A lesson on never giving up from a basketball legend

“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot… and missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – MJ

Attribution: Steve Lipofsky at basketballphoto.com

 

Michael Jordan at Boston Garden

It’s basketball season!  I’m pretty sure that you can name the guy in the picture on the left.  Most all of us can, even if we can’t name very many basketball players.  But did you know that in 10th grade Michael tried out for the basketball team, and did not make Varsity, even though one of his friends in his grade did?  He was so upset that he went home, locked himself in his room and cried.  Then he got up and used that setback as motivation to become better. 

Some people use that incident to criticize the coach, but I don’t fault the coach.  Jordan was not that great of a basketball player YET. If he had been put on varsity, he probably wouldn’t have played much and sat on the bench, and he might have never have had the motivation to become one of the best NBA players of all time.  He used his embarrassment and his frustration to push himself, and to keep improving on his skills. Jordan was the first person to get to the gym and the last one to leave.

Be willing to invest long hours and some sweat if you have something that you really want to do!  If you don’t make varsity and get put on a JV team, don’t be so quick to quit.  You want to be an artist or writer and someone doesn’t like your work; don’t let it deter you.  You may say that you want it, but are your actions showing you investing any extra hours above the bare minimum?  What are you doing this week to better yourself in that area?

Don’t be afraid to look foolish while you learn something new. Give yourself a decent amount of time that you will pour your heart into something before you call it quits.  After that amount of time passes and you decide that wasn’t your passion after all, then you can quit-knowing that you gave it your all. We live in such a distracted culture that people don’t work at something for very long before they give up.  Don’t do that!  If it really is a goal and dream of yours, pound it hard and know that you gave your very best effort.  You can achieve your goals, you can do more than you think you can!  We believe in you!

“If you do the work, you get rewarded. There are no shortcuts in life.” – Michael Jordan

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