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The Argument for Linsanity and How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

March 5, 2012

Who’s Jeremy Lin? These were the words I was afraid to utter amongst a belligerent crowd of basketball-crazed men.  Even if you’re not a sports fan, one cannot deny the cult following Lin has produced over the media in such a short amount of time.  From viral YouTube videos, memes, a new Ben & Jerry’s flavor and a host of puns, Linsanity has captured the imagination of the web in a meteoric, inspiring and surprising way.

I think Lin’s story appeals to many of us because it has humble beginnings.  While Lin self-assuredly out-muscled his way into our Facebook newsfeeds in the beginning of 2012, I’m reminded by the resolutions I wanted to make for myself during that time.

I’ll be honest, I’m one of the people who wasn’t specific enough in even naming a resolution (see guilty evidence here.) But it doesn’t mean that I don’t think the myJoblinx community could use a jumpstart on those resolutions.  From our poll, majority of you voted that you needed a kick in the butt to get back on track to achieving those goals.  And by way of Jeremy Lin’s story, I’d like to introduce a method of doing that.

Insight #1: Be resilient.  A meteoric rise, doesn’t mean mediocre effort.

It seems that Lin literally came out of nowhere when he busted into the basketball scene.  But in truth, he’d  been in and around the league since 2010 and has been an avid player since he learned how to play basketball at the YMCA as a kid; he played for the Golden State Warriors, internationally for the Chinese Basketball League during the 2011 lockout, and then finally for his current team, the New York Knicks.  Prior to his professional career he played on the team while he attended Harvard and captained his high school basketball team right here in our backyard at Palo Alto High School.

Throughout his career, Lin never stopped trying to improve his game.  When he was released by the Warriors, and was recovering from an injury to his left knee, it didn’t stop him from playing in the Chinese Basketball League.  During that time, Lin  perfected his jumpshot, unlearning the form he’d had since eighth grade.  He also increased his strength by doubling the weight he could squat and tripling the amount of pull-ups he could do.

After the lockout he was picked up by the Knicks, but was deep in the their roster as a back up player and he had the constant fear that he’d be sent back to the development league.  Despite that, he was the first to show up to practice and the last to leave.  He tirelessly studied game film and worked with the coaches to improve his movement and judgment on the court.

I know that many of us wish we could wake up and lose 30 pounds but none of that is instantaneous.  There is a deep work ethic involved and that comes from putting the time in ever single day towards whatever it is your are striving for.  Whether you can only spare 20 minutes or a full hour,  you must selfishly and strategically use that time for that goal.  Every bit of time you put in, will help you realize what you need to adjust in your daily routine to make your resolutions more attainable.

Insight #2:  Be prepared. 99% Of Success is Just Showing Up (and a little luck doesn’t hurt either.)

On January 28th, during a game in which the Knicks lost the lead in the fourth, Coach d’Antoni looked to his bench.  He was facing a short roster and his is star player, Baron Davis, was still out because of injury.  In an act of desperation, Coach d’Antoni finally gave Lin his chance to play.  At the time Knicks, had a record of 8-15, with losses in 11 of their last 13 games.  In that initial game where Lin played and the ones that followed, the Knicks were 5-0.   Days before Lin got to play, the Knicks were actually considering releasing him from his contract so they could get another player.  Lin was a bench warmer and was never expected to play in the real game.  But when his time came, he didn’t hesitate.  He took off his warm-ups and jumped into the game.

Insight #3: Be determined.  A string of ‘failures’ is the path to success.

Lin had dreamed of attending Stanford University or UCLA, but Harvard was the only school that guaranteed him a spot to play on their team.  The Warriors had only given him a two-year contract and released him after that time.  While he played, he slept on his brother’s couch with only one goal in mind – to play professional basketball.

The rest as they say is Internet history.

It’s hard to get to the gym, to the office, to that Starbucks meeting, to that job fair, but part of success is really just showing up and being prepared.   I know there are moments when the spirit is willing but the body is weak, but when you think about how serendipitous Lin’s start was- you can’t help but think that some luck had to do with it.  If you aren’t a believer of luck, you have to believe that all of his actions had led him to be in that exact moment in time when his team and his coach needed him.   Life is like that.   In the future, we’ll be called on to perform at our best, but we wouldn’t ever be called on, had we not made a pact with ourselves to show up and keep at it.  With resiliency, preparation, and determination you too could have your moment of Linsanity!

How are you keeping to your New Year’s Resolutions? Like us and join the conversation.

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