If you pay any attention to sports, or even watch the mainstream news latetly, you’ve probably heard the name Jeremy Lin. Lin, a point guard and perennial bench-warmer for the National Basketball Association‘s New York Knicks until 7 games ago, has become a national sensation and international superstar. Not so much with his play, he’s a solid player with respectable statistics, but with his story. Lin, cut from two other teams, was picked up by the Knicks to fill out their roster and play some minutes off the bench. After an injury to star player Carmelo Anthony, Lin become a starter and a legend was born.
The story is what makes Lin so compelling. Harvard-educated, Lin could have long ago given up on the dream of playing in the NBA and gone on to work successfully in his chosen field. You and I probably would have given up after being cut by our second professional team. I know I would have found that pretty discouraging. Lin did not. He kept trying, with a humbleness and respect for the game that was eventually repaid with the opportunity he received 7 games ago.
Regardless of whether you’ve been following Linsanity, I think there’s three lessons for us in all of this.
- Don’t give up – Thomas Edison very famously said Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. Lin didn’t give up on his dream and you shouldn’t either. A hundred failed starts means you’ve tried a hundred times to get it right, not that you’ve failed a hundred times. Keep going. The next time could be your opportunity.
- Stay positive – By all accounts Lin is a positive, respectful, enduring gentleman that is just in awe of what fate has befallen him. Could he have become angry and bitter for not falling into a starting position before this? Of course. Most of us in his position would have. Staying upbeat when it’s hard to is just as important than when it’s easy.
- Make the most of your chances – Once he got his chance, Lin made the most of it. Once you get on a roll, keep it going regardless of what is going on around you. Who knows? You might become the next superstar.
I’m not usually one for inspirational stories but Jeremy Lin has provided such an example of the attributes we all should be striving for that I couldn’t pass it up. Next week the magic might pass and Lin might go back to being a bench-warmer again but this story will remain.
Make a story of your own you can be proud of.
I think that’s the ultimate thing Jeremy Lin can teach us all.