Driven From Within
Pure Passion. While most people swim in mediocrity, often due to some false sense of humility, Jordan focused on winning. His work ethic could be described as just enjoying what he did more than everyone else. If Jordan worked an ordinary 9-5 job he would be just as lazy and complacent as the other 99% of people.
Earned. Jordan wasn’t a guy with high status growing up in Wilmington, NC. But that just drove him to prove himself. As a result he outworked everyone else.
As his mother Delores Jordan said,
“Have a passion for what you are doing and work hard…If you have a passion, then you are going to be challenged every day to give your best.”
Uncompromised. Jordan’s success with Nike was about his performance on the court. While players now often get shoe deals before they start playing and underperform as a result, Jordan was more committed to excellence than anyone and demanded the same from his teammates.
Aspirational. “I had dreams. They were my dreams, and I had no fear of them.”
How many of us focus on why we can’t achieve our dreams rather than commit fully to fulfilling them? We are easily discouraged by even a single comment when someone “disapproves” of our ambitions.
The difference between average people and Michael Jordan is that we seek to meet others’ expectations. Jordan sought to exceed his own expectations and prove everybody wrong.
Authentic. “It’s a lot harder to become the best you can be when you’re focused on trying to be the best version of someone else.”
Was Jordan trying to be the next Dr. J, the next Magic Johnson? Neither, he was focused on being the best Michael Jordan he could be. Besides, I doubt Dr. J or Magic would have given up basketball stardom to sleep in a cheap motel with a minor league baseball team.
Beyond. “The one’s that lose their way by jumping on one fad or another, or try to be something other than what or who they are, don’t last long.”
From his work ethic on the court to the Jordan brand itself, his dedication is unmatched.
Conclusion. While most of us tuck our tails and hide when life gets hard, Jordan is more resilient, more committed, more confident, and attacks his goals with tenacity. Michael Jordan is not successful because he is nicer than others and he is not successful because of the false humility that most of us have. His success comes from focus. He never lets the opinions of others distract him. In fact those opinions just motivate him so he can prove you wrong.