Every Dog Has Its' Day
"It's the most wonderful time of the yearrrr." No, not the 12 Days of Christmas. I'm talking about the 10 days of March Madness, baby! *Dick Vitale voice*
For basketball fans, the NCAA Tournament gives you everything you need--games all day long, bracket challenges with friends and coworkers, gritty competition, unlikely heroes, game winning shots, the showcasing of future NBA superstars, and my personal favorite, unforeseen upsets,
Thus far, there have been 10 upsets in the 1st and 2nd rounds of the 2018 NCAA Tournament (Yeah, my bracket is completely busted too). However, no upset has been greater than the No. 16 seed University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) Retrievers' blowout win against the No. 1 overall seed University of Virginia (UVA) Cavaliers. Since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, No. 1 seeds were 135-0 against No. 16 seeds. That all changed on March 16, 2018.
UMBC--who barely made the NCAA Tournament by the skin of their teeth when UMBC guard Jairus Lyles hit a game-winning three pointer in their conference championship--was expected to be an easy win on UVA's path to the Final Four. (ESPN gave UVA a 98.5% chance of winning against UMBC and they had the highest odds, along with Villanova, to win the National Championship.) UMBC clearly had other plans, dismantling the nation's No. 1 defense in a 74-54 dominating victory.
Although UMBC would go on to lose in the second round of the tournament to the Kansas State Wildcats, they overcame improbable odds when no one--probably not even UMBC fans--thought that they could. Embracing their "underdog" status, the Retrievers seized the moment and took full advantage of their opportunity to compete on the big stage. Now, they are forever cemented in NCAA tournament history as the first No. 16 to defeat a No. 1.
From July 2009 to August 2012, I applied to over 100 economics-related jobs. I didn't get hired to any of them. It was discouraging. I wanted to give up. I regularly questioned my decision to move to Washington, DC and even my decision to major in economics in the first place.
However, the desire to manifest the vision that I had for my life trumped all of those negative thoughts and feelings. So, I continued to apply to jobs. And, I continued to endure rejection.
Then finally one day when I was working at my internship, I received a call from an unrecognized number. Of course I didn't answer. Look, I'm the type of person that if I don't recognize a number, I'll let it go to voicemail. If it's really important, the person will leave a voicemail, send a follow up text, and/or call back. THEN, once I know who it is, I will decide if I'm going to call back or not. (You do this too, don't judge.)
My bad, I got completely sidetracked.
Anyways, back to the story. Thankfully, the individual who was calling left a voicemail. He stated that he was a human resources representative and asked for me to give him a call back at my earliest convenience. I stepped outside of the building, called him back, and he informed me that I had been offered a job as an economist for a federal agency.
You remember in the Pursuit of Happyness when Will Smith's character finally got the stockbroker job? You know, when he hopped down the steps, got to the sidewalk and started ugly-crying and jumping up and down in the crowd of people? Yeah, that was me.
In that moment, those one-hundred-plus no's didn't mean much of anything. All that mattered was that one yes. I had continued to push through despite the multitude of rejections I experienced prior to that point. In turn, my efforts paid off when I finally received that ever-elusive job offer.
I'm sharing my story in hopes that it will serve as encouragement for you to stay dedicated to that specific endeavor that has you discouraged. That has you wanting to give up. That has you questioning whether it's really meant for you.
Truth be told, you're not going to see the desired results instantly. You're probably going to fail. You're probably going to have to start over. You'll get turned down and be overlooked. But if you stay persistent, your efforts will soon pay off and the time will come when you are able to reap the rewards of your dedication.
They say good things come to those who wait. I believe good things come to those who persist. Be assertive in your efforts, not passive. Take full advantage of the opportunities you are given to work on your goal or your craft. Take the necessary time to dedicate yourself to doing all that is necessary to get what you want. Don't give up. That's the easy thing to do. And easy has never accomplished anything of great merit.
What you want may not come today. It may not come tomorrow. It may not come for three years or even five. But your day is going to come. Just as long as you remain steadfast in your own pursuit...of happiness.