LUKE: I don't believe it!Since once of the things that today's holiday is ostensibly about is the power of belief, let's talk about the New York Jets of the National Football League. The futility of the Jets is well-known to NFL aficionados. The Jets went to the Super Bowl one time, back in 1969, and won despite being installed as 17-point underdogs. Over the following 41 years (a period which includes all of my lifetime) Jets fans have become well-acquainted with phrases like "There's always next year" and "Same old Jets". Jets fans expect the worst. Even up by two scores with five minutes to go in yesterday's Divisional playoff game, many Jets fans were expecting an epic collapse because over the years the team has never seemed to believe in itself.
YODA: That is why you fail.
One of the tasks that Jets rookie head coach Rex Ryan faced at the start of this year was to change this culture of losing. When you believe that you always fuck things up, you always fuck things up. When you expect that you'll always lose the big games, you'll always lose the big games. Limiting beliefs, as they're called, are very powerful. The Jets' 41 years of postseason futility are a testament to the power of limiting beliefs. Although at times the organization has been mismanaged, it certainly hasn't been the doormat of the league (in terms of talent) for all 41 years since its last trip to the Super Bowl.
The flip-side of limiting beliefs is the power of positive thinking. Some people find the concept hokey but I'm a strong believer. Positive thinking suggests that if you're equipped with the right tools and you believe you can do something, you can do it. It may not be easy; there may be hurdles along the way, obstacles and pitfalls that are out of your control. But when you believe in yourself you're more than halfway home.
This year Coach Ryan has the Jets believing in themselves. They've had their hurdles and stumbles along the way but these guys don't look, play or act like they believe in the "Same old Jets" tag. Is it any surprise that they're one game away from the organization's first Super Bowl berth since 1969?
If you believe you're a loser, if you believe you can't do something, then you'll always be a loser who can never do that something. If you believe you're a winner, if you believe that you can do it, you may not get there straight-away but you'll stand a helluva better chance.