The Super Bowl Challenge

I recently rounded a corner with my life list. I have successfully overcome inertia and am now completing a new bucket list item about every ten days.

With my engines at full efficiency, I have started to feel a new feeling. Or perhaps put more accurately, a lack of an old feeling. My bucket list items are starting to offer less fulfillment than they used to. I am still learning a ton and enjoying the activities but I am noticing less of an impact on my inner self.

Luckily, I have a hack.

Success Pattern

It has recently started to occur to me that there is a pattern around success. The steps are not systematic (meaning the actions that worked for one person will not always work for everyone) but the order of those steps might be.

  1. Improve yourself
  2. Improve your friends and family
  3. Improve the world

I believe that before you can really improve the world, you must first improve your friends and family. Before you can do that, you must improve yourself. Up until recently, my life list has been a tool that I have used to work on the first step. For example, running a marathon helped me lose weight and overcome excuses but it did little beyond that. It didn’t help my friends and family and it certainly didn’t improve the world. I think the fleeting fulfillment I have experienced is my body nudging me to move to the next step.

Thus, I came up with the Super Bowl Challenge.

The Super Bowl Challenge

On September 22nd, I made a list of the 70 people who have most inspired me in my life. (Tip: This is a great resource on finding important people’s e-mail addresses) I then took a leap and e-mailed all of them to propose a challenge.

Subject: I have an extra super bowl ticket, you interested?

Hey all,

I am reaching out to 70 of the people who have most inspired me in my life and am offering a simple proposition. I am working on my bucket list and have acquired an extra ticket to Super Bowl XLVII (that would be the one coming up in February). I want to give it to one of you. There is only one catch…

In giving it away, I want to make all you crazy folks a bit better.

Thus, I am throwing an epic and free invite-only competition!

I have found that the best part of pursuing my bucket list has been the unlikely experiences it has forced me to dive into head-first. These mini life leaps have been the most important growing experiences I have had in my life. My goal is to use this competition to positively pressure you into taking a chance and doing the same.

Whichever one of you makes the most inspiring leap in your life before the deadline (Midnight on October, 12th 2012) will win a ticket to Super Bowl XLVII.

Examples of leaps: (in no particular order)

  • Know how to play an instrument but have been afraid to perform publicly? This could be your leap.
  • Is there a super sexy someone who you have not yet asked out/proposed to/impregnated? (lol, don’t do the last one) This could be your leap.
  • Have you avoided that trip you have always talked about with your friends/family? This could be your leap.
  • Have you wanted write a novel or get a tattoo but find yourself making excuses. Leap.
  • Is there a job that you have always wanted to apply for but haven’t? Again, that could be your leap.

Make a leap you have always wanted to make and win Super Bowl Tickets. Yup, it is that simple.

Everything else you need to know is included below.



1. Your inspiring life leap must be made and a description must be received by me before October, 12th 2012 at midnight PST. (This is a little less than a month from now!)
2. After you make your leap, email ([email protected]) or call me (XXX XXX XXXX) to tell me about it. :-)
3. This competition is invite only.
4. I will be the sole judge of who wins.
5. If you win, I will cover the event ticket and the hotel for the weekend.
6. You have to cover airfare to New Orleans for the game. (If this is looking like it will be prohibitively expensive and you are the winner, we can attempt to work something out.)
7. I have two tickets (one for you and one for me) which are right next to each other.
8. I will e-mail the winner after the deadline so we can arrange the logistics.
9. Employees of the NFL are ineligible to win. (That means you John! You already have a ticket you dork :-p I’ll see you at the game.)
10. Be creative! The other 69 people on this list are also very resourceful and clever.


1. Is this some kind of weird new-age marketing campaign?

Nope! This is a private game. I am not using this competition to promote or market anything. There are no tweets/likes/pintrests/sponsors involved. The only reason I used a marketing tool to send this e-mail is because the logistics of sending and keeping track of 70 e-mails is tricky and this tool makes it easier. This list will be destroyed after the game and I will never bug you again.

