If you live in the New York area like me, you can't turn on a TV or a radio without hearing the latest local buzzword: Linsanity. It's referring, of course, to Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks. It's the kind of sports Cinderella story that you usually only see in movies: a kid who's perpetually on the bench starts getting put into games, starts scoring like mad and becomes an overnight sensation - capping his rise by winning a game for his team in dramatic fashion.
His story is a lesson to all of us about not giving up, because that golden opportunity to prove yourself may be closer than you think.
Then, the very next night, Lin sudenly exploded, scoring 25 points in a game against the New Jersey Nets. He continued to go wild on opponents in his next few games, scoring a jaw-dropping 109 points in four starts - the most any player has scored since 1976. Yes, Lin shattered a record that's older than Star Wars. (The original, where Han shot first).
And finally, in a game against Toronto, Lin pulled off a Hollywood ending, nailing a three-point shot with a second to go on the clock to win the game. Yes, a second to go. If he was the sport's new king-in-waiting until that point, the High Drama conclusion to that game - and the media frenzy that followed - was his coronation.
The end result? An instant superstar. Lin's jersey is now the hottest seller in New York sports stores. He's got a Sports Illustrated cover and has gone from crashing on friends' couches to living in posh Trump Tower digs. And to think, this was a guy nearly everyone had given up on.
The important thing here, though, is that Lin didn't give up on himself - and that's a lesson for all of us who are dealing with today's job market.
When you're applying for job after job and not getting as much as a courtesy reply that your resume was sent, you may start to feel a bit like, well, a perpetual bench-warmer who's never going to get a chance to shine. You know you have the talent - why can't these people getting your resume see that?
But there's the key. You know you have the talent. And if you keep believing that, you will make other people see that, too.
Think about how you're presenting yourself to potential employers, and think - do I need to mix it up a bit? Maybe my resume needs an overhaul? My portfolio a little tweaking? Are all my skills up to date - maybe there's something else I need to learn?
Whatever you do, make sure that people see the talent that you have, and realize what your full potential is. When that happens, you will come off the bench, so to speak, and have your moment in the spotlight.
Okay, you're not going to be an overnight celebrity with your picture on magazine covers, and you're not going to be living in luxury digs. But you will be a superstar in your own way, because you will be doing what you want to, letting your talents shine brightly, and having the type of career that you've always wanted - the type that you know you deserve.
Opportunity can knock at any time, and often, it comes knocking right at the point when we think it will never find it again. When it does, seize it, make the most of it, and you will be writing your own Cinderella story.
(For more insight into Linsanity, by the way, check out this excellent fan-made video tribute). - Bonnie Walling