Acquired Greatness – A Lesson From Michael Jordan


There are two types of people in the world.  Those who are satisfied with the status quo, and those who consistently aspire to improve.  Neither is right or wrong.  It just is.

Some might say the latter should be grateful for who they are and what they have.  The reality is that most of them are.  They simply want to reach higher levels of accomplishment for the fun of it.  For the love of the game.

Most of the people aspiring to improve do so in one, or a couple areas of their lives.  Then there‘s a smaller pool of people seeking excellence in all aspects of life.

I’m saying all of these things to distinguish a particular way of being in people that leads to high levels of accomplishment.  Not to alienate or look down on people who are satisfied with average levels of accomplishment.

Like I said, neither is right or wrong.  It’s important to know who you are and own it 100%.

These people who play the game of excellence in one or multiple areas of life have learned how to tap into their greatness.  If you know me at all you know I believe every person has greatness within.  Every single person.

We all have it.  Only some of us ever access it.  A smaller percentage of us learn how to access it at will.  An even smaller percentage learn how to maximize it.

With that being said, I invite you to ask yourself right now if you have any desire to access your greatness.  Listen closely to your own desires.  The answer is in there.

Does your gut tell you there’s something more out there for you?  Something bigger?  Something that seems impossible, but for some reason it’s calling you?  Or are you good where you are? Either is fine.

If there’s any inkling of your being calling you toward excellence in any area of your life, I implore you to read on and go for it with all you’ve got.  You have what it takes already.

You have greatness within you.  What’s next for you is all about learning how to access and maximize it.  That’s how greatness is acquired.

NOTE: better buckle up because it’s a bumpy ride.

Greatness is Not for the Faint of Heart

Everyone loves an overnight success.  It’s too bad they actually don’t exist.  That’s right.  There’s no such thing as an overnight success.

Every noteworthy successful person went through the gauntlet in order to get there.  And I assert they’re still going through it right now.  They’re willingly and purposely putting themselves against the odds on a daily basis.

They set goals and they accomplish them.  Then they immediately set a new goal.  That’s who they are.  It’s not about the destination.  It’s about being a person who’s committed to excellence.

It’s not about winning a game.  It’s about winning the game.  The ultimate game.  The game of life.  And it’s not just about winning the game.  It’s about crushing it…and then coming back for more.

If you ever watched Michael Jordan win a championship game, you may have noticed him throw his hand up with the number of championship wins he’d accumulated plus one.  The plus one was for next year’s championship game.

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. -Michael Jordan

Jordan learned how to access his greatness at will and maximize it.  This is it.  This is what greatness personified looks like.

You may be thinking you’re not Michael Jordan so this is impossible for you.  Only if you say so.  Consider the following.

You have to be willing to miss more shots than anyone else.  You have to be willing to lose more games than anyone else.  You have to be willing to miss the game winning shot more than anyone else.

You need to be willing to lose in order to win.  You need to be willing to be heartbroken in order to have what you love.  You need to be willing to be weak in order to be strong.

All of this sounds like you need to be willing to die in order to live.  Maybe.  Would you still choose greatness?  I know some people who would.  You do too.

This is what it looks like to acquire greatness.  Not some phenomenon out North Carolina.  Jordan may have been very talented, but his greatness was maximized by his willingness to be and do whatever it takes.  I assure you.

Michael Jordan’s Secret Sauce

Ready?  Here’s the secret to acquiring greatness.  Practice.  Anticlimactic, I know.

Anyone who wants to become great at anything just needs to practice.  But it’s a certain kind of practice.

It’s rigorous, hard, consistent, and it’s expensive in more ways than one.  You’ll certainly have to spend a considerable amount of time, energy, and money.

This kind of practice takes a strong mind, body, and desire to win.  And rest assured greatness in each of these areas can be acquired too.

If you think you’re not good at something, you can get better with practice.  Or you can get better at finding and inspiring someone else to do things you’re not good at for you.  Whatever it takes to acquire greatness.

This kind of practice can be scary.  A lot of people start and then quit.  But some people have found a way to keep going regardless of how much it hurts or what they stand to lose.

You can find a way too, guaranteed.  Because everyone has greatness within.  Everyone.  Go be great.  The world needs more greatness.