Michael Jordan has always been a man I respect. He’s had his vices and sometimes I think him and Stevie Wonder have the same stylist. But he set the bar for my generation of athletes, both on and off court. He played in the era where the game of basketball was gritty and competitive. As a middle schooler/teenager that played basketball, my coaches always used MJ as an example of “leaving it all on the floor”. Basketball was his life and it showed in every game he played. But even during his illustrious career, there were some low points. The crazy thing is Jordan is that damn good that even his failures are impressive.
Just to give you an idea – 1 of Jordan’s worst games that I vividly remember is Game 5 of the 1998 finals against Utah. At 34 years old, he didn’t particularly shoot well in that series. In what might possibly be 1 of the worst all-around games of his career, MJ shot 9/26 and only had 4 rebounds for 28 points in 45 minutes. Yeah, the Bulls beat the Jazz to win their franchise’s 6th ring. So in the grand scheme of things, even with his age, Jordan’s determination and focus on winning hadn’t waned. The point is he showed up.
Success is about the journey. Every day you wake up is an opportunity to forge a new footprint. People love to scream “failure is not option”. But the realist in you has to know that failures are inevitable and necessary. Failures are how we confirm our desire and passion to succeed at a specific task or venture. Remember, most of the entertainers, athletes, and entrepreneurs that we seek to emulate have a string of failed efforts in their wake. The difference between them and the person who became complacent is that they used their failures as teaching lessons. In life, failure has to be your fuel.
The experiences of our lives, even those that seem minute, teach us to be persistent and focused. For me, I’ve learned that failure is sometimes masked as success. Tunnel vision can trick you to think that when you don’t get what you want, you’ve failed. Though, when you step back and see the full picture of your life’s story, you’re likely to find a web of failures that were all apart of the master plan leading to your success.