Cardale Jones’ Story

A Critical Doer controls what is theirs to control 

Regardless of your college sports allegiance, a critical doer has to appreciate the story of Cardale Jones, the third string quarterback that replaced a Heisman Trophy contender following an injury and led The Ohio State Buckeyes to the NCAA Football Championship.

In football, quarterback is a position where subs rarely see the field unlike many other positions that constantly rotate in and out.  In fact, a smart mathematician could likely calculate the exact probability of both the preseason starter, Braxton Miller, who was a preseason Heisman favorite as well as the number two quarterback, J.T. Barrett, going down with injuries to open an opportunity for him.

There is another way to calculate the probability of playing, and it seems Cardale Jones determined the odds were even that he would play…either he will, or he won’t.  In this very simplistic and binary view that is really a statement of possibility more than probability, another chapter in the fabled lore of college football arose.

It was obvious in watching Cardale Jones play that he had taken preparation seriously throughout the year.  He could have made a choice, based upon probability, to not invest the same level of preparation each week because of the low likelihood of a payoff.  Instead, he prepared in a diligent workman-like manner that had him prepared to step forward at a moment of opportunity.

Some would call the story of Cardale Jones luck…and you’re dead wrong.  Let’s break this story down into what Cardale could control and what he could not control.  Preparation was the controllable variable in this story…opportunity was the uncontrollable variable.  Through a deliberate choice…not some mysterious and random cosmic force called luck…a player was in a position to capitalize when a window of opportunity opened.

Many stories of great achievement were highly improbable.  The stories range from garage businesses that become Fortune 500 companies, disadvantaged kids that become scholars, and on it goes.  When you break down a number of these examples, you find universally individuals who controlled everything that was theirs to control and worked hard despite not knowing when the opportunity to make their work pay off would come…if ever.  Fortunately, these critical doers think through their circumstances and control what is theirs while fighting on one more day to create the great successes that make life better for everyone.

Your challenge is to put your athletic loyalty aside long enough to see this story for what it is…a powerful example of the success that can be achieved when you control what is yours to control.  You can live life…or life will live you; the choice is important as it either unlocks the door to a fulfilling future or quite literally makes you a bench warmer.  Find a situation where you can take a higher level of control and forge your own destiny.  It’s what a critical doer would…do!


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Updated: January 19, 2015 — 2:29 am