2. Do I have to spend a lot of money to participate?
No. I don’t care about the cost of the act. Just be creative. This is your chance at a Super Bowl ticket!

3. Are you being serious?
Yes, I am totally serious. Most Inspiring Leap = Super Bowl XLVII Ticket

4. Who else is this being sent to?

The list includes 70 of my inspirations. The list includes:

* People in at least 10 different countries
* Three published authors
* At least five ivy league graduates
* Two CEOs
* One Hollywood actor
* Two government trained killers (seriously)
* At least two millionaires
* Three celebrated artists
* Five of my family members

The competition is going to be tough. Game on, you can handle it!

5. Are there any minimum requirements for what makes up a leap?
Nope. Just do something you have always thought about doing but have never actually done.

6. What if I want to play but don’t live near you?
Location is irrelevant for this competition. (See Rule 6 above.)

Relevant Information:

Super Bowl XLVII
February 3rd 2013 at 5:00 PM
Mercedes-Benz Superdome
New Orleans, LA

My E-mail Address:

[email protected]

My Phone Number:


So What Happened?

At first, nothing. I sent the e-mail, saw that people opened it and got zero responses. I called some people to make sure they understood the contest. They did but I still didn’t get any entries.

I deemed the entire thing a massive failure.

Then two days before the deadline, someone entered. A day later, with less than 24 hours to go, 23 other people entered as well. It became a real competition.

What Were The Results?

  • 25 people actively took a leap
  • Collectively, my inspirations lost over 150 lbs
  • 2 people quit smoking (at least during the competition)
  • 3 people started running
  • 1 person left a job they hated
  • 1 person came out to their family
  • 1 person got a tattoo
  • 2 people jumped out of airplanes
  • 3 people asked someone out (all 3 got dates ;-p)

Who Won?

I did! :-) I processed the results while sitting alone in an office in downtown Seattle. As I read the responses, I teared up. I felt an immense amount of gratitude and proudness for all of my friends and inspirations. It was the first time I had cried since the day Steve Jobs died :-p

It was a life changing moment and something I look forward to making happen again in the future.

I called each of the people who entered to express my gratitude. I was surprised when all of them ended up thanking me instead. This new phase of my life list is still foreign to me.

The winner of the competition was Craig Simmons. Craig took a different angle than most applicants. He broke down the question and identified what areas in his life would be the most difficult to make a leap in. He then took specific one-way and permanent actions in those areas. His leaps were personal and I won’t be sharing exactly what they were.

As a few people pointed out, the super bowl challenge really had little to do with the super bowl. My life list is the tool that helps me continually elevate my life and this challenge was trying to share the benefits of this with others. I believe it was a huge success and I excitedly look forward to this new phase of my life list.

I will be giving a TED talk next week. If you happen to be in Seattle on November 10th, feel free to come join. Details are here.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Woot! 1 Item Every 10 Days!!

    Q. 1. How do I get on your list of 70 inspirations? I know, I know – do something for yourself, not for others, blah blah – but then I want to do it for the sake of Success Pattern Step 2. Still with me?

    Q. 2. Were you sure all of them cared about Super Bowl tickets? Maybe you could send a Feedback Form to the other 45.

    Grrreat going, pal!

    • Hey Rohan!

      A. 1 – lol, I don’t think there is a formal sign up process but you are quickly on your way :-)

      A. 2 – I found out after the fact that at least one of them didn’t care about the Super Bowl. They still liked the idea of the contest though. Good idea with the feedback form.


  • Uhmmm you know not just 1 but 2 government trained killers? You know some AWESOME people! The questions I would have for them they wouldn’t be allowed to answer.

    Great challenge really great to read about.
    Good luck next week Danny at your TED Talk – I honestly can’t wait to watch it!

    • Wouldn’t it be cool if they fought each other? :-p

      Thanks and I hope life is going great Jess! :-D

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