In Columbus, Ohio, we’re all tired today. But a happy tired.
You see, we all stayed up late watching THE Ohio State University prove they are the best team in college football this year.
With their 3rd string quarterback.
If you’re not from central Ohio, or you don’t follow college football, or you’ve been hiding under a rock, you may have missed the story. OSU’s starting quarterback, Braxton Miller, got hurt before the season started. The backup QB, JT Barrett, took over and became a Heisman Trophy contender before he, too, fell to injury.
So this 3rd string field general that none of us had ever heard of — Cardale Jones — stepped onto the field for the last three games of the season, two of which happened to be the Big 10 Championship and the National Championship, and he JUST NAILED IT. Pretty sure he’s trending on twitter as I write this.
How the HECK did that happen?
It certainly wasn’t planned. It never even occurred to anyone as a possibility until a few weeks ago. And yet, this Cinderella story kid got to wear the pre-printed championship t-shirt and conduct post-game interviews with ESPN for all the world to see.
It happened because of two very important conditions:
1. He was prepared.
Even though his chances were slim to none of becoming THE quarterback, he still worked hard, learned the plays, and kept practicing as a faithful member of the team. I’m sure he WANTED to be the first string quarterback, but he had two seemingly better players ahead of him, so he prepared and willingly played his part — what we now understand to be the extremely, EXTREMELY valuable role of 3rd string quarterback.
2. He answered the call.
The kid’s got talent, no question. But how many people have you seen with talent who just don’t really ever put it to use…even when the opportunity to use it is presented? We’re surrounded by people like that every day. It’s one thing to possess talent, it’s another to OWN it. Cardale owned his talent and literally gave it his best shot when he was given the chance.
I told you all of that in order to challenge you with these questions:
- Are you working every day to make sure that you’re prepared to move up, out or sideways if that’s what it takes for you to win in the long run?
- Are you totally killin’ it in your current role? I mean killin’ it so much that when they finally need someone to step up, you’ll at least be on their radar?
- If you think there is no opportunity or “upward mobility” where you work, are you sure about that? (see the story above if you need a reference) I understand that you can’t wait forever in this instant gratification society we live in, but could you wait just a little longer?
- Will you ANSWER the call when opportunity asks you if you want to play? This is perhaps the most important question of all. I’ve seen people handed a golden ticket — the thing they always SAID they wanted — only to refuse the offer out of fear. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of scrutiny, fear of commitment, or fear of hard work. To me, this is tragedy of the grandest scale.
So, I ask you, if you are handed your dream job tomorrow, or you suddenly have an opportunity to check off the number one thing on your bucket list, or the girl (or guy) of your dreams gets in line behind you at Starbucks this afternoon…are you ready and will you answer the call?
Step up, my friend, your championship may be closer than you think.