In my previous post, I shared the five nuggets (principles) we can take from the greatest myth in sport’s history. We love that story, even people who don’t watch sports love it. These are the other five nuggets we can take from Michael Jordan’s experience with failure:
6. EMBRACE FAILURE: MJ learned how to convert the pain of defeat into motivation throughout his life. He checked into hotels under the name “Leroy Smith” as a reminder of the person who beat him in high school. Leroy was a constant reminder to never stop working or take anything for granted. We all have a “Leroy Smith” experience in our lives, but how are you using it for good?
7. EXECUTION IS A HABIT: MJ’s Chicago Bulls went 6 for 6 in the NBA finals. When his opportunity came; he executed. Many of us set goals, make plans, come up with ideas, and dream about stuff we’d like to achieve but without EXECUTION none of it matters. Ideas aren’t worth anything. MJ turned winning into a habit. We can make execution a habit when we treat everything, especially the small stuff, as an opportunity to gain small wins.
8. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY: After winning a game, I remember Jordan would always give credit to his teammates, but after losing he’d take responsibility. Instead of worrying about the things that are out of our control, it’s better to focus on the things that we can control and crush it! Effort and Attitude are ALWAYS under your control.
9. SET STRETCH GOALS: Why did Jordan, as a sophomore, try out for the varsity team of a really good school? Why didn’t he focus on the JV team instead? I don’t know why. But I do know he set a stretched goal. Like Les Brown says, “Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.”
10. Sorry, I couldn’t think of a 10th thing, so let’s turn it into a question. What would you rather have natural talent or a winning mindset?
I don’t know if you realized this, but none of these 9 principles have to do with natural born talent or gifts. The one common trait is that they are all under our control. Jordan was constantly looking for ways to take his game to the next level and surround himself with the best. He had the best coaches, played with the 2nd best player in the NBA (Pippen) and greatest rebounder (Dennis Rodman), etc. None of this has to do with natural talent. His mindset helped him create a winning environment, which turned winning into a habit.
These two posts aren’t about Jordan, sports, or athletic talent. It’s about you and I developing the right mindset, regardless of our circumstances, to create small daily wins that will eventually snowball into a great life.
By the way, I’m including some version of this blog series in my first book which I’m working on right now.