Michael Jordan Turns 50 – 5 Fierce Lessons To Succeed!

by Dwayne Kilbourne on February 17, 2013

Growing up in Michigan while watching my beloved Bad Boys [Detroit Pistons], it regularly gave me great pleasure when the Bulls stumbled in those early years. Sure, Michael was a great player, but I found him over-rated. As he progressed into his career, he started to turn the tables on my Pistons, and that seemed to make me not like him [as a basketball player] that much more. Once the Pistons fell apart and Michael Jordan moved on to baseball, I started to watch the Orlando Magic. Shaq was great, and I was all for them. Suddenly, the Magic were great, but Jordan decided to come back and play.  I was glad when the Magic beat the Bulls that year, but Michael would be back, and he led his Bulls to another 3-peat! Over time, MJ grew on me more and more. Throughout, Michael was a machine; he was cut-throat, and he was THE MAN! While Michael Jordan turned 50 today (February 17, 2013), I’m sure he would still be the best player on the team that he owns. He was (and probably still is) that great! Looking back at Jordan’s domination in the NBA, it is obvious that he knew how to win; accordingly, we can learn from his ways, his methods, and his attitude!

Michael Jordan Statue at United Center - Chicago, IL

[Image Credit: Arnold Gatilao]

Here are five fierce lessons that we all should learn from His Airness!

Work Hard

“I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come.” [Michael Jordan]

If you want something bad enough, you better be willing to work hard for it. Life’s goals are usually challenging, for they are not just sitting there on a silver platter for you to enjoy. To reach the top of the mountain, you have to work hard – harder than you might imagine and certainly harder than your competition!  Skills do not merely enhance without some hard work and dedication. Jordan’s jump shot and creativity did not just magically appear. To get to where he wanted to go, he put so much time in the gym mastering his craft. When his team practiced, he practiced. When that practice was over, he practiced some more!

Persistence Pays Off

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” [Michael Jordan]

Working hard is only part of it. Life’s challenges are going to throw things at you, some good things and some bad things. You need to be ready for anything that comes your way. Along the way, there will be walls and other barriers that find themselves in your path, and you just need to be persistent enough to keep moving forward through thick and through thin. Like each of us, Jordan endured his share of low times as well as his high times. But, unlike some, Jordan did not allow things to get in his way. Instead, he dealt with the highs and lows and kept moving forward.

Don’t Be Afraid To Fail

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

You can’t be afraid to fail along the way. It is inevitable that you will stumble along the pathway to success. There is no Golden Road that you can take to get there faster or painlessly. You are going to have some form of failure at some point, so you cannot be afraid of it. Instead, you have to accept it, learn from the failures, and keep going! Jordan knew that all eyes were on him, yet he continued to take the final shots of each close game, even if it meant that a potential missed shot cost his team that game. His willingness to take on the biggest challenges at the risk of grave failure showcases so much of his greatness!

If You Fail, Pick Yourself Back Up and Get Better

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” [Michael Jordan]

As I mentioned above, it really is not a matter of if you ever fail because failure comes with the job, especially if you are seeking to become great. Many will tell you that it is not about the failures but instead about how you deal with it and what you do after the failures that exemplify your true ability to succeed! Michael Jordan did this time and time again, especially at the beginning of his career when he was losing to the Pistons and Celtics. He missed a few shots and lost a few games, but he remained determined to achieve championships and the greatness that came with it!

Be Positive and Shoot For the Stars

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” [Michael Jordan]

In an ever-challenging and changing world, it would be easy to dwell on past failures and start a pity party. It appears that much of today’s society struggles to remain positive and instead decides to gather and ponder all of its shortcomings. In lieu of focusing on the negatives, it is always best to instead focus on the positives in life. Imagine if Jordan had dwelled on those conference finals losses to the Pistons. He would have been living so much in the past that he could not focus on today and tomorrow! Simply said, positivity is POWERFUL!

So, SUCCEED Like Mike!

MJ set a good example of how to WIN! Let us take a moment and learn from how Jordan won on the court. It does not take rocket science to WIN, but it does take hard work, dedication, perseverance, and a positive attitude! Happy 50th Birthday, Mike!

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  • http://twitter.com/MissAmy_AtHome Miss Amy

    I was a little Chicago girl during the rule of MJ.  I wasn’t big on sports, but I remember the 3-peat (and 6-peat!). MJ was always a positive role model – the poster child of hard work, loyalty and appreciating what you have. We still celebrate Jordan around here, not just on his milestone birthdays 🙂

  • Harold Gardner

    Having insane athletic talent like Jordan is also really useful.  I suspect he applied those lessons to baseball and that worked out less well.

  • http://twitter.com/JasonWagner1993 Jason Wagner

    Not everyone has the natural inclination to play sports like Michael Jordan, but I do agree that lesson can be taken from his success.

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