I got an unexpected phone call from my step-dad this morning, and for the first few minutes I was incredibly confused, I had no idea where he was heading with the conversation. He kept muttering words like Linsanity, Knicks, Lin, Jeremy Lin, New York Knicks, Lincredible – all of which were completely unfamiliar with me. And just two weeks ago most of those words wouldn’t have any meaning to anyone else either, but today it’s different.
After looking into this further upon his phone call to me, I found it one of the most inspirational stories I’ve read in a while. “May the best man Lin,” “Lincredible,” “Linning,” “Linsanity,” “Linsane” – these headlines and names are now sweeping through not only the NBA, but through the entire nation. To any basketball fan this is an exciting new guy to be watching out for but to me it’s much more than just the points he’s putting on the board. It’s where he came from, what he’s gone through and the tremendous amount of faith and effort he’s put into something he never lost focus of.
For those that don’t know the story, here is how I summarize it best after reading through a few recent articles. Basically he’s an extremely smart 23-year-old, Asian-American who was ignored by scouts upon his graduation from Harvard in 2010. Lin played, or should I say ‘warmed the bench’ briefly for a few NBA teams before being cut from the Houston Rockets on CHRISTMAS EVE – and then he eventually got picked up by the New York Knicks. Just as he was about to be cut again, the coach gave him a chance to play and since then he’s become a super-star, he’s been defying critics for weeks now. I’ve read many articles on him and statement after statement that is made about this talented player, has continued to grab my attention.
“Lin is able to block out outside pressures to allow his athletic skills to shine.”
“How we think about whether we are going to succeed or fail changes whether or not our brain supports our skills,” said Sian Beilock.
“Focusing on what you want to achieve rather than why you’ve failed in the past prepares you to perform at your best. When you are focused on failing, often times you try to control every aspect of what you are doing. You essentially screw yourself up.” – Sian Beilock
“His coach gave him a chance to play.”
“Lin credits God for his success. Whether or not God is responsible for Lin’s astounding point totals, his faith is another factor in keeping him stable.”
“He is able to pay attention to the right things at the right time,” says Christopher Janelle a director of the University of Florida’s performance psychology laboratory.
If only we as professionals could learn to do this in the world of business, whatever your career path may be – imagine the ‘super-star’ you could become. Blocking out any outside pressures, focusing on success and what you wish to achieve rather than failures, being given a chance and then being able to attribute and thank God for your current place in life; these are all things we can easily do. Just when you think you’re struggling – look at Lin – from getting constantly ignored by scouts, facing cut after cut including a devastating one on Christmas Eve, crashing on couches… to his current standing, an international super-star who is now wanted and admired by every coach and fan out there. All it took was for that one person to give him a chance – someone gave him the opportunity to let his true talents shine.
Moral of the story; I think my step-dad was helping me try and put things into perspective. Although I may be facing a few let downs and struggles now, at some point life will start happening for me. And maybe you are ‘warming the bench’ at your current job, but what you may not realize is that it’s just a simple stepping stone to where you could eventually be. Somewhere out there is an employer that is just waiting to give you your chance to shine within their company. You’re the diamond in the rough, the one they’ve been waiting for, the one that will help them stand out above the rest and the one that will give a lasting impression on their customers and community around them. If this story doesn’t urge you to strive for something more, I’m not sure what else will.
If you’re still curious about this young fella, check out these stats from an article I read earlier, The Jeremy Lin Phenomenon – the numbers are literally mind-blowing (even from my perspective – and I’m clueless when it comes to basketball stats, trust me)!