Monday, December 26, 2011

Fight On!

Guest Blog by Christopher Tillman

Shortly before Christmas, the University of Southern California’s starting quarterback Matt Barkley held a press conference to say he was not entering the NFL draft and would return to USC for his senior year. My friends all know - I love sports. I love the story lines and the analogies to life, plus I bleed cardinal and gold. But in case you don’t share my passion, let me tell you what this sports news means.

There are rules about when a collegiate athlete can go professional, and once they do, they cannot go back. It’s usually a big deal when one decides not to go back to school and rarely do the capable ones finish four years of school. And believe me, Barkley is capable. If he entered the draft now, he would go top ten and make millions of dollars. It’s a choice point similar to when an actor decides to join SAG, except if joining SAG meant you were automatically cast in the next Will Smith movie.

So why wouldn’t that be a no brainer decision?

While I was reveling in the fact that my Trojans are going to dominate college football next year, I heard something that made me think. A sportscaster said that Barkley’s decision showed that “he didn’t fear failure, but rather strived for success.”

You see, Barkley led USC to a 10-2 record this season when unnecessary sanctions led most people to think they’d be lucky to finish 6-6. And professional sports drafts are like the stock market - value is based on perception and you gotta sell when it’s high. Right now, Barkley’s perception is high because he was virtually perfect this year. In order to match or exceed that next year, he will have to be perfect. So why would he take on that challenge? Because he knows that while perception can bring you a pay day, only performance can bring you a career. He doesn’t fear failure, but rather strives for success.

As we enter the new year, ask yourself if you are prepared to do that same for your career. Are you willing to forgo fear in your decision-making process and reach for success instead. To put yourself on the line as opposed to playing it safe. Are you ready to switch gears? Put the day job on hold to pursue your dream? Add a hyphen to your title?

And if nothing else, are you ready for USC to win a National Title? I am.

You can follow Christopher Tillman on Twitter at @christophertill

1 comment:

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