How to Dance the Fine-Line Between Caring & Not PRESSINGJun 03, 2023
How to Dance the Fine-Line Between Caring & Not PRESSING
Pressing: Wanting something so bad we try too hard.
- Forcing the situation
- Putting a square peg in a round circle
Amin Elhassan is a very good friend of mine and one of the most well known ESPN faces on television. He wears hats and sunglasses when we go out for lunch, uses an alias that sounds way too comic book-ish when he orders, and basically tries all he can to stay out of the spotlight of being one of the best sports journalists on the planet. But it wasn’t always this way for Amin, trust me.
I got to know Amin when he was a video intern with the Phoenix Suns. Aspirations to become a GM, work his way to the top from the bottom of the barrel (which is often celebrated but very very rarely actually happens) Amin put everything he had into taking steps forward to becoming an NBA GM. But every time he had a meeting that might be ‘the one’ to take that next step, he always came out of it feeling like he’d stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with bases loaded and struck out whiffing so hard he fell down. He pressed. And pressed. And pressed.
Pressure was weighing down on Amin, immense self pressure that he would never achieve his goals, all the time and effort and energy he had put into his life would be for nothing. And then the all too foreseen unforeseen happened. Everyone on staff in Phoenix was let go. Amin was back at the beginning. Any momentum that he had going, halted very abruptly.
During the time Amin was searching for the next job with a team he could once again ‘work his way up,’ a friend asked him to write a sample piece for the upstart ESPN.com. He figured, ‘why not?’ The article was well received and he was asked to write a 10-article freelance gig which eventually led to Amin being hired full time at ESPN in 2013 and shooting up the ranks to become one of the most loved/hated/undeniably magnetic voices at ESPN. Amin had made it to the top of a field where thousands upon thousands of people go to years of school just to get the opportunity to step foot in an office and intern for a job he now held.
In 2015, after Amin was a worldwide star using his alias, he told mashable.com "If you look at the media landscape, almost all the analysts who have come from the league side are former players or other very big-name people. Rarely, if ever, do you see the nuts-and-bolts worker bees that populate most NBA front offices."
Amin had made it. He didn’t make it as a GM, but he made it as something better than he could have ever expected. All because he didn’t press.
The next time you are outside walking and a butterfly comes into vision, don’t just stop and look at the beauty you see on the surface, but think of the impact the effect of its wings can have on millions around the world. Think of the impact your word’s can have on millions around the world!
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