Superstition? Or Heads Up Playing?

Don Muhlbach was flawless in the recent Detroit Lions long-snapper battle. And he credits his success in part to his “lucky” routine. Did you know he cuts a banana into 17 pieces before each game? And listens to the same 18 songs in the same order before each game? No mixing and scrambling for this man. Don’s been at this game a long time. He stumbled into his career early on: he needed a ride home from practice in the 10th grade. And the rest is history. He’s living unstuck and going strong.

It’s not just football. Years ago, a Hall of Fame baseball pitcher asked a sports psychologist he was working with to wear a particular jacket while he was pitching. And the pitcher won every time. Some NASCAR drivers refuse to carry $50 bills or eat peanuts on the track because, presumably, one time someone had a streak of bad luck while carrying a $50 bill. Or eating peanuts. No unstuck patterns here. Tennis star Serena Williams ties her shoelaces in a particular way to keep good luck on her side. Perhaps the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, wore a pair of University of North Carolina basketball shorts under his NBA uniform. It’s a challenge to argue with these results.

My superstitions are: I wear red the first day of a conference and I toss salt over my left shoulder if I happen to spill some on the table. I’m unsure, but maybe they help me live unstuck.

Superstition has been around as long as there have been humans on the planet. Some think it gives them an advantage. Confidence in what they’re doing. I for one say, “What’s it going to hurt?” Don Muhlbach may be onto something. All I know is . . . I’m writing this post with my lucky rabbit’s foot in my pocket.

What’re your superstitions? A black cat running across your path? The number 13? A four-leaf clover? Are you living unstuck? Happy Halloween! #UnstuckLiving

Make each day your masterpiece.

—John Wooden

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