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Linsanity: The next chapter

February 15, 2012

Jeremy Lin was at it again on Tuesday night.  He delivered a game winning shot for the New York Knicks against Toronto.  Lin has scored more points in his first five starts than anyone in NBA history.  More than Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Wow!!!  He also has the most turnovers (30) ever in his first five games.  So, who is this guy and what can we learn from him?  A week ago, Lin was barely in the NBA on a 10 day contract, living on his brother’s couch and wondering if the Knicks would be the third team to cut him.    This is a Harvard graduate, who was riding buses in the not-so-glamorous Developmental League.

Jeremy Lin is a great example of resilience.  According to researcher Brene Brown, people who are resilient have the following four traits:

1. They recognize when they are being “shamed” and do not absorb those comments.  Shame happens when we fail at something and we (or others) take the next step and label us a failure.

2. They accept imperfection.  Being imperfect not does mean inadequate.  Lin has 30 turnovers in 5 games!!! He had three straight possessions where he turned the ball over last night, yet he kept going.  Accepting imperfection is a huge part of  being able to persist in any endeavor.

3.They reach out and share their story with people they trust.  Do you think Lin ever got discouraged after being cut by two teams and travelling on 8-10 hour bus rides in the minor leagues?  Of course he did, but his family was there for support. If family is not available, good friends will work as well.

4.They talk about how they are feeling and ask for what they need.  Resilient people do not keep their pain in, they express it, process it and then move on.  Resilient people do not expect others to be mind readers, they are willing to be vulnerable and express their needs.

As men who want to great fathers, if we can build resilient kids, we have succeeded.  I would challenge all of us, myself included, to reflect on the above list and ask, “Am I helping or hurting the development of this trait in my child?”  As we help our children become resilient, the sky is the the limit and the results can really become Linsane!!!

Patrick Donohue is a Life Coach in Oak Park, IL.  He specializes in working with unmotivated students and men who want to be great fathers.  Contact him at

One Comment leave one →
  1. debut dad permalink
    February 15, 2012 6:46 am

    J. Lin is a worldwide phenomenon now and I couldn’t agree with you more about everything you said!

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