Home > Famous People Stories > Michael Jordan. What can we learn from him?

Michael Jordan. What can we learn from him?

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

Failure is something that may need to be redefined within your mind. It’s not something to attach too much meaning to. But people do though. They may think that it’s the end of the world, that the sky will fall if they fail. It rarely does.

If you look at successful people then you see that they have an abundance mentality. They know there are new chances and opportunities if they fail. And that there are lessons to be learned from failures. Those failures may be necessary to achieve success. Without them you don’t get feedback and wisdom that is essential for your future success. And by making mistakes for yourself you get experience. Reading about someone else’s mistake or knowledge isn’t the same thing as experiencing and acquiring it for yourself.
Failure is a learning experience. It can help you. But first you have to try. Without trying you aren’t going anywhere. You can read more about the power of failing in Why You Should Never Fear Failure.

Rely on your own expectations.

“If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.”

“It’s heavy duty to try to do everything and please everybody . . . My job was to go out there and play the game of basketball as best I can, … People may not agree with that . . . I can’t live with what everyone’s impression of what I should or what I shouldn’t do.”

“You have to expect things of yourselves before you can do them.”

You can’t live your life through the eyes of others. Through the expectations of others. It will just pull you seven different ways at once or change depending on their mood and what happened last time you worked/played/tried. And then it will very difficult, perhaps impossible, to change the outcome.

You need to release yourself from the need for validation from others. And from their expectations. Instead, validate yourself. Instead, set expectations for yourself. See yourself doing something. Visualize it. Without you being able to see it you will have a very hard time achieving it.

Know what you want and where you are going.

“I’m not out there sweating for three hours every day just to find out what it feels like to sweat.”

Know why you are doing something. Set a clear direction. And remind yourself of it constantly to keep yourself from veering of that path.

When you are actually out there, be detached from outcomes.

“I never looked at the consequences of missing a big shot . . . when you think about the consequences you always think of a negative result.”

When it’s game-time, when you are out on the court, stay unattached to the outcome. Or you will get nervous and fumble. This is for when you are out there playing. In between you can think about your goals and possible outcomes.

But when you play/blog/work etc. stay unattached to the outcome. Just focus on what’s in front of you. Things will become easier. You’ll create less inner anxiety and pressure for yourself. And you will perform better because you are focusing on what’s right in front of you and not weighing yourself down with a lot of self-created negativity.

Obstacles will always be there. Don’t be discouraged.

“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

Do you really want to go where you are going? Then you’ll find a way. But you need to focus on what you want. Not on what you don’t want. If you focus on what you want solutions will start to pop up in your surroundings with the help of your reticular activation system.

And I guess you can see obstacles as a way for the world to test people, a way to see if they really want something. The ones that do will break through those obstacles and go on while the rest find something better suited for them. Or just go home.

What is the positive in all of this? “Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.”

There is always something good to find in just about anything. Ask yourself “what is positive/useful in all of this?” This allows you to find valuable lessons within temporary setbacks and failures. It is also a way to turn a negative mood into a more positive and constructive one. Such a mood is most often a lot better and more useful than moping around and feeling sorry for yourself. Remember to have fun. “Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.”

This one ties into being detached. When you are detached from outcomes you can enjoy what you are doing in the present moment.

If you on the other hand are attached to outcomes then there is quite a risk of spiralling down negative thought patterns. You might for instance start to over think something simple and take the fun out of it. Or pull the rug from under yourself by thinking about possible negative outcomes. Your mind may get lost in a negative past/future.

And then it will be hard to have fun. To keep your eyes on the ball. And to achieve what you would like to achieve.”

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Categories: Famous People Stories
  1. Amisha Kirit Patel
    July 5, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    thanks rajiv thats very inspring

    • June 25, 2011 at 7:19 pm

      You are most welcome 🙂

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