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Beating the Odds

Stupid Super Bowl Questions

People like to say that there is no such thing as a stupid question. They are wrong. There are plenty of stupid questions, and for proof all you need to do is hang around the Super Bowl.

Over the years, the press corps has used the preview week to pose some questions that have gone down in history.

Try this one, offered three decades ago to Oakland quarterback Jim Plunkett, who came from two special needs parents, one of whom had died.

“Jimmy, I want to make sure I have this right,” the reporter said. “Was it dead mother, blind father, or blind mother, dead father?”

Then there was the reporter who asked Dallas running back Emmitt Smith, “What are you going to wear in the game Sunday?”

Hmm, my uniform?

Anyway, reporters aren’t the only ones who ask stupid questions. As peak performance guru Dave Cross points out, we ask them of ourselves all the time. And these questions keep us from becoming great.

Here are some stupid questions, as laid out in the mental training masterpiece “Volleyball Cybernetics.”

Why does it always happen to me?

Why can’t I get better?

What’s the use?

Why is life so unfair?

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Here’s the problem with asking yourself stupid questions. Your mind is a powerful computer, and once you ask the question, it will work hard to provide an answer. But, as they say, “garbage in, garbage out.” If you ask a powerful computer a stupid question, it will give you a stupid answer.

For instance, if the question is, “Why does this always happen to me?” then the answer might come back, “Because you’re a loser.”

And that’s a really stupid answer. So instead, ask yourself smart, productive questions like:

What have I learned?

How must I change to get the results I want?

What must I do today to take action?

Whom have I helped today?

By asking the right questions, you can start getting the right answers, whether it’s Super Bowl Sunday or any other day.

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