7 Life Lessons from Michael Jordan

michael jordan

“I’ve missed more than 9000 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.”

Michal Jordan

At the age of 15, Michael Jordan was cut out of his varsity basketball team because he was deemed too short to play at 1.8 meters. As we know, he turned out to be highly successful in his basketball career and was known as a legend in the game.

It was his passion, determination, skill level and commitment that made him a leader among other men in the game of basketball. He crafted himself into the most valuable basketball player of his time, and for all its worth, he will be the one everyone talks about.

As a role model, he 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 leadership and life.

In looking at what Jordan did to be at the top of his game, I find it is just what a great leader needs to do to stay at the top of their game.

So here are 7 valuable lessons we can all learn from Michael Jordan:

1. Don’t be scared to try 

“I can accept failure but I can’t accept not trying.”

~Michael Jordan

We don’t know the result and we may never know unless we try. We can give ourselves 101 reasons as to why it won’t work, but nothing will ever happen if we don’t get out there and try.

There will always be obstacles in the journey towards our goals. But don’t let them stop you from taking the first step. Obstacles are meant to be conquered. And the truth is, nothing will ever happen if you don’t do something about it, and there’s no better way than trying.

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

2. Leave fear behind

“I know fear is an obstacle for some people, but it’s an illusion to me.”

 ~Michael Jordan

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.

We, as humans, are so fearful of failure that it halts all our actions but the funny thing in life is that if we do not take any action, we are doomed to failure. Contradicting, isn’t it?

It’s important that we realize the only barriers are the ones we set for ourselves, and here the barrier is the illusion of fear.

3. Focus on finding a solution

Michael Jordan

“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them.  But 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.”

 ~Michael Jordan

When you hit a roadblock, don’t waste your energy and time panicking. Take a moment to gather yourself and find a solution – it exists.

Do not let the weight of the moment drag you down, instead, use this to be fierce. Recall why you need to win and let it drive you to achieve what matters the most, your dream.

4. Attitude Is Everything

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.”

 ~Michael Jordan

We all know the power of staying positive. Not just in negative situations but in life as well. Positivity plays a huge role in determining how much further we’re gonna go in pursuit of our ambitions.

michael jordan

5. Stay focused

“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.”

 ~Michael Jordan

here 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.

6. Put In the Work

“I’m not out there sweating for three hours every day just to find out what it feels like to sweat.”

  ~Michael Jordan

There aren’t any successful people in the world that don’t put in hard work to achieve what they have today.

In order to collect your harvest, you need to put in the effort to sow first. That is the Law of Nature. If we want to achieve something, just put in the hard work and the results will definitely come. Be tenacious and improve every single day.

Michael Jordan playing for Chicago Bulls

7. You Can’t Do It Alone

“If you think and achieve as a team, the individual accolades will take care of themselves. Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”

 ~Michael Jordan

Jordan is arguably the greatest player of all time but he did not win six championships by himself. Jordan was blessed with a teammate and Hall of Fame player Scottie Pippen (one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History). What if Michael Jordan didn’t have Scottie Pippen?

Individual effort is important, but it’s teamwork that makes the dream work.

A great leader is those who can make the sum of the whole greater than the sum of the parts, as that’s when teams reach their full potential.

Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Michael Jordan

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.

And in the end, just remember to be true to the game, because the game will be true to you.

If you try to shortcut the game, then the game will shortcut you. If you put forth the effort, good things will be bestowed upon you. It’s truly about the game, and in some ways, that’s about life too.

If you liked this blog you may also like: “3 Leadership Concepts From Jeff Bezos”


Written by

Studying bachelor’s in biotechnology, Aayushi is a really passionate person, who loves to read and travel. She believes people, places, and stories have the power to change anyone and help them understand the purpose of life.

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