A little over a year ago, if you asked me who Jeremy Lin was, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you, and neither would anyone else save for a couple of members of the Harvard basketball team.
Cut from the Houston Rockets, Jeremy Lin found himself on his brothers couch in the East Village in New York and no prospects for a future in the NBA.
That didn’t last long, and Lin found himself under the bright lights of the Big Apple, playing on the biggest stage imaginable. And he made the most of it. For one month last season, Linsanity took the world by storm. Who was this softspoken guy and where did he come from?
Jeremy Lin took every advantage of his 15 minutes of fame, which is why we are still talking about him a year later even though he was eventually cut by the Knicks. With a brand new NBA season a few short weeks away, Lin now finds himself back with the Houston Rockets. The only difference is now he is the main attraction on the very team that initially cut him and sent him packing to New York.
Here’s what Jeremy Lin and Linsanity has taught us about second chances and making the most of them:
The Bigger the Stage, The Bigger The Opportunity for You to Shine
You may find yourself in an interview or a setting that you may think is above your head or you may feel underqualified for. No matter the situation, own it and rise to the occasion.
Dream opportunities are so few and far between that if you don’t take advantage of them when they are presented to you, those opportunities may not ever come back.
Always Think Ahead
As much as Jeremy Lin was enjoying what was happening around him, he knew that this magical carpet ride wasn’t going to last forever, which is why he was handling his affairs off the court like trademarking Linsanity, and signing endorsement deals.
Regardless of where you are in your career, you always have to be thinking about the next phase of your career. Whether that means moving up or moving out. Do some of the hard work now, while things are relatively easy so you can be set up for success in the future.
Luck Always Helps
There was no shortage of luck following Lin during his run. But as Oprah famously once said, “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” Lin was prepared. He stayed prepared, which is why he was able to cash in on his opportunities. Always stay prepared.
One of the reasons that Linsanity is still making news is because he is a very likeable and humble individual. The more humble you are, the more you are showing that you are appreciating the good things that are coming your way. This leads to more people wanting to help you and see you succeed. Success breeds and attracts success.
In his case, he was able to get more media exposure and more press coverage. In your case, it could mean someone making a connection for you or introducing you to someone who could put you that much closer to a hiring manager or someone inside the company that you are interested in working for.
Never Give Up on Yourself
If you find yourself on the verge of giving up, don’t! Let me remind you, Jeremy Lin was sleeping on his brother’s couch before he got called. He could have easily given up, but he didn’t. He stayed prepared in the event that his phone would ring from a team willing to give him a chance. The most important thing to remember is that there is always hope.
Trust that the right doors will both open and close as you stride forward. Have faith in the process and journey of both life and career. You can be presented with unexpected opportunities and rewarding challenges that will make you an outstanding individual. Someone that others will want to be around.
Handle the Haters
Not everyone appreciated Linsanity. Some have called him an average ball player. Those things may be true, but he didn’t let any of that affect his performance on the court.
Your journey may be met with haters and those that don’t believe in what you’re doing. Worse yet, they smile in your face but at the same time root for your downfall. Your job isn’t to worry about them.
Your job is to continue to focus on the goals that you have set in front of you and surround yourself with people who believe in you that will support you as you will support them when their time comes.
Jeremy Lin Graces the 2012 November Cover of GQ Magazine