December 2008 e-Newsletter

Wanna Be Like Mike?

"I have failed over and over again. That is why I succeed." ~ Michael Jordan

It's amazing to hear that Michael Jordan, widely acknowledged as the greatest basketball player of all time, has "failed over and over again." While he indeed ultimately succeeded in achieving the highest honors in his game, for both himself and his team, he also met with some degree of disappointment in his other pursuits (baseball comes to mind).

The point is that he never stopped at failure and never feared failure. How would one ever achieve success if one simply stopped at the first letdown? Each misfortune is a stepping stone onward and forward, perhaps to the next stone of failure, but eventually that path will lead you to something greater. You grow with every step, you learn with every step.

So Michael Jordan never stopped at failure. However, he also never stopped at success. Becoming the greatest basketball player was not the be-all and end-all of his ambition. He forayed into other fields, sometimes with a great degree of accomplishment, sometimes with a less-than-perfect performance. Unfortunately for Mr. Jordan, his very greatness often made people expect or demand only that much more of him, and that's difficult to live up to.

It can be argued that some of us are born with natural talents or assets, but it is up to us to maximize what we're given. It's easy to say that Michael Jordan was born to play basketball, but that observation was made only after he made the decision to pursue that ambition and work harder than anyone else to accomplish what no one else had before him. Never stop when you fail, and never stop when you succeed!

(Originally published June 28, 2004 – The Ghost Writer)

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