Lessons from Lin

I confess. Linsanity has hit my house like so many others this week. Can you blame us? This has been the most excitement coming out of Madison Square Garden in years. Husband and I haven't been this glued to a Knick game like this since the days of Patrick Ewing. It has been said a million times that the reason this rising star has captured so much attention is because the world loves a good underdog story. I must admit, I am a bleeding heart for a compelling story about coming from the rear to find yourself shining center stage. Out of all the commentary and interviews that have been shared in the media over the past week, one thing Jeremy Lin said in an interview with Rachel Nichols struck me the most. In response to learning he would have one more shot to prove himself on the court, he said this to himself:

I'm gonna go back and play this game just as aggressive if not more aggressive. Last year I was trying not to make mistakes, I was trying to fit in. This year I've given everything to this year and I'm gonna make sure I do it my way. If it doesn't get me to where I'm trying to go, then I can live with that. But one thing I know, if I'm gonaa go down I'm gonna go down fighting.

The light bulb revelation for me in what he said is the realization that focusing on fitting in and being consumed with not making any mistakes will generally yield you mediocre results. I don't think anyone ever really became great by simply trying not to mess up, and blending in doesn't necessarily mean that you will gain acceptance or approval. Jeremy Lin proves that the best you can do in any situation is to give it (whatever your 'it' is) all that you've got and let the outcome be what it's going to be. Reckless abandon seems so... well... reckless. As it turns out that's precisely what true greatness demands.