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What We Can All Learn From Michael Jordan

What We Can All Learn From Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is known as the greatest basketball player of all time. And even those who don’t know much about him can tell that he’s more than just an athlete.

Many qualities and skills together with a powerful mindset are needed to become that good at something, to reach the top of a career and to stay consistent at it.

He is a role model, has inspired generations, and is the reason many people fall in love with basketball. He managed to unleash his full potential and is an example of success, action and ambition. There’s a lot he can teach us about life.

So here are 10 valuable lessons we can all learn from Michael Jordan:

1. He accepts failure

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something.”

Successful people know that defeats are the most valuable experience in life. It’s our mistakes that show us the right way eventually. And Michael Jordan decided to accept failure, learn from it and do his best next time early on in his career.

2. Always try again

“…But I can’t accept not trying.”

Yes, you will fail. But nothing will ever happen if you don’t get out there and try again.

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The famous basketball player is all about that. It’s his perspiration that made him who he is today.

Way too many people give up on something after they fail a few times, and that’s why they don’t reach the success that’s waiting for them.

3. Practice daily

“I set another goal…a reasonable, manageable goal that I could realistically achieve if I worked hard enough. I approached everything step by step.”

Getting good at something is not enough these days. Many people are good at many things. But if you want to make a difference and live your life to the fullest by doing your best, you’ll need to master a skill.

For him it was one of the greatest sports. And if he didn’t show up to practice every single day, even when no one expected him to, he wouldn’t be a winner.

You don’t just need to be consistent and to work hard. It’s the daily commitment that lets you be the best version of yourself and become the best at something.

Once you do, however, it becomes your legacy. And you feel accomplished and content no matter the results.

4. Take action

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”

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Many people spend a great deal of time trying to think of the best idea, to plan it, to predict everything that could happen and prepare for it. Others dream more than they do.

But, truth is, nothing will ever happen if you don’t do something about it, and there’s no better time than today.

Action breeds action. And if you’re initiative and consistent in what you do, you’ll succeed.

5. Enjoy the game

“Enjoy every minute of life.”

Whatever you do, make sure you’re having fun. That’s what Michael Jordan was doing during each game.

Life is much easier this way, and you perform better. So go find something you enjoy, get good at it and create something meaningful out of your life.

6. Let go of expectations

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

Another great lesson from Michael Jordan is that expectations often get in the way of what we want to achieve in life. And if you let them, they prevent you from moving forward.

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But it’s all in your hands and others have nothing to do with it. So don’t listen to what they expect, don’t take into consideration how they see things, just stay focused on the game and do what feels right.

7. Be dedicated

“He didn’t miss games. He played hurt, with pain, when he was sick. He came out and performed at an intense level. I don’t think anybody ever went away disappointed after watching Michael.” – Phil Jackson

In order to receive what success has for you, you’ll have to give something in exchange. It’s often your time, energy and focus.

Dedicate enough of them, and you’ll be on top of your game.

8. Be humble

“There will be a player greater than me.”

Michael Jordan knows that even if the world thinks he is the best basketball player, someone else will eventually come along who is better.

And that’s how we should all act. Stop thinking that you are the best and no one can be better. Humility is a trait that is highly valued and respected.

9. Stay focused on your goals

“The game has its ups and downs, but you can never lose focus of your individual goals and you can’t let yourself be beat because of lack of effort.”

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There are many distractions in life. And it wasn’t any different for Michael Jordan. He had to deal with failures, other people’s opinion, his personal problems, team members, what the media said about him, fame, and many other things. But he never stopped being concentrated on his goals.

He kept his vision, stayed true to what he believed in, and never let anything from the outside world get to his mind or heart.

10. Leave fear behind

“Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion”

He realized that fear was an illusion earlier than others, and that gave him the freedom to try harder and dream bigger.

Fear of failure is a big obstacle on the way to success. Be we won’t go any further unless we let go of it. It’s important to realize that the only barriers are the ones we set for ourselves. We create such illusions that make us afraid to take action. And without action, there’s no progress.

So don’t be afraid to do what you love and fail as much as you can.

All these lessons, together with the unforgettable games Michael Jordan played, are his legacy. And we can do the same.

Everything in life is possible. We just need to have a definite desire and take action upon it every single day.

Featured photo credit: Michael Jordon by Jason H. Smith (creative commons) via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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