How to Enjoy the Second Half of the Super Bowl

Three quick questions to put any situation in perspective

Talk about your planning fails!

Due to unintentional scheduling (neither one of us thought to check what time the game started), we showed up to a Super Bowl party at halftime. Whoops.

It’s the biggest event of the football season. It’s possibly the only thing that I tune in to intending to watch the commercials. And we’d missed the pregame show, the kickoff, and half the game. I wasn’t happy.

In the grand scheme of things, missing half a football game isn’t a big deal, but it can be hard to regain your perspective when you’re in the middle of making a decision. I had to decide whether I was going to let this ruin my evening (and everyone else’s in the process) or shrug it off. We’re regularly faced with that kind of choice, and it’s always easier said than done.


In 10–10–10 (iBooks, Amazon), Suzy Welch describes a decision-making framework that she uses to visualize how a decision will play out. Ask yourself three questions:

  1. What are the consequences of my decision 10 minutes from now?
  2. What are the consequences of my decision 10 months from now?
  3. What are the consequences of my decision 10 years from now?

The specific time horizons aren’t important, and they’ll probably vary each time you do a 10–10–10 exercise. Go with whatever works for the problem at hand.

So how can 10–10–10 help you choose your response to missing half the Super Bowl? (Yes, I really stepped back and took myself through this.)

  • 10 minutes from now. Ten minutes out, I was not happy. I acknowledged that. Not only had I missed what sounded like a great first half of the game, but I had missed all the commercials, too! (The best ones tend to be towards the beginning.)
  • 10 days from now. After ten days, or even ten hours, really, how much of a difference would it make? The game would be over, I’d have caught up with the commercials online, and my attention would be fully focused on Valentine’s Day. It’s hard to be romantic when you’re angry, and it’s hard to be angry with someone when you’re focusing on the reasons why they make you a better person and how you can make their day special.
  • 10 years from now. Ten years from now, what kind of reputation do I want in my family? Do I want to be known as a dad that flips out if he misses kickoff? Or do I want to be known for unconditionally loving my wife and children no matter what happens? I’d much rather look back and laugh. “Remember that time we tuned in at halftime because we weren’t paying attention to what time the Super Bowl started? Good times.”

It quickly became aparent to me that no matter how frustrated I was at the moment, getting angry about it wasn’t going to bring out the best in me, let alone those around me. So I helped get dinner ready, grabbed a cold glass of blackberry lemonade, and watched a fantastic second half.

By the time the game was over, I didn’t really care that we’d missed the first half. Once we missed the first half, that was no longer in my control. What I could control was my response. I chose to let it go.

10–10–10 is a simple thought exercise, and a great reminder to step back and consider the bigger picture. Begin with the end in mind. Let that end guide the decisions you need make now to head in the right direction.

Some things in life are worth getting upset over. Missing kickoff isn’t one of them.

About

Colter writes software and blogs about personal growth and productivity. He lives in Silicon Valley (California) with his wife and children, recently took up golf, and watches mostly British TV shows.

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