super Bowl. Doug Williams won a Super Bowl and no one is calling him great. But as a very good QB, he will do what it takes to make key conversions, extend drives and most importantly, he won’t turn the ball over [No turnovers]. I wouldn’t be surprised if he threw one (maybe two) TDs [Wilson threw for two] but mainly he won’t make any big time mistakes.
“Finally, Peyton Manning is surrounded by a bunch of players he still doesn’t know that well, and who aren’t very battle-tested. This Seattle team was one play away from the Super Bowl last year and they have the big-game experience that will make the difference. Watch as several people you’ve never heard of [If you’re not a Seattle fan…can you name the game’s MVP? Probably not, because he’s not named “Sherman” or “Wilson”] step up and make the difference in this game. That Hawks are healthy, Denver is banged up, and the “unknowns” will be the difference makers on Sunday.”
I’m not going to lie to you…that’s impressive.
And since I’m not going to lie to you, I should let you know that I actually wrote this prediction on Monday, the day after the game. I didn’t technically watch the game, (I read most of the details after the fact), so I still think it should count as a prediction, don’t you?
It’s pretty easy to make accurate predictions after-the-fact. (Millions of dollars gambled on the Broncos show how difficult pre-result predictions can go!) Whether you’re talking about sports or marriage or work, this truth holds firm: predictions are easy when you already know the outcome.
I also think it’s pretty easy to make reliable and accurate predictions when you see patterns in place. For example, if you see me belittling my wife in public, leaving for long business trips and you regularly run into me while I’m on dates…with other women, you’ll know that my marriage will be incredibly weak and unvalued (by me) and most likely not going to last much longer. My life patterns would make a marriage prediction fairly simple and most-likely accurate.
What predictions could I make about your life patterns? Take a moment to answer these questions and start making some predictions:
- Do you finish what you start? For most people, starting is easy, but finishing is hard.
- Is it your pattern to intentionally invest in your marriage? If you’re single, are you honoring yourself in singleness and guarding your purity?
- Are you under the mentorship of others? The most successful Christians I know live under someone else’s mentorship, allowing themselves to be coached and guided by others who have more life-experience and wisdom.
- How well do you keep to your health goals? Do you set health goals and then struggle to keep them, constantly reverting to unhealthy habits?
- How well do you manage the money and resources God has given you? How would you rate your ability to be financially free right now?
- Do you live in victimhood, blaming others for your place in life? (“My wife spends all our money” or “I sometimes lose my cool but it’s because my boss is such a jerk” or “It’s not my fault I was speeding, officer…” or “I feel lousy today but it’s because the weather is so cold” or “Don’t blame me for my reaction, if you hadn’t…” or “The reason I was late was because traffic…” or “I sometimes act like this because my mom was never there for me”…)
- How well do you schedule your time? Think about these questions:
- Do you often find yourself saying, “If I had more hours in a day…”
- Do you deliberately ignore unfinished tasks because they take too much time?
- How many minutes/hours a day do you spend reading about the lives of others (Facebook, social media etc…) Seriously, take a few minutes to think about how much time you spend in this area of your life?
- Have you ever said, “If I had more free time, I would…”?
- Based on how you spend your free time, what would people say is the most important part of your life?
- Do you intentionally take on hard tasks? When’s the last time you challenged yourself to step waaaaay out of your comfort zone or to tackle a project that was beyond your ability at the time?
- Are you biggest life decisions made in response to fear or rooted deeply in faith?
Socrates is famously credited for saying, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” Joe-crates* is famously(?) credited for saying, “an unexamined life has a very predictable, and disappointing, outcome.” But when we take the time to examine our life, it’s habits and patterns, we give ourselves the opportunity to predict an outcome that is in line with who God made us to be, doing what God made us to do. I think that’s why the Apostle Paul wrote, “…I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Cor 9:27).
Paul was talking about more than just the discipline he brought to his physical body, he was talking about a thorough examination of his life and direction. He didn’t want to be preaching one thing, while living another, and lose out on the rich blessing of following God closely. He disciplined himself (literally in the Greek it reads, “I punch myself with blows!”) so that his life remained in line with who God made him to be so that He was doing what God made him to do -- truly a life examined!
Where is your life headed? What does your current path reveal about your future path? What patterns are present now that will most-likely reveal the outcome of your life? Let me give you three closing thoughts about how to determine your current course of action:
- Answer the 10 questions above, and then ask two or three people close to you (those who will give honest and loving answers) to answer them also.
- If you already know of a pattern that is negatively affecting the outcome of your life, find a new system to put in place to help create change. Attend a seminar like Traci and I did, read a book that addresses how to make changes, ask 3 or 4 of your closest friends to join you on a journey of change or find some other way to introduce change in your life. Whatever you have been doing isn’t working, so introduce a new mechanism to solidify the change you seek!
- Based on what’s happening in your life now, including who is a part of your life (or who is not a part of your life!), what predictions can you make about your life? Taking time to map the present direction may do wonders in helping you understand the areas that need change.
You cannot live the Overboard Life without examining where your current habits and patterns are leading you, today. Most of us have dreams and goals -- the ideal life we want for ourselves or family -- but few of us take the time to see if what we’re doing today will lead us down that path. It’s worth the effort to examine your life, to be willing to make changes and corrections, so that you can fully embrace the journey God has for you. I’m running my race, and I want to make sure I hold the course, so that the predictions I’ve made about my future will be reality, bringing glory to God and building His Kingdom, His way.
Go ahead and take the plunge, an examined life is always better on the water!
*Joe-crates: a Word of Eng/Greek origins rooted in desperation. "Joe" from the english, "Joe," and "Crates" from the Greek word which probably means, "Of great philosophical thinking." thus Joe-Crates would be "Joe of great philosophical thinking." A few less-informed readers have pointed out that the word could also be pronounced like "Joke-rates", as in "your Joke-rates poorly." However, those nincompoops are openly ignored.