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“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

–  Calvin Coolidge

It’s the story of the season.  Jeremy Lin, the undrafted Taiwanese-American who was cut and neglected by at least 2 other NBA teams, has taken the New York Knicks to new heights.  Never offered an athletic scholarship, Lin studied Economics at Harvard, but he never gave up on his dream of playing professional basketball.  Today he is “Linsanity”, leading the lowly Knicks to respectability despite the absence of its established superstars.  The Media circus surrounding his meteoric rise has spread to Asia, with the audience watching NBA games in Taiwan reaching record proportions.

What are the keys to perseverance?  In a nutshell, persistence can be spelled out as JEREMY LIN.

J – Just Do it.  Take action even when presented with obstacles.  Not all lights will be green, but just keep moving.  Lin moved from one team to another, until he found the New York Knicks.

E – Endure to the end.  Remember that nothing worth achieving comes easy.  And Jeremy was probably thinking of ending his dream for good.  Lin was nearly cut by the Knicks too, but due to injuries to its starters, he got his chance.  The break was all he needed to show his wares.

R – Realistic.  If you have a seemingly insurmountable goal, break it down into smaller, more attainable targets.  Lin toiled with Harvard when Stanford University gave him a cold shoulder.  He played in the NBA developmental league.  He warmed the bench.  But he knew that all of these were stepping stones.  He decided to take it once step at a time, because realistically, he did not have the outstanding credentials to become an instant success.

E – End in Mind.  Keep your eye on the prize.  All Lin wanted  was to play in the NBA.  He got more than he wanted – and he is now slated to be a permanent fixture in New York’s roster.

M – Master your craft.  Keep getting better.  Lin was academically smart, but he needed to improve his basketball IQ.  Until now he is learning – he is prone to commit turnovers, but because of his gutsy play, he is never afraid to make mistakes.  That’s the mark of a great player.

Y – Yield when needed.  Sometimes you need to take the backseat for the sake of your team.  When the superstars returned, Lin was more than willing to play with them and churn out more victories.  Never think that the world revolves around you.  Getting over the hump is easier when the burden is shared with others.

L – Live by the day.  Enjoy the ride, cherish the journey.  Don’t deprive yourself of life’s simple pleasures on the road to success.  Jeremy is enjoying the limelight.  He seems so natural in interviews.  But he knows that ultimately he has a goal to fulfill.

I – Inspire yourself.  Look up to others.  Be inspired and motivate yourself everyday.  Yao Ming, the Chinese basketball great, has surely been an inspiration for Lin.  It’s great to have a model to follow – a framework to reach a destination.  Yao has paved the way, and Jeremy has followed.

N – Never give up.  You will get cut.  You will be rejected.  You will warm the bench.  But if it’s worth the wait, never, never give up.

So where will Jeremy Lin go from here?  It’s all up to him.  And it’s all up to you to decide to follow JEREMY LIN.



  1. Pingback: HAPPINESS: You can be the Jeremy Lin of your life’s goal « The Happiness nest

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