Bracketology & Perfection


During this years NCAA tournament 5.9 million brackets were filled out on ESPN.com. That’s a bunch, more than the population of the L.A. and Chicago combined.
The odds of filling out a “perfect” bracket (where every pick in every round is correct) is calculated at one in 9 million trillion (that’s a “9” followed by 18 zeroes) according to Carl Bialik from the Wall Street Journal.
Here are some interesting stats from this years NCAA tournament and the brackets filled out on ESPN.com:

  • Out of the 5.9 million brackets … only 1,093 had three of the final four teams correct.
  • 70.3% of the brackets didn’t have a single final four team correct.
  • Only 2 brackets had the final four teams correct. That’s comes to .000034% of the entries.

There’s a certain bracketology to life, and I think there are some lesson to be learned here:
First – YOU HAVE TO TRY. One of my favorite movie quotes of all time is from the movie Braveheart, where William Wallace says “You know what happens if we don’t take that chance? Nothing.” I’m pretty sure there aren’t a lot of formulas for success. I am sure, however, that there are formulas for failure. One of those is simply to not try.
Second – YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE MISTAKES. Everyone does. It’s a part of life. Some of our mistakes are intentional; some of them aren’t. Either way, we have to find a way to give grace to ourselves and others along the way. If we’re not willing to recognize failure in our lives, we’re probably going to continue down the same path where these failure began. That road only leads to one place: brokenness. Always struggle to understand your mistakes, repent for you sin, ask forgiveness from those who you’ve offended, and do the work to apply what you’ve learned to the way you live your life.
Third – IF YOU EXPECT PERFECTION, YOU’RE GOING TO CONTINUALLY BE DISAPPOINTED IN YOURSELF AND OTHERS. If you’re honest, you know you’ve missed it before and you’re probably going to miss it again. We all do. It’s a part of a broken legacy woven into humanity. Any place that you expect perfection, indicates a place that you’ve created an idol in your life. If you expect your boss, your spouse, your children, or even yourself to be perfect, you have (in effect) created a god out them. They’re not going to be perfect, only Jesus can be perfect in your life. If you look for perfection any where else, you will be left unsatisfied.
If you filled out a bracket or a college basketball fan of some kind: check out the winning bracket on ESPN. com. Its kind of amazing.
And … by the way … nobody filled out a perfect bracket.
To process this a little more:
What do you feel compelled to do (but haven’t started trying) because you’re afraid of getting it wrong?
What’s busting your bracket?

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