Be like Mike. Is that a challenge, a motivation or perhaps just a dream? For me, it's no longer a dream because the secrets of Michael Jordan have been revealed. It's now reduced to being a challenge, a challenge to keep up with these secrets below. I'm practicing them right now and so far, it has been very fruitful. I also believe that we may not be able to be exactly like Mike, but we can find our own success by following his secrets. Let's use them as the foundations of our acts. Here are MJ's secrets.
1. Take Responsibility
"Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen."
Throughout his life, Michael Jordan had the honorable quality of taking responsibility for his own destiny. That means that he took action while others paused to ask questions, gather more data, or consult experts. Not that he didn't have mentors, but essentially it was his wrists that snapped the ball into the hoop.
2. Give It A Try
"I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying."
One of the biggest causes of procrastination is the problem of hesitation. Sometimes people over think, and over analyze, which prevents them from taking that first step that will carry them one thousand miles. If you want to increase sales by trying a new technique, you will never know unless you try. This can apply to baking cakes, meeting singles, or anything that you can wrap your mind around.
3. Fail Freely
"I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
Can you believe that Michael Jordan missed so many shots and lost so many games? I thought he was the best! Well, he is indeed the best, and it's because he was willing to fail, and keep going. That allowed him to get past his plateaus and persevere. That's another big reason for procrastination. When we think we'll fail, we do not attempt. A good solution is to consider what the worst case scenario of failing would be, because once you do that, it's never as bad as when the scenario was an unknown. Worst-case scenario is not that you'll die, it's that you lived a miserable (or comfortable) life as a coward.
4. Commit Yourself
"The game is my wife. It demands loyalty and responsibility, and it gives me back fulfillment and peace."
Till death do we part, just me and my goal. I know in my heart that this is my role. When you give yourself fully and remove all other distractions you gain an invaluable level of attention to detail that will pool in resources you did not know you were capable of harnessing.
5. Enjoy Your Game
"Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game."
So many people get stuck in dead end, zero-sum, no fun jobs because they didn't find their love, or just simply don't have the knack for taking pleasure in what they have. Consider the fact that you spend more time in your place of work than you do in your place of worship and with your family combined. By not being excited about, or getting full enjoyment out of work, you are cheating yourself from having a life of design and a life of fulfillment. I don't have a solution for your life, but I think you know which sacrifices you need to make, and are willing to make, in order to have the life of your dreams become your reality.
6. Play To Win
"I play to win, whether during practice or a real game. And I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthusiasm to win."
Why bother playing the game of basketball, work, or life if you aren't planning to win? Do you even know what a statistically relevant way of measuring your personally defined "win" would look like? If you're in the game to make money does winning mean being the richest man in the world? If you're in the game for your family does that mean that you see them often and share the joys of life over a vibrant laugh? Whatever your game is, make sure you define what a win looks like, and play to win.
7. Be Selfish and Humble
"To be successful you have to be selfish, or else you never achieve. And once you get to your highest level, then you have to be unselfish. Stay reachable. Stay in touch. Don't isolate."
Take notes from Michael Jordan, first be selfish until you get on top, and once you are on top be humble and grounded. Being selfish in how you jump over people and slam dunk in their face, whether you are an athlete or business person. In a family setting this would mean taking care of your personal health before worrying about the well-being of your family. If you let your health fail you are of no use, or even worse a burden, to your family. This is why in case of an air plane emergency they tell you to put the air mask on yourself first and then on your children.
8. Find Your Way Around
"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."
Anything in life that is dear to us is worth so much because of the time and effort we put into acquiring it. This goes for championships, businesses, and most importantly our relationships. One thing that determines how hard we've had to work is the amount of obstacles that were thrown in our way. Next time there's an obstacle, don't let it hinder you, think about the fact that whatever you're trying to reach will be that much worth it on the other side.
9. Make Your Own Expectations
"If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome."
The number one thing that will literally ruin your life is if you live it by someone else's expectations. Every single person is different and has their own views on what's best, which follows what their goals are in this life. By listening to the voices of others, instead of your own voice, you are effectively submitting to live your life for the sake of accomplishing their goals. Set your own expectations, meet your own goals, and live your own extraordinary life (or don't).
10. Now, Take One Shot
"I never looked at the consequences of missing a big shot . . . when you think about the consequences you always think of a negative result."
The way this applies to life is quite simple. Much of the time we look too far into the future, while performing a task that needs our full attention right now. This act could take away our focus, paralyze us from taking action, and take away the pleasure of doing what is at hand. In life you can take one shot at a time, then another, and from this all your dreams will come true. At least that's what works for Michael Jordan